Friday, August 06, 2010
As well as swigging as much of the stuff as we can lay our hands on we've also visited a number of bodegas but we've never before tried to follow one of the wine routes.
The idea of a wine route is to use the wine "peg" to hang any number of touriist activities on. The key element is obviously the wine producers or bodegas but restaurants, bookshops, hotels,specialist bars and shops etc. can all get in on the act with a bit of thought. I've seen some imaginative links over the years - music in amongst the barrels, libraries running lecture series, cultural centres doing wine appreciation sessions etc.
Jumilla has a wine route. Pinoso has been talking about setting one up for years but so far zilch. The tourist office in Jumilla was deadly efficient and within seconds of pushing the leaflet into our hands we were booked in for a tour and tasting session at Casa de la Ermita, a brand of wine we've seen a lot of down in Cartagena. Tour of the vineyards, tour of the bodega, tasting session, shop - pretty standard I suppose but the route and spiel was clearly thought out and nicely executed.
It worked too; we spent some cash.The friendly young woman who showed us around, Micaela, says that the Casa de la Ermita brand is sold in Waitrose and M&S in the UK.
Back in Jumilla we went to one of the restaurants on the list too and they were playing their part offering wines from all the participating bodegas as well as highlighting the route in their menus.
We're thinking of doing a few more very soon!