Zamora is the least traveled areas of Spain, and a few of the grape varieties are indigenous only to that area, Prieto Pecudo is one of the varietals and Albarin (not to be confused with Albarino).  This rare little area has been a best kept secret, along with the Vega de Tera Winery and Halcon wines.

Last year Xavier Iturria, the winemaker for Vega de Tera, shipped wines to the Peñin Guide for review. José Peñin is one of the most influential men in the world of wine in Spain (http://jpenin.guiapenin.com/acerca-de-jose-penin/). Jose Penin gave several of its five-star wines to Vega de Tera wines (you can see in this link - http://www.guiapenin.com/la-guia-penin.html - writing Vega de Tera in the space to search), the featured stars represent the price-quality ratio of the tested wines.

Xavier Iturria is a renowned French, natural winemaker from Bordeaux, who has worked for Spanish and French premier wineries.

Halcon wines have great potential. Jose Peñin and Miguel Regil, Manager of the Vega de Tera Winery, along with Xavier have been working to improve Halcon wines and put them on the top of the Spanish wine scene. Mr Peñin last week had tasted the new vintages of Halcon and the verdict has been fantastic, declaring the White Halcon 2014 as one of the best Verdejos produced this year in Spain (the score would be in the 95-96 points), plus he declares the Halcon red young has great potential and its score is above 94 points. The Halcon Oaked 2014 also has not left him indifferent and supposed to be well above 90 points.

These comments were made in a small committee tasting wines with Penin's partners and collaborators. Miguel tells us the good news, that they will have just tasted all the wines in the middle of this month and July 20th Mr Peñin will visit the Vega de Tera winery invited by the Owner, Manolo Cuñarro (Miguel´s father in law). Once Penin visits the winery, they should have the scores completed and confirmed.

The wines are produced simply, organic in nature, vegan, with no GMO’s.

Xavier Iturria, is truly one of the up and coming Winemakers in Spain one to watch!

How well do you know your Spanish Wines?

The Gordonzello winery is Northeast of Benevente about 20 minutes and is a rural area of about 20,000 people. Albarin, not Albarino is a grape variety only grown in this province.The closest my reasearch has come to the Albarin grape variety is the Albillo Real grape variety. This is a grape variety found in the Ribera del Duero area of Spain. A high glycerin index lends itself to a slight fruit forward nose, but the kicker is the nose does not match the flavor of the wine at all.  Rich, straw, perfumed, lush and just plain different, it leaves you perplexed in a good way and keeps you coming back for more.  A hearty food wine. My favorite is the Peregrino Albarin from the Gordonzello Winery.

Prieto Pecudo is another grape variety found in this region, similar to a Tempranillo, however the character of the Pietro Pecudo is "grapier" than the "earthy" Tempranillo grape. Valdevimbre, is the municipality that grows this grape variety, in Castilla Y Leon. Though it is a grape used for blending and is a common grape in the area, it is newer to the US. Deep color, rich tanins, as obscure as the grape's name.

Monte La Reina, "Castle of the Queen", is a winery nestled in north central Spain. It is in the province of Zamora, in the Castilla Y Leon. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive north west of Madrid, 35 milles south east of Benavente. Monte La Reina is known for one of the best Crianza's and is famous for very unique 100% Verdejo and Tempranillo wines. These grapes may not be as rare as the others, however they are some of the best wines coming out of this special, unique province.

The Vega de Tera winery is 10 miles west of Benevente, northwestern Spain. Vega de Tera literally translates to "river bottom land" , implying the land surrounding the winery is very fertile. Tera is the name of the river, and they produce a wine called "Halcon", or Falcon.  One of the highlights is their 100% Pietro Pecudo Rose, dry style, lush strawberry nuances, the perfect picnic wine or for entertaining. Rose season is coming and Spring is already as alive as the flowers are in Colorado.

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