Saturday, November 03, 2018

Madrid Day 6

Slept in a bit, as we had no plans until 10:00, when we were doing a winery tour, so we had breakfast at the hostel (which was free), and headed to the pickup point around the Prado Museum.

We went to a winery that is higher up in the mountains, a small one that grows both red and green grapes (hence, both red and white wines). Some of the vines they grow grapes on are over 100 years old. They don't use trellises here, but keep the plants more separated, giving each more space. They are done harvesting for the season, but there was a lot of late grapes still growing on both the red and green grape vines, so we could pick and eat grapes to our hearts content. They are so delicious, way better than the grocery store grapes. They also don't water any of their vines. It's quite dry here, but the grapes that grow here are native to this area, so get all the moisture they need from the rains that come in the spring, so very environmentally friendly. This specific vineyard doesn't use any pesticides or insecticides or anything like that either.

After walking the vineyard (with amazing views), we headed to the town, where they turn the grapes into wine. They were soft squeezing red grapes to make red wine when we were there. After squeezing them, they ferment them twice, first in oak barrels, then in aluminum vats. As this was a small winery, it's size was very similar to some of the craft breweries in Calgary.

We had three samples of wine, along with Iberian ham and cheese, then headed back to Madrid.

The whole tour was guided, with just Tracy and I, but the winery had a surprise visit from another group today, so there was a small group of us doing the tasting. The company we booked through were hilarious, it's obvious she's trying to get her wine tour business off the ground, her photographer came with us (also the driver), and they picked us up in a car sharing service car (like Car2Go, but different company). On the drive to and from the vineyard and winery, they were constantly getting lost, neither of them could read Google Maps correctly, and the photographer was taking tons of pictures of us. I'm positive we'll see ourselves in marketing material and the website of the tour company!

After we got back, we walked around, looking for a place to have supper. It's really nice again today (high teens and sunny), and so many people about. We ended up going to the place we went on the first night in Madrid, as it was very good.

We then wandered around, and ended up in Plaza Mayor, and a busker was just starting his show, and while he did it (mostly) in Spanish, he was hilarious, as he engaged the audience a lot, and had them be part of the show, doing hilarious and stupid things. It's hard to explain, but both Tracy and I were laughing, and I'm sure it would have been ever funnier if we could understand the remarks he was making to the members of the crowd helping him.

We then headed back to the hostel, and packed our things, as we have a 4:30 taxi to the airport for our trip home.

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