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30.10.12

Jean Leon, Torres & Freixenet Vineyards

Torres - it's at the top of a hill and one can view the valley, other small wineries and the little town of Penedes.


The have their own little train to take you for a tour.

Their own wine grapes

The train takes you inside a dark room, which has thousands of barrels stored, before the bottling process.

The bottling process & storage

Inside the tasting & training room

& the tasting begins - which cheese goes with which wine???

 FREIXENET - Freixenet is the world's top producer of Spanish sparkling wine or cava. Having expanded tremendously within years (make around 90 million bottles a year!) with hardly any space left to develop their estate, Freixenet has expanded vertically in literal terms - it goes levels underground!


Let's go for a ride:)



The barrels

The old old bottles!

Old is gold:) Who likes mature wine?

Way underground! 

The little left of the ceiling - the temperature is controlled/ chilly because of the wines.
 JEAN LEON - one of the most fascinating 'hollywood like' stories, inspiring and surely makes you want to know more about his wines - vineyard managed and run by Torres.

On the way to Jean Leon

We were welcomed by the bottles!

Wine Grapes - Green used for White Wine


Black grapes for Red wine

Who likes Sauvignon Blanc - We actually tried the grapes!

The classiest barrels ever!

The barrel process - crushing of the grapes is now done by machines.

The barrels


The tasting & training by one of the Jean Leon representatives
Forgot to add this one earlier - Chardonnay Grapes!


27.10.12

Why Should one take a wine tour in Barcelona?


Whilst there's a lot to do in beautiful Barcelona, there's also lots to see if you travel a bit outside the city. A two hour drive from the main city of Barcelona is the Spanish wine region of Penedes - this is home to famous wine brands such as Jean Leon and Torres and Caves Freixenet Winery (there are small wineries around although that's more family oriented and not for commercial use/ visits).

We were in Barcelona for just 3 days and had decided to dedicate half a day to a wine tour and the city tour buses in Barcelona offer day trips, which makes it convenient to be back by mid day and still do a lot for the rest of your day.

Other than being adventurous and beautiful, the wine tours in Barcelona are extremely informative and you will surely go back with a wealth of knowledge on how strong you like your wine, how acidic it is, how long it has been kept in the barrel, how young or old it is  and so on. It surely is an enriching experience for wine drinkers/lovers and should not be missed! Also, you get to buy the bottles, directly from the wineries - however old you like it.

Surely try taking the Jean Leon, Torres & Cava Freixenet day tour as you learn about both, wine and champagne and the stories of each are quite enchanting!

How to plan a Wine tour in Barcelona: try one of the city tour buses and their kiosks in Barcelona, the pick up is from Las Ramblas and it's usually quite early, at around 7am. Day trips are the best.
Duration of tour: Around 7 to 8 hours
Tips: Travel light, I would suggest pack a sandwich or something light because all you get, all day, is wine and cheese and surely you will crave for much more, especially after all the tasting and buzzing!
Wineries to visit: Jean Leon (Fascinating story), Torres & Freixenet
And please plan in advance, atleast book your wine trip a week to 10 days in advance as we struggled a night before - yes, we are that last minute!

Try http://www.barcelonacitytours.com for half/ full day tours!

(Cava in Catalonia is 'champagne' and I will surely be posting lots of pictures in my next post from our little wine tour)

18.10.12

The Beauty of Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia, like many other tourist attractions in Barelona, is a must visit for anyone! A huge Roman Catholic church, designed by Antoni Gaudi, Sagrada Familia is quite an extraordinary structure, extremely beautiful and full of powerful and positive energies.

A bit Gothic in design, the detailing of each and every aspect of the church, from the roof to the doors to the inside structure, is just brilliant - one can only wonder what was going on behind the master mind's brains to design something so delicate and yet so strong, to make it last for generations to come

Don't forget to buy your tickets much in advance as there's a long queue at the entrance!

Here is a string concept of the design - it defies the law of gravity - where the strings are the pillars.



Working area of Gaudi, his last days were spent here - it's still kept intact after so many
 years!






























Some pictures of the entrance and the inside structure - the detailing is jaw - dropping!
















15.10.12

Abac Restaurant & Hotel

If you are looking for a boutique modern hotel, in a family oriented residential area in Barcelona - then Abac Hotel & Restaurant is perfect for you. The metro station is close by and it's at a round about, where Taxis are easy to find.

The rooms are extremely comfortable and cozy, full of Bang & Olufsen products, and one has to go through the kitchen of the hotel to actually reach to the rooms, the chefs and helpers seem absolutely fine with it - used to it I guess!

Here is the website of Abac hotel - http://www.abacbarcelona.com/ and before selecting a hotel, I never forget to read a review by Mr & Mrs Smith, especially to make sure it's one of their recommendations - http://www.mrandmrssmith.com/luxury-hotels/abac-restaurant-and-hotel/review - Happy reading!

Abac Hotel & Restaurant



7.10.12

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing BARCA & Las Ramblas!

So the first thing one does as soon as they arrive in Barcelona is head to Las Ramblas (of course after checking into your hotel) - Las Ramblas (pronounced 'la rambla') is the one of the key attractions of Barcelona - it's a street full of tourists, restaurants, bars & a lot of artists!

Having gone there twice in 3 days, there is something about the place, it's buzzing with tons of energy and the best way to soak in the atmosphere is just have a cup of coffee or grab a meal from one of the local cafes, sit outside and merely observe.

That's what Las Rambles is all about - walk a bit, shop from the kiosks run by the locals and get amused by the many artists and their little performances!

I don't recommend staying at Las Ramblas,  simply because of the noise/ drama, even though there are many hotels with great offers and also, not to waste a whole day just being there as there's lot MORE to see in beautiful Barcelona!!

Ohhh and take care of that wallet! 


At your own risk!




Man Horse? Man on a horse?

Umbrella Girl? Cabaret Girl?

The busy couple?

How??!!