Narrow pedestrian streets lead us past innumerable pavement cafes and the Plaza Mayor. Under the streets of the town lies an extraordinary secret: the entire subsoil is riddled with ancient wineries or "caves", excavated underneath the houses and streets, at a depth of 6 m. We will be entering one section to visit La Fabulista winery. Even the name is unusual. The cellars are located under the home of Félix María de Samaniego, a Spanish author (1745 – 1801), whose book “Fabulas” was a bestseller in its day, hence the name of this tiny winery and the labels of the bottles. We are shown where the grapes arrive by tractor, are tipped into a concrete vat and then actually trodden by foot, a very rare occurrence these days. We then descend the steep, narrow stairs to the cellars below the town. Here in dank, cool tunnels, the wine is fermented and aged. Finally we come to a nicely decorated tunnel where we enjoy the tasting. This is a small operation, but the guide is outstanding and the explanation of the whole process, including a fascinating discussion on how to taste and appreciate wine, is much appreciated. We are even persuaded to purchase a selection of their wines, which are in fact rather good.
If you come at harvest time you will have a chance to stomp on the grapes!
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