WOW ! ! ! What a wonderful experience. Each step along the way built upon the previous, starting with the drive through the rural area outside of Montilla amidst the grape wines and olive trees. Upon arriving we were greeted by our host Miguel and were very pleased that our limited knowledge of the Spanish language would not be a limiting factor, as Miguel was very fluent in English. Miguel showed us around outside taking to time to educate us about the grapes and how the elevation (what a spectacular view), the soil and climate of this area all contribute to producing the very high quality Pedro Jimenez grapes used to make their sherry.
We then headed inside where Miguel educated my wife and I on the winemaking process, taking his time to answer our questions as he taught us about the different aspects of the process from the cement holding/fermentation tanks, to the way the barrels were filled to adding the new wine to the older wine to produce the final product.
Miguel then conducted the tasting which began with tapas consisting of cured Iberian meat and cheese. Miguel then educated us on the new wine and how it progressed over time to becoming the Fino, Olorosso, Amontillado and the Pedro Jimenez. Each wine had its own distinct character and flavor and yet were all made from the same grape by varying the time and oxidation involved.
At the conclusion of the tasting Miguel, ever the perfect host, provided us with a sumptuous meal composed of Spanish omelette, flamenquin, croquetas and salmorejo which all belonged to traditional Cordobesian foods.
If are visiting this region of Andalucía, the Montilla-Moriles wine region, then taking a tour of Bodegas Lagar Blanco is an ABSOLUTE must do. Granted, you won't know what you're missing but I will and I guarantee you, if you knew what I know, you'd be kicking yourself for not making the time to be educated by Miguel, a true ambassador of the Spanish people. OLE ! ! ! and many thanks to Miguel, our most gracious host.
Jim & Dorothy Howell
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