Wine Tour in Rioja and the Basque Country
A couple quick updates, my three Team Directors attended a three day workshop on management, goal setting, and strategic planning in Newport, CA and then my Associates, Vivian, Evelyn, and I joined them after they completed the program for a weekend retreat where we could all work together to lay out our one year, five year, and ten year goals. We had a very productive weekend and we have some super exciting goals and plans for the years ahead! I am so proud of this group and their commitment to our company’s vision, their team members, and each other. Such fantastic energy and the future of Candelaria Design is set for years to come.
Ok so I have not finished the Spain blogs so let’s get back to that…..
Halfway through our Candelaria Spain Tour now and settled in at our hotel in LaGuardia in the wonderful Basque Wine Country. Today is Monday and our day to get into the wine of the region and some of the fantastic architecture just a stone’s throw from our village.
Our first stop was the spectacular Ysios Winery with off the chart architecture. https://visitas.pernodricardbodegas.com/index.php/en/visit-ysios-winery-la-guardia-rioja-alavesa Designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatravas, the structure celebrates and mimics the undulating Sierra de Cantabria mountains that form the backdrop to this architectural sculpture.
The 8000 square foot building feels like a church and I could not but help feel the spirituality and celebration of wine in this space. To top it off the wine was spectacular but not available anywhere outside of Spain so we purchased several bottles to enjoy while here.
From San Ysios we drove a few miles to the Hotel and Bodegas Marque’s de Riscal designed by American architect, Frank Gehry. http://www.marquesderiscal.com/indexeng.php This place is amazing and I have always admired Frank Gehry’s work but never been like a huge fan but that changed on this trip. This hotel, like most of his work, is a sculpture, a piece of art, you can walk into. But beyond that his work incorporates cutting edge technology – with glass, metal, structure. The perfect blend of art and technology – the embodiment of the word “architecture”
We enjoyed a nice lunch on the terrace with the old architecture of the neighboring village in the distance – the perfect contrast. What a fabulous light lunch of an egg over roasted red peppers in oil and garlic, smoked octopus, beef cheek sliders all topped off with some spectacular wine. Delicious.
We then made our way to the nearby village to just relax in the main plaza and simply enjoy the people and a Monday afternoon. Many times it’s the simple things like this that just put a trip like this in perspective – its real.
After our day in wine country it was time to come back to LaGuardia and catch up with the rest of our crew for dinner. Everyone went on their own little adventures – another big advantage to having your own cars. What is fun now is sharing our stories and experiences from the day. We all gathered in a fun little restaurant right in the heart of LaGuardia. Quiet and only locals including the town priest enjoying a glass of wine at the bar on what I’m sure he thought would be just another uneventful Monday evening. Little did he know the Candelaria Tour Spain was ready for some fun. Fabulous food, fantastic wine, which led to singing, transitioning to dancing, and we had no choice but to get the town priest involved in our festivities! What a fantastic evening, finishing with cigars and port back at the hotel with the owner of our hotel where we discussed travel, architecture, life, and cooking! Through it all I was offered the opportunity to spend an evening in the kitchen with the hotel restaurant chef….but that’s another blog to come!
Update on Isabel
First and foremost, thanks for all the cards, flowers, dinners, and most importantly, prayers!!! They are all appreciated so much by both of us and its so nice to not feel alone in this journey. You are ALL wonderful and we are truly blessed. Isabel is doing great – her hairline is catching up with mine but I must say I love her new do! The side effects have been minimal so far and she is a quarter of the way through her chemo treatments. She inspires me with her attitude and sense of humor. She is amazing!