Spain with Blenheim Vineyards and winemaker Kirsty Harmon
A once in a lifetime trip to hang out with a great winemaker, as she visits the origins of grapes she loves the most. You'll spend the week with Kirsty and try her wines side by side with some of the best Northwest Spain has to offer.
Time & Location
Apr 07, 2024, 7:00 PM – Apr 13, 2024, 7:00 PM
About The Event
Introducing a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Spain and chill with award winning, renown winemaker and grape grower, Kirsty Harmon of Blenheim Vineyards. Blenheim Vineyards is located in Monticello, Virginia and champions farming and grape growing to produce the best wines in Central Virginia. Join Kirsty for a week of great wines, culinary extravagance, world class scenery and an insiders view of what it takes to grow and produce world class wines. This experience is cohosted by Blenheim Vineyards and Heathen Wine Tours.
Kirsty Harmon - General Manager and Winemaker - Born in the Netherlands, Kirsty has spent a majority of her life in Charlottesville. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 1998 with a degree in biology, Kirsty developed an appreciation for wine through a job that allowed her to apprentice with famed Virginia winemaker Gabriele Rausse. After making wine for several years in Virginia, Kirsty moved west to pursue formal training at the University of California at Davis, where she graduated with an M.S. in Viticulture and Enology. Kirsty then spent six months at Domaine Faiveley in Nuits St. Georges, France as a recipient of the 2007 Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin Scholarship. In 2008, she worked as a harvest intern at Craggy Range Winery in New Zealand as a recipient of the Doug Wisor Memorial Scholarship. Kirsty officially joined Blenheim Vineyards as winemaker in 2008.
Our travel will take us from Rias Baixas in Galacia, to Bierzo in Castilla y Leon. For centuries farmers and grape growers in these Northwest Spanish regions made their mark producing fresh, elegant, vineyard focused wines. As a farmer Ms. Harmon understands and lives the daily ins and outs of the vineyard, grapes and all aspects of production. Her knowledge of farming/winemaking will add a unique perspective to our journey. Imagine the experience of traveling with a world class vintner, all the while we soak up her insight and wisdom while drinking Blenheim wines, side by side with other great wines she holds in high acclaim.
After departing Santiago de Compostela airport, we head to our home for the next three days Galicia. We will drink insane Albarino and other grapes you've never heard of. That's right we're gonna check out the Northwest of Spain where rivers, ocean breezes and the land roll green like the Irish on St. Patrick's Day! We'll stay at Pazos de Arenteiro, a privately owned resort in the medieval village of BIC dating back over 1000 years. From our abode we'll visit the best wineries in the region of Rias Baixas and Galicia. Komokabras and Gomariz are both legends in this land, and we'll spend time with them on their turf. The next day we'll head to our friends in Lagariz to visit A Pita Cega, a one woman operation making wines in an ancient church on the property. Zesty white wines with the best seafood in the world, and slow cooked meats with sumptuous reds all in small villages doting the hilly countryside.
For our next adventure we'll continue East to our new home for the next three days in Bierzo. This little known region is home to the most up and coming grape in Spain called Mencia. If you love Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo or Cabernet Franc this grape is going to set you for a spin as the balance of earth, juicy fruits and fresh acidity leaves one begging for more. We'll spend three days and nights in and around these world heritage UNESCO villages, and meet some of the greatest winemakers in Spain. Guimaro, Pittacum, Losada and Villa de Albares, just to name a few. Our home for our time here in will be the historical Les Donas del Villafranca. Les Donas sits in the midst of a village of 3000 people, with a traditional restaurant, castle, cobblestone roads and ancient churches. You'll stay in classic, rustic wood beamed rooms while waking to overlook the vines with your morning coffee, breakfast or wines.
Castle tour in Villafranca
Cooking class and dinner with Pazos de Arenteiro
Guided tour of historic ruins in BIC
Cellar tours and back vintage tasting at Guimaro
Cellar tour and dinner at Komokabras with 4th generation owner Jose Cruzat and his iconic father
Free time in Ourense and Ponferrada to dine, see sights, shop, etc...
Cellar Tour and lunch in the vineyards with A Cita Pega, in her private walled village Sabariz
Cellar Tour and tasting in the vineyards with Coto de Gomariz
Cellar Tour and barrel samples and tasting with Casa Aurora
And many more surprises, tastings and of course the most scenic vineyards and villages in the country.
Of course we will have our own bus/driver for the week. Pick up will be from Santiago airport. Our driver will pick us up Sunday, April 7th at 1:30PM to head to Galicia. After check in at our home for the next 3 days (the fantastic Pazos de Arenteiro), we will have a private tour of the property/ruins followed by dinner with a private Chef.
Monday, April 8th Morning starts with a delicious, traditional European breakfast featuring local breads, eggs, cheese, charcuterie, fruits, juices, coffee and yogurt all served in the farmhouse. Our first stop this morning will be to Coto de Gomariz to visit the scenic mountains and taste wines of this historic place. After Gomariz we'll head to Sabariz for a lunch of local seafood, and a tasting tour with the iconic Pilar, owner and winemaker of A Cita Pega.
Tuesday, April 9th starts with another great breakfast at the farmhouse. That morning we are in for a huge treat as we will head to Komokabras to taste with the owners in their vineyards overlooking the valley. After a traditional lunch of mussels, conchinillo and quemada, we head to an afternoon of laughs, great wine and world class scenery with . After our tasting we head to the village of Ourense for time on your own. Renown for the historical local squares, churches and plazas make for an enchanted evening joined with local eats and drinks. Of course, we end the evening with a return to Pagos for our last evening before departing to Bierzo.
Wednesday, April 10th after another fantastic breakfast we check out and head East to Bierzo. No one likes a bus ride without something to break up the drive. So what better way to break up the trip than the best winery in the region? A cellar tour and lunch in the vineyards Guimaro Winery. After a short ride we'll arrive to our home for the next 3 days, the historic Las Donas del Portazgo. Located in the heart of Bierzo, Villafranca is a walkable small village featuring churches, castles and places dating back to the 14th - 17th centuries. After a tour of the historic property, we'll head to the cellar for a tasting, followed by a traditional dinner.
Thursday, April 11th starts the morning with local Spanish breakfast in the resort. After, we head to our friend Santi Ysart for a tasting and tour of some of the most revered vineyards in the world. We'll meet with the Mr. Ysart to learn about his families story, the grape Mencia and the importance of vineyard and region to his wines. Following a short walk in the village, we'll lunch overlooking the vineyards at one of the best eateries in the region, with their fresh take on local cuisine. That afternoon we head to Demencia winery, to hang out with our pal Mr. Nacho Leon. Nacho is highly revered in the region and we'll head high into the mountains to a village of 70 people, to explore 120 year old vines at 3000 feet above sea level. That evening we stick around the village to have a local feast with the village and their wines which have never been released in the USA.
Friday, April 12th begins with our favorite local breakfast in the resort. Our first outing is off to cooking school with a local Chef and his grandmother. Through the morning we will create some of the most traditional tapas, all for our own lunch paired with wines from Blenheim. After lunch we head down the hill to Casa Aurora. Our friend, and all around awesome dude Mr. German is proprietor and winemaker, and has become known as one of the most cutting edge talents in Spain. We'll have local cheese, charcuterie and seafood with his Chef all paired with wines from Casa Aurora and Blenheim.
Saturday, April 13st doesn't have to be a sad day. We'll finish with one more great breakfast in the resort. The group will depart for a voyage to the Santiago de Compostela airport. Here we'll say our good byes to our new best friends by noon.
Accommodations in Galacia - Pazos de Arenteiro http://aldearuralpazosdearenteiro.com/es/
Accommodations in Bierzo - Las Donas del Portazgo https://www.elportazgo.es/
All rooms, ground transport, tastings, meals (other than 2 nights on your own), visits, tours included.
Airfare and time on your own not included.
We have 14 people traveling for this once in a lifetime experience with Ms. Kirsty Harmon and Heathen Wine Tours.
Double Occupancy $4500 per person
Single Occupancy $5100 per person