Three Reasons Costa Brava Delivers the Essential Wine Experience
Just a few months into 2019 and I’m already thinking about where I want to go next to discover new wines. After all, 2019 is a new year, inviting me to explore even more new places. But what about my 2018 top travels?
Over Christmas, I reflected on my most exciting journey of the year. Without a doubt, one of my favourite new discoveries was Costa Brava. After only three days in the region, I was unable to fathom how anyone could fail to fall in love with its beautiful views, excellent wine, and exquisite cuisine.
Just a two-hour flight from London to Girona, Costa Brava boarders the French coastal region and Catalonia in north-eastern Spain. If you’re travelling from the south of France, from Carcassonne for example, it will take you only two and a half hours driving to reach Roses, which offers a gorgeous view of the Mediterranean sea.
Girona, just twenty minutes from the airport, is a charming medieval town, known particularly for its Jewish quarter and the architecture. A true Game of Thrones fan will recognise certain landscapes from the show, in particular the incredible Santa Maria Basilica.
After a leisurely stroll through the town, I had the chance to enjoy a cooking class at a local market, where I prepared some delicious specialities, among them cod cannelloni, tortilla, musician’s tart, and a nutty, herby chicken casserole which was totally novel to me and proved delicious! Girona is known for the richness of its cuisine and gastronomy. The proof? The world’s second-best restaurant can be found right here in Costa Brava.
I stayed at a lovely little boutique hotel located a a few minutes’ drive from the beach town of Roses. Surrounded by vineyards with a swimming pool and its own gastronomic restaurant, this hotel was the perfect place to unwind.
The next morning, it was time to explore the richness of the northern Spanish vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc all made an appearance… We started with a visit followed by a tasting at a local family-run thirteen-acre estate. As a Bordeaux native this was particularly special to me, as Jaume, the winemaker, gained his experience in Saint-Emilion at the prestigious Château Pétrus.
Just a short drive from my hotel was Michelin-star restaurant Castell Peralada, run by Chef Xavier Sagristà, where I enjoyed a superb lunch – a highlight of the trip. Should you wish to go for a walk after the eleven-course tasting menu, I would recommend a stroll towards the castell located only a few steps from the restaurant, or opt for a further wine-tasting at the wine shop just opposite. Alternatively, golf-lovers and spa-goers can relax to their heart’s content just a five-minute drive away.
To complete my trip, nothing could beat a final day dedicated to relaxing and swimming in the clear water of the Mediterranean sea in Roses and Cadaqués, where you can visit the house of one of the most celebrated artists of all time, Salvador Dali!
If you’re looking for your next wine hotspot for 2019, Costa Brava could be the one. It offers everything a bon vivant such as myself could dream of: good culture, amazing wine, and a beautiful beach.
By Marie D. C.