September 2023 Wine and Rugby: daytrip to Peñafiel

by | Oct 15, 2023 | Food & Drink, International Travel, Travel

The drive from Valladolid to Peñafiel was fairly easy, with most of the route through rural countryside (and a decent number of trucks). We stopped briefly at the necropolis ruins outside of town, though there is not much to see.

We parked in a huge lot on the north side of town first, but given the lack of traffic we changed our minds and moved the car to the closer lot on the southeast side. It had plenty of space mid-day on Wednesday and was also shady!

From the parking lot it was a just a few block to Enoteca Anágora, a wine bar and shop in the middle of the village. They offer regular 100ml pours plus a smaller 60ml pour for tasting, so we got a table in the back to try some local wines. The two friendly people working didn’t speak any English but my little bit of Spanish was enough to communicate.

My Tasting Notes
#1: Cárdaba (Shiraz/temp) – blackberry and bramble on the nose with some herbal notes. Dry mouth feel with some light evergreen bitterness.
#2: Protos 27: deep, inky black, evergreen on the nose, drying finish. Cool label.
#3: Pago de Carraovejas – my fave of the group. Mild cheese(?) and stewed black fruit, smoky/spice and burnt sugar on palate.

Eric’s Tasting Notes
#1: Cardaba viognier – 2020- lovely, lots of acidity, mouth watering. pineapple, flinty mineral. Agressive viognier, nice.
#2: Oresmus- mandolas vega sicilia – furmint – lightly herbal, baked apple, dry grass. Medium body and acidity. Pleasant, would pair with food
#3: Ossian de carraovejas – 2020, verdejo – oaked, med body, light golden color. Prefer room temperature. Very balanced, almost chardonnay like.

We took home a bottle of Eric’s first white and my third red, plus a plaque.

We wandered around the town taking photos and stopped into our reserved lunch place, Curioso, a bit early.


Not normally open for lunch on Wednesdays, we were only one of two tables occupied and the experience was even better than I was expecting. Once we knew we could take a bottle with us if we didn’t finish it we chose a bottle of Arzuaga Rosae 2022 – a lovely light tempranillo that was barely rose petal pink. It was a lot richer than it looked with lots of strawberry and a mildly astringent finish.

To start we were served an apertivo of smoky mini patatas bravas paired with a mini-cocktail of vermouth, ginger and lemon. For my main I ordered the ox tartare which came prepared tableside! I was able to specify what ingredients I wanted her to add (all of them – salt, pepper, mustard, tabasco, etc) and got to taste the end result before plating. Eric ordered the croissant (one of the best he’s ever had) filled with braised oxtail and covered in a light honey glaze, a perfect balance of smoky, rich meat with a delicate, lightly sweet croissant. We split the ‘lemon pie’ dessert which was lemon custard with a marshmallow (meringue?) topping toasted to perfection and a hint of crust for texture. Everything was excellent, probably the best meal of the trip.

After lunch we headed to Plaza del Coso, a medieval square used for bullfights, with some great castle views. The square is surrounded by private residences, but apparently the rights to use their windows, balconies and doorways during bullfights have been owned by the town since medieval times!

We took the more scenic route back to Valladolid through small towns and lots of vines heavy with grapes.

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Valencia, Spain (Mar)
Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)
Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)