A year on the Hill of Corton

On the Camino de Santiago

No, no, its not me!

My son Joe has decided, on a brief trip to Spain, that he wants to walk the Camino de Santiago. But in order to fit it in before he set off for Oz as part a six month sabbatical, he went straight to St Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees and started from there. On hearing that good friends of his had gone to Sierra Leone to help the fight against ebola, he has decided to try to use his effort to raise money for one particular organisation. He is about halfway and enjoying it, mostly,

Is that a skier or a pilgrim..?

and suffering a bit as well no doubt.

I’m glad he was able to pass through Rioja and take the day off to sightsee. His next wine stop will be Bierzo and I’m hoping he can link up with at least one winemaker I know in Villafranca. In 2010 while shooting for “the Finest Wines of Rioja and NW Spain” I often thought of trying the Camino and now my wife has caught the idea so it looks like it’ll be on the agenda soon! But 780km is a loooong way…

Having got up this morning to one too many emails suggesting I spend too much money on expensive presents for people who don’t need them, just because “its Christmas”, I thought I might suggest people spend that money in a different way. Does your dog really need a new collar for £33/40euros/$50, or should we be looking to spend it in other ways…? I love dogs, but none of mine ever worried about the caché of their collar…

 

So if you don’t need a new collar for your dog, you may choose to use the money here:

http://kslp.org.uk/fightebola

Here is the link to Joe’s Facebook page:

Fight Ebola in Sierra Leone: 400km of Camino Joe

Just don’t expect too many posts after tiring days!

 

I’m amazed how many views this blog gets from different countries around the world that are interested in Corton and Burgundy. No doubt everyone’s country is trying to help, but if you want to do something personally, here is your chance.

While you’re thinking about it, here are a few pictures from my 2010 visits that introduced me to the region.

Incidentally for people who like points, I see a Godelia Mencia Bierzo from 2010 scored 92/100 with WS and made 68 in their top 100 most exciting wines of 2014, only 8 places behind Nik Weis’s 2012 Reisling QbA Mosel Old Vines, 90 points.

No more advertising now, I promise, just pictures.

Spring ploughing in Bierzo !

Spring ploughing in Bierzo !

Early morning ploughing in Ricardo Perez Palacios's Corullon vineyard in Bierzo

Early morning ploughing in Ricardo Perez Palacios’s Corullon vineyard in Bierzo

Following the Camino in towns is not always easy I would imagine, but in Villafranca del Bierzo there was no problem

Following the Camino in towns is not always easy I would imagine, but in Villafranca del Bierzo there seems to be no problem.

Pilgriming through the vineyards of Bierzo

Pilgriming through the vineyards of Bierzo, just follow the one in front…

The badges of a pilgrim, his shell and his stick.

The badges of a pilgrim, his shell and his stick.

These two belonged to  Japanese doctor working in Brazil, I wonder if he held a surgery every evening... Please note, some days it rains !

These two belonged to Japanese doctor working in Brazil, I wonder if he held a surgery every evening… Please note, some days it rains !

And sometimes the sun shines

And sometimes the sun shines

The church of Santiago in Villafranca. Invalids who got this far were to expected to cros the mountains that lay ahead and were deemed to have completed their pilgrimage

The church of Santiago in Villafranca. Invalids who got this far were not expected to cross the mountains that lay ahead and were deemed to have completed their pilgrimage

The Puerta del Perdón (door of Mercy) at the church reflects the local preoccupation with grapes. grapes...

The Puerta del Perdón (door of Mercy) at the church reflects the local preoccupation with grapes….

But down the hill in Villafranca it seems  50% of the winemakers (Ricardo Perez Palacios, a.k.a."Titìn" and Raul Perez anyway ) finish work with a beer !

But down the hill in Villafranca it seems 50% of the winemakers (or at least  Ricardo Perez Palacios, a.k.a.”Titìn” and Raul Perez  ) finish work with a beer !

Well Raul has a hard day with his team harvesting in the Bierzo hills

Well Raul has a hard day with his team harvesting in the Bierzo hills

A nice handful of Mencia

A nice handful of Mencia

While Ricardo takes it easy in the cellar

While Ricardo takes it easy in the cellar

Ricardo knows his stuff as you can see !

Ricardo knows his stuff as you can see !

Out in the vines the team of another Perez is hard at it.

Out in the vines the team of another Perez is hard at it.

Another Perez, Gregory, is actually a Frenchman from Bordeaux. But he knows how to make a paella! Here preparing a celebration lunch for his pickers on the last day of harvest.

This other Perez, Gregory, is actually a Frenchman from Bordeaux. But he knows how to make a paella! Here preparing a celebration lunch for his pickers on the last day of harvest.

Not a bad spot for lunch, high in the hills of Bierzo. The track up to that vineyard was probably the roughest my Ford Fiesta rental had ever been on !

Not a bad spot for lunch, high in the hills of Bierzo. The track up to that vineyard was probably the roughest my Ford Fiesta rental had ever been on !

 

Job done!

Job done!

Now its time for lunch.

Now its time for lunch.

Get ready for the long drive to Rioja!

I get ready for the long drive to Rioja!

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