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Cune, Haro, Spain
Cune Winery
Cune (owned by Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, CVNE) is a century-old family winery in Rioja Alta, located in the Barrio de la Estación de Haro, the wine capital. An early misspelling stuck and turned CVNE into Cune. It's fun to visit wineries all over the world, but listening to detailed presentations on how wine is produced over and over again can get monotonous for the most passionate oenophiles amongst us. Because of Cune's extensive history and age, some of the winery's spaces that you can visit here are extraordinary. One of them is a beautiful, vast, column-less wine cellar of no less than 800 sq m (8600 sq ft). It holds 400 barrels of wine and is attributed to Gustave Eiffel's architecture practice (think Eiffel Tower). And then there's the insane, mold covered bottle graveyard deep in the caves of Cune, that contains bottles all the way from the beginning of the winery's existence. The mold, Penicilin, thrives here; the conditions (12 degrees centigrade and 100% humidity) are perfect. And so are the visuals! If this is your first winery visit in Rioja, make sure you get a reservation, as they may not be able to accommodate you otherwise. ____________________________ A warm thank you: My travels through the Basque Country were courtesy of Romo Tur (http://www.romotur.com/). The amazing folks at MedjetAssist (https://medjetassist.com) ensure that I take trips, not chances.
Cune Winery

about 1 hour ago

The mountaintop village of Monsaraz

The mountaintop village of Monsaraz, Monsaraz, Portugal
Monsaraz - just "go and dream"
On the eastern edge of Portugal in the Alentejo region sits the mountaintop village of Monsaraz. The village is cute and whitewash-pristine with a handful of shops, restaurants and a small medieval castle, but the main attraction are the views. They are staggering. With 360° views you'll see sprawling fields across Portugal and scattered lakes over the Spanish border. We were visiting a winery in the area and the proprietor at our hotel suggested we make a side-trip to Monsaraz. We snickered a little when he told us to just "go and dream." After visiting, I knew exactly what he meant. I could have spent an eternity, lost in these views.
Monsaraz - just "go and dream"

about 2 hours ago

Villa Extramuros

Villa Extramuros, Arraiolos, Portugal
Cool, modern living in the Alentejo
On the outskirts of the village of Arraiolos, sits an ultra-modern, super-cool boutique hotel run by two equally modern and cool Frenchmen. You could easily spend your time wandering the common areas admiring the multitude of objets d'art and pretending you're in a high-end design magazine (of which, the Villa Extramuros has been featured in many). You could also just laze around your room and private terrace with vistas of a meadow filled with grazing sheep and views of the Arraiolos Castle in the distance. Or you could chill by/in the welcoming infinity pool just down a short path. Yes, you may never want to leave the grounds, but Villa Extramuros makes a convenient base for exploring medieval Evora and the breath-taking mountain-top village of Marvao among other places.
Cool, modern living in the Alentejo

about 2 hours ago