On the road to Spain – driving around the Moncayo and returning to Catalonia

It is November 2019. We are travelling in Spain. Now we leave Soria and return to Catalonia. On the way we stop in the Moncayo area.

Source: Googlemaps

 

The Moncayo mountain and the wine area Campo de Borja

We have looked at the Moncayo from the window of our room in the Posada de Soria. It reaches about 2300m and is covered with snow.

The Moncayo is located east of Soria. We are travelling eastwards today, to Catalonia, and the shortest way means driving around the Moncayo – first north of it, than east of it. And east of the Moncayo is the DO Campo de Borja wine area. The Moncayo creates a microclimate that allows to grow wine here. The Campo de Borja belongs to Aragón and we have already reached the Ebro valley, west of Zaragoza.

We stop at a small bodega, Prados Bodega Pagos del Moncayo in Vera de Moncayo. The bodega is young and family owned. It produces wines from the grapes Garnacha and Syrah, and their “Fusion” is a blend of the two grapes. We speak with the son. He shows us his cellar and tells us that they use traditional methods to make their wine, mostly working manually. He also mentions a wind, called el cierzo. I later find that the “cierzo” comes from the north or northwest from the Cantabrian mountains into the Ebro valley and towards Zaragoza drying out the area which is beneficial for the grapes. We feel welcomed and I buy a bottle of Garnacha and a bottle of Syrah Privé, the latter being their most valued wine.

Then we look at the mountains of the Moncayo massif from the east…

… most of which is now – like from the other side, from Soria – hiding in the clouds.

We drive down to the Ebro river. I can see the snowy Moncayo massif in my rear mirror almost up to Zaragoza. We continue our way to Lleida and Flix – through the Catalan mountains and down to L’Hospitalet de l’Infant on the Mediterranean coastline, where  we reach the small appartment of our friends. Here we will rest from two weeks travelling and may continue to explore the area.

Source: “Vinos de España”, Edition Larousse, Barcelona 2008, p. 201.

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