Vitoria-Gasteiz + Rioja Alavesa – Basque Country
I’m currently attending the 11th Annual International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop (IWINETC) held in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Alava, Basque Country, Spain as a media guest.
A few highlights about the region thus far:
While technically part of Spain, Basque Country beats to its own unique rhythm. Good luck trying to decipher their gorgeously complex language, one of the oldest on earth. The written words look like a cross between Greek, Russian and Turkish, and the sound, well…enigmatic.
Linguistic puzzles aside, when attempts at Basque, Spanish and English fail, don’t despair! Basque people exude warmth, charm and humor, so sign language proves a hilarious and spirited last resort.
The efforts will leave you ravenous for the local tapas, called pintxos – exotic, memorable, and inexpensive small bites. Pintxos, a local take on traditional tapas, originated in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of Basque Country. Roughly translated, the term pintxo mean “skewered,” as the first pintxo was an olive pierced with a toothpick.
The variety of pinxtos astound, from fruits of the sea and jamon, to cheeses, potatoes, olives and peppers, each served with local wines, among them the fresh, exuberant txakoli. Wine Travel writing – it’s thirsty business. Can’t wait for more adventures later this week in Rioja Alavesa!
Feel free to join me on Instagram/Twitter @lmarcherml to experience the #IWINETC conference first-hand.
Questions about the #IWINETC Conference ? Feel free to leave your comments below.
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