We started our week in Spain off with a little bit of time in Spanish wine country. Our first destination? The beautiful little town of Requeña, which sits in the heart of a wine region by almost the same name; Utiel Requeña.
The town of Requeña is quaint and historic with winding narrow streets flanked on either side by family homes, churches, and local businesses. You won’t find many other tourists in the area, and shopkeepers, hotel workers, and restauranteurs are unlikely to speak English. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of rural Spain, Requeña fits the bill.
There are fifteen or so wineries in Utiel Requeña. Since today’s post explores the three best things about Bodegas Pago deTharsys, here’s a little more about the winery:
Geography & Grape Varietals
Bodegas Pago de Tharsys sits on a high plain about 650 meters above sea level. Temperatures in the Utiel-Requeña region are hot and dry, and the ground is sandy. The Bodegas is privately owned, and because its wine-making facilities are located in the center of the vineyard, it prides itself on the very short amount of time it takes to move from harvesting grapes to making wine.
Pago deTharsys offers five varietals: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Bobal, Albariño, Tempranillo. It sells wine, sparkling, wine, liquors, and a few gift items as well. I’ll link you to their website and share their contact information and opening hours at the end of this post. For now, let’s get to the three things we thought stood out the most at Bodegas Pago de Tharsys!
1. The Reserve Wine Was Cheap and So Very Drinkable
If you visit Pago de Tharsys, buy a case of the red reserve wine. I can’t find it on their website, but it cost about €2,50 per bottle in their tasting room. We picked up a bottle of it on the recommendation of some Dutch tourists who were on our same tasting trip, and we were so glad we did!
The only thing we regret about buying that fantastic, cheap bottle of wine was that we can’t buy it in Germany. Nick emailed Pago de Tharsys to find out if any wine shops in Germany sold their products, and they put us in touch with one on the other side of the country. Sadly, the shop still hasn’t responded to our inquiry about buying a case of the Pago de Tharsys Reserve from them.
I offered to fly back to Spain on behalf of the family to purchase several more bottles, but Nick hasn’t yet caved. If you think he should send me back to Spain for more Pago de Tharsys Reserve, you can leave a comment here letting him know. Perhaps peer pressure could sway him!
2. Awesome Underground Cellars Where Wine Was Made Ages Ago
I wish I could share more details with you about these bad mamma jamma underground cellars, but unfortunately, I was only able to gather so much information in English from our ESL guide — and I didn’t have time to take low-light pictures of the dimly lit room they were in.
Basically, when you go on a tour of the Bodegas, they show you their modern wine making and liquor-producing equipment, but they also take you underground to the hundreds-of-years old cellars where they used to make and store wine.
The cellars have huge ceramic (or stone, maybe?) wine casks where the wine was stored. At the bottom of each cask, there was a hole that they’d stop with a cork. Periodically, sediment would be filtered from the wine by removing that big cork and letting the bottom part of the wine cask drain.
I really, really wish I could show you how incredible the cellars were, but you’ll either have to take my word for it or go visit some Spanish wineries. This pictures was taken at a museum, but it’ll give you an idea of the size and shape of the underground wine storage they used to use in Spain.
Pretty cool, huh?
3. The tour guide was so flexible!
If you travel with kids, you know that a tour guide’s attitude can make or break your experience. Our guide at Bodegas Pago de Tharsys was awesome. We had a 16-month old baby with us, and she didn’t hesitate.
She had never given a tour in English, and our hotel hadn’t told her we didn’t speak Spanish. She was super-humble, telling us that her English was limited. She said she’d give it a try, anyway, and she knocked it out of the park.
The tour guide gave the three of us and four Dutch guests a really impressive tour of the winery, the distillery, and the historic celler — all in English. She followed it up with a tasting that included two wines and a choice of either orange or chocolate cream liquor (he chocolate cream liqour was as good as you might expect!).
All in all, we had a really nice time at Bodegas Pago de Tharsys. The grounds are beautiful, the staff was friendly, and we really enjoyed our tour. Now, if only we could score ourselves some more of the Reserve!
Getting to Bodedgas Pago de Tharsys:
Bodegas Pago de Tharsys is located five minutes outside the heart of Requeña. Their address is: Paraje Fuencaliente s/n Carretera N-III, KM 274, 46340 Requena, Spain
Want to see an awesome video of driving down tiny streets in Requeña? Click here!