Cordoba - The Colours & Flavours of Andalusia - Montilla Wine Region
On this exciting tour, we will venture out into the countryside to explore the beautiful hills of Montilla (still a very unspoiled wine region 40 mins south of Córdoba). Olive oil, gastronomy, and wine are part of Andalucia’s popular wisdom and with this tour, you will delve into the fascinating world of olive oil and wine.
Your first stop will be a family-run olive oil mill where you will discover the full process of olive oil making. You will enjoy a tour of the family groves and learn about the different characteristics, culinary uses, and health benefits of olive oil. After a visit to the mill and the on-site museum, you will enjoy a very interesting short video about oil production followed by a tasting of two of their delicious varieties along with freshly baked bread made by the very same family!
The second experience of the day is a visit to a local family-run boutique winery located right in the heart of the Sierra de Montilla, a stunning rural landscape with endless vineyards and rolling hills. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a truly passionate viticulturist who will take you to the family vineyards to tell you about the history of this ancestral winery. Next, you will be guided into the wine cellar, named by the family as "Sacristia", a remarkable sacred space where their oldest wines are kept. On this educational tour, you will learn about the unique grape variety that grows exclusively in Montilla, the popular and worldwide known "Pedro Ximenez” and the entire process & aging system of these unique dry and sweet wines, a process that is probably the oldest in Spain. The visit will end with a delicious tasting of some of these varieties paired with a selection of tapas showcasing some of the region's best products. Raise your glass for a toast to a great wine experience!
After lunch, private transfer to your hotel in Cordoba.
Did you know that Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world and that 80% of Spanish production is made in Andalusia? The history of olive oil takes us back to the Phoenician and Greek civilizations that settled in the Iberian Peninsula over 3,000 years ago. The importance of olive oil to Spanish culture cannot be overstated; locals refer to it as "liquid gold". Spain is also home to an abundance of grape varieties; making it the third-largest wine producer in the world.
Home of the famed "Gran Capitan", Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, a Spanish general who fought in the Conquest of Granada and the Italian Wars, Montilla is the center of the Designation of Origin wine zone known as Montilla-Moriles. The landscape here is dry and the soil is a blinding white Albariza (white marl composed of clay, calcium, and marine fossils). Its excellent moisture retention is very significant as this area is hotter than almost anywhere else in Spain. The wineries of the Montilla - Moriles Wine Route show the peculiarities of the development of these wines where the undisputed star is the Pedro Ximénez grape variety and in which the biological aging (for the Fino wine) and the oxidative aging (for the Amontillados, Olorosos, and Pedro Ximénez) take part following the system of criaderas and soleras.
Evening equestrian show: You will have the opportunity from the premium seats to enjoy a marvelous equestrian exhibition in which purebred Spanish horses are the main protagonists. The stage, an emblematic and magical historical building, was once the birthplace of the Andalusian Horse and is now an unparalleled setting for this enchanting equestrian show.
One of the sights you can't miss when visiting the city of Córdoba is the Royal Stables, home to the Cordoba Equestrian Show. This emblematic and historical building was founded in 1570 by King Felipe II, a great horse lover with the dream of making a pure Spanish thoroughbred. The structure of the Royal Stables is quite grand, with vaulted ceilings and archways. Once the birthplace of the Andalusian Horse and now an unparalleled setting for this unique equestrian show. The performance is a chance to marvel at the beauty and magic of these animals in various disciplines as well as the extraordinary skills of the riders. You will enjoy an enchanting evening of music, lights, and dancing combined with majestic horse dressage.