Social Events Galleries 2021
WINE TASTING IN CASTILLA LA MANCHA.
On Friday 18th June 51 members left Albir at 7.55 am, 5 minutes earlier than scheduled!
That must be a first! We were off to visit the Florentina Perez Bodega in the municipality of Casa de Juan Núñez (Albacete) in Castilla la Mancha. Once a land of white windmills but now home to vast numbers of wind turbines spread across the plains, but still a beautiful part of Spain as we sped along the A31 inland from Alicante. We arrived at the Bodega a little after 10.30 am in time for a breakfast of rustic bread and Iberico ham accompanied by coffee and the first of the wine tasting – a Roble red wine! Wine for breakfast – that must be another first! The Bodega is a family run business, taking pride in not using machinery or chemicals for their vines. Roses planted at the edge of the vineyards reveal the presence of any fungus or diseases which may require treatment of the vines and the English speaking guide told the members of the importance of the grape skins in giving flavour.
The vineyards are 800 m above sea level with zero temperatures in the winter but 40+ in the summer providing the perfect climate for wine grapes but not dessert grapes. An explanation was given of the different types of wine produced and the time spent in the barrel and “sleep” time before the wine is bottled and labelled, the most popular being their Cabernet Crianza. The tour included time in the insulated area where the stainless steel fermenting tanks were kept at a constant temperature and then on to the cellar where the wine is stored in oak barrels from France or USA for it to take on the flavour of the wood.
Lunch was taken in the restaurant, this again was combined with wine tasting. First course of 3 different types of prawns accompanied by a fresh white wine, the second course was Atascaburras (a local dish made from potatoes mashed with olive oil, garlic and cod, topped with finely chopped hard boiled egg, walnuts and sultanas) accompanied by a rosé wine, third course was Orza loin (pork marinated in olive oil and garlc) served with a Crianza, and then a rice “soup” containing pork knuckle and vegetables again served with red wine. The meal was completed with a dessert similar to Tiramisu by which time everyone was feeling very happy and content!
After leaving the Bodega with numerous cases of wine stored safely in the luggage area the afternoon was devoted to the La Mancha Experience following the canyon forged by the River Jucar over thousands of years to La Ribera de Cubas. The road, lined with cave houses built into the limestone, led to Jorquera, said to be the most historically relevant town in the Manchuela region. Not a large town but dominated by its Almohad fortification walls and the remains of its 12th century castle. Seventeen members managed a walk around the small town with its steep cobbled streets and a visit to the 14th century church in the Plaza de Virgen de Cubas. The scenery in this area was quite spectacular as a result of the land dropping from 1500m to 500m leaving towering cliffs of limestone that have weathered over the years to strange shapes and hollow caves, all in stark contrast to the vast cereal planes above the gorge.
The group arrived back in Albir shortly after 9.00 pm after an outstanding day trip organised by our Travel Co-ordinators Margaret and Malcolm Hamer in liaison with LPD Travel.
On Monday 22nd March, the U3A Marina Baixa were finally able to hold their AGM at the Casa del Cultura, Alfaz del Pi. With 3 New Members joining the association at the meeting, giving a total attendance of 79.
Prior to the meeting, all necessary precautions relating to Covid, were adhered to and segregated seating in the auditorium, with masks being worn at all times.
There were several presentations at the meeting to retiring Committee Members, the main one’s being our Secretary, Joan Flint, with almost 11 years of service, plus our Vice President, Tony Coles, Maureen Barrett, our Treasurer, Ann Wilson our Wine & Dine Co-ordinator and Colin Butterfield, our Press Officer. Replacing them are Kath Bailey - Secretary, Liz Potter - Vice President, Ann McGrath – Treasurer. No one applied for the Press Officer position, so someone will be seconded by the Committee.
Many thanks to them all for the hard work and commitment to our association over the years.
Presentation to retiring Treasurer
Maureen Barret centre.
Incoming treasurer left Anne McGrath.
Presentation to retiring Secretary Joan Flint (centre)
Incoming Secretary Kathleen Bailey (left)