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Granada – Bodega Barranco Oscuro in Las Alpujarras

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Midway into our drive through the Alpujarras, we stopped at Bodega Barranco Oscuro, a small family-run winery near Cádiar. It was the off-season, and just after 5pm, so I think the owner was a bit surprised to see our car ambling up the muddy path. Two huge dogs bounded towards us in greeting, and we let them guide us to the bodega’s doors.

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The owner was extremely gracious — her husband and son were on tour in France, but she let us in and introduced us to their selection of wines. The interior of the bodega was neat; it had just been recently redone and sported wooden tables for wine tastings and enormous windows showing off a magnificent view over the Alpujarras and the Mediterranean. On a clear day, she said, you could even see to Morocco.

After we tasted the Pinot, we were taken on a little tour of the bodega. The current family has been running the show for about a decade, making all-natural wine with the grapes grown in the unique, cool mountain conditions. And the house has a history of wine-making going back hundreds of years. We saw the press and barrels, and then the ancient storage area, not in use anymore. Juergen was in Photographer’s Heaven.

We spent too much money, but the wines really are great. If you’re in the area, we definitely recommend popping in to Barranco Oscuro, especially during the harvest season. They have a website and blog with news and information here.

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March 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm Comments (6)

Granada – El Suspiro del Moro and Almuñécar

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Legend has it that when the Moors were finally conquered and kicked out of Granada, Boabdil, the last Moorish king of Al-Andalus, paused at the southern mountain pass for a last mournful look at his beloved city of birth, and sighed. His mother smacked him, saying “Now you weep like a woman over what you could not defend as a man!” Ever since, the mountain pass has been known as The Gate of the Moor’s Sigh (El Puerto del Suspiro del Moro).

Sierra-Nevada

From the spot, you get a lovely view of Granada, and it’s not difficult to empathize with poor Boabdil. But though it’s little comfort for those being expelled from their homeland, the route leading from The Gate of the Moor’s Sigh to the Mediterranean is incredible. Take the A-4050 south and you’ll be rewarded with a long, narrow road winding around cliffs, providing unbelievable mountain landscapes and vistas of the sea.

The road ends in the neat seaside village of Almuñécar, on the Costa Tropical. We marveled over the crystal blue waters, but unfortunately weren’t able to explore the city; a delicious and inexpensive meal on the beach was all we had time for. But with an immense castle near the ocean and history dating back to 800 BC, when the village was established by the Phoenicians, Almuñécar is certainly worth an entire day.

Cheap Hotels in Almuñécar

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February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm Comments (3)