For many, walking the Camino Francés is a pilgrimage of discovery and reflection, and a reward unto itself. I am walking the Camino for the next 35 days or so to combine two loves, a love of chances for reflection, and my love of wine. As I walk, I will be taking the time to think about things, but also I will be on the lookout for good wine, and opportunities to share those wines with people in the future, on one of my tours.
The Camino Francés starts in Saint-Jean Pied-de-Port, in the south of France, It is also home to one of the smallest of AOCs of France, Irouleguy (pronounced Ee-Ru-La-Ghee) comes from the Northern Basque Region, and includes the town of Irouléguy and St.-Jean, in its entirety. About 70 percent of the wines are red wines, some 20 or so are whites, and the rest are rosés.
I start the Camino tomorrow, but found time to buy a lovely Katttalingorri 2105, organic (biologique) red. Plum and ripe fruit on the nose, and medium tannins, the wine opened up nicely after about an hour. This particular red was a blend of 65 percent Tannat, and 35 percent Cab Franc, which are the two typical varietals used in red wines from this region and Irouléguy. It also paired fantastically with a local Basque sheep cheese and a meat and cheese sausage from the region. One of my favorite things about traveling to these different regions is not only trying the new wines, but finding how intertwined the wines are with local foods. Cheers to northern Basque Country and Southern France, and Buen Camino!!