Navarra and the First Copas
The first leg of the Camino takes you over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles, after which you descend into Pamplona and the Navarro region of Spain. One of my favorite sites coming out of Pamplona was seeing some of the first “copa” style vineyards of Tempranillo. They are shaped in a copa, or “glass/cup” style with four branches low to the ground. After that, every year the vines are trimmed back, so that new growth produces low-lying crops they must be handpicked. You see many new vineyards being trellised and machine picked, but I appreciate the beauty and care put into the old vines.
I left Pamplona on the Camino Francés, which takes you over the Alto de Perdón, and into the beginnings of Navarra wine region. Mostly Tempranillo and Garnache are to be found, and most of the region is planted in red wine varietals. The wines I tried were not overly tannic, but with some earthy flavors to them, and mostly Crianzas. And one of my favorite parts of the Camino is being able to eat and drink across Spain and experience the incredible synergy between the wines and the food.