From Skye to the Vine

A food and wine lovers pilgrimage.

During our honeymoon in May 2004 we stayed in some special places in the Western Isles. However the Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Skye stands out as most special. The food was fabulous and the wines superb. Our wine choice, guided by a very knowledgeable waiter, was a bottle of 3 Choirs – an English white from Gloucestershire (for our lunch). But for our most memorable evening meal, a Ribero del Duero red from – Pago de los Capellanes.

“The Wall Street Journal were so impressed by their Three Chimneys experience, they have listed it as one of five restaurants in the world and the only one in the United Kingdom that is genuinely worth travelling a long distance for”.

Having visited a couple of traditional French vineyards I wasn’t expecting the stark modern architecture we saw as we approached the winery at Pedrosa de Duero.

We had an expert tour of the winery starting with a short film of the winery throughout the seasons with a beautiful musical score, produced by the owner’s son, Javier Rodero that won a best short film award at Cannes.

Pago de los Capellanes is a 125ha estate where the owners, the Rodero-Villa family, and winemaker Paco Casas, produce wines made from 100% native Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) grape variety. These grapes are characterised by their thick skins, which protects the fruit from extreme local conditions and produces intense wines in terms of colour, structure and tannin content.

“The soils that produce Ribero del Duero wines are found at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level and are clay-lime, with very little productive potential, which makes the plant take root deep into the earth. The vines face very hot summers (up to 45ºC) and very cold winters (0º) with a rainfall level of around 500ml per year. Similarly, during the harvest the thermal contrasts between day and night are also extreme, benefiting the grape ripening process, strengthening the alcoholic content…..”
An idea to short cut the bottling process perhaps!

I think one of the biggest lessons I learnt from the wine tour was the extraordinary number of factors that go into the make up of wine. However at Pago del Los Capellanes they play with those variables and really focus heavily on consistency. So for example if today in 2019 you try a two year old Crianza. In two years time 2021 you buy a 2019 Crianza it should be very similar.

We sampled three wines, I liked the Crianza, Lelsey preferred the Reserva, (Lesley always has had expensive taste). However we both like Pago de los Capellanes – There you go, there’s always something you can agree on.

Well that was very nice, we saw a very nice film, tasted 3 different, very nice, hic, wines, (am I repeating myself?) I think I need to have a little lie down, hic, for a bit – Now where did we park Charlie?

Toooodle peep


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