It’s not every day that one is invited to the inauguration of a brand new bodega here in Spain; the more so when the opening also includes a luxury boutique hotel, surrounded by its own nascent vineyards. So, you can imagine my delight when founders Katherine and Harald Schalde sent us an official invitation! We weren’t alone!
When it’s not at all very long ago that ‘Se Vende’ (For Sale) signs were being placed outside many Spanish wineries, during the harsh years of ‘La Crisis’ (the recession), you can imagine the excitement generated by the opening of a new bodega! Local and national press and radio were represented (including, of course, the Costa News Group), along with regional television too. There were also representatives of DO Yecla as well as owners of the other bodegas in the area, who have welcomed the new-kids-on-the-block with open arms.
And why not? Although Casa Boquera could be considered competition to the established bodegas, this new concern also adds a highly attractive extra dimension to the area, from which all will benefit. The concept of wine tourism is already firmly embedded in the psyche of the wineries of DO Yecla. Now, however, with the arrival of the hotel as well, Wine Tourism (Enoturismo) has been taken to the next level!
The sight of several ladies and gentlemen dressed in the national costume of Norway must have been quite startling to some. The reason, well Harald is Norwegian, and his wife, Katherine, whilst being originally Welsh, might just as well be considered Norwegian too – even to the point that she has forgotten some words in English, having lived for so long in Norway!
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