Redes Biosphere Reserve (Asturias) Efrén Sánchez

Fall for Spain

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wild_meats_artemonteEverybody has heard about Chorizo, the typical Spanish cured meat made with pork. Yet, have you ever heard about venison chorizo? Or even wild boar and game chorizo? These delicacies are just some of the enormous variety of cured wild meats that ArteMonte proudly produces.

Founded in 2005, in the town of Aldeaquemada, on the border between Andalusia and Castille-La Mancha, this enterprise puts strong emphasis on combining craft traditions with modern industrial features. It is rated as one of the most recognised producers of wild-game produce in the Iberian Peninsula, with a very strong sense of social and environmental responsibility.

Only the highest-quality ingredients are selected before being processed, and are stuffed into natural casings and hand-tied one by one. ArteMonte produce ranges from the well-known pork chorizo to the less-common venison, game, wild boar or mallard chorizos. Smoked flavours of paprika will reach your hypothalamus giving you an irresistible urge to taste a thin slice. Apart from chorizo, ArteMonte also offers a variety of salamis; again with venison, game, wild boar or mallard.

However, beyond doubt, the star product of Artemonte is the Venison Cecina. Delightful, mouth-watering, delicious: Cecina is a smoked meat without almost any fat and, I have to confess, my favouritewild_meats_artemonte cured meat. Artemonte uses a special recipe. After the venison ham is smoked, it goes through a curing process in thyme that makes it easy to distinguish, adding a very unique touch.

Other of their specialities are “in Orza” products. At this point you must be thinking I love using funny words. Well, that’s true, but not in this case. Orza refers to a traditional way of preserving meats in clay jars. The meats are initially slowly fried and then put into jars, covering them with the olive oil used in the frying. In the time when there weren’t any fridges this was the only way to feed the whole family throughout the whole year. Now with all the technology in our hands this would make no sense, if it wasn’t for the fact that it is still the tastiest way to preserve the meat with all the flavours created in the curation in olive oil.

If you haven’t started to salivate yet, let’s go with some of their other products. They have a selection of ready-to-eat tapas like their venison bolognese, venison meatballs or the acclaimed beans-with-game chorizo. You just have to heat them and they are ready to eat in a couple of minutes!

While the tapas are heating up you can get a handful of crackers and taste their famous variety of pates : mallard duck, partridge, wild boar or venison amongst others.

If you are planning a foodie travel to Spain we wild_meats_artemontegive you some clues in this area in Five things to do in Sierra Mágina and if you want to arrange a visit to their work place just need to tell us.

Check their whole range in and coment to win one of their tasting packs, a perfect Christmas gift.

Sierra Magina Gastroroute

Five things to do in Sierra Magina

1. The caves of Jódar: in the XVI century, hundreds of poor people started to live in the caves near the mountains, because it was the only affordable way to live. People still lived there till the sixties, when everybody was relocated into new neighbourhoods; and yet, even today the memory of the people who lived in those caves remains. They are located in a beautiful set of sandstone mountains, where you can still see the original doors and small windows of the caves. Of course, you can’t easily miss the Castle of Jódar.

misty sierra magina

2. A peculiar touristic route: this area was conquered by the Moors so there are many small towns constructed as fortresses in circular form providing ready-made routes. In Torres you can rest and enjoy the silence, and for the foodies, have a delicious meal made with local products. Then you can continue on to Cambil, a beautiful location, and then drive to Solera with its impossible-hanging houses on gullies. Pedalajar with its Cultural Heritage- terraced gardens and Bedmar, with its magnificent Al-Mazar Fortress are further attractions. Naturally, it is impossible to name all the beautiful towns you can visit, and one of the best choices is to drive where your fancy takes you.

sierra magina gastroroute3. Trekking: “La Caldera del Tio Lobo” is an amazing trek which everyone can attempt, as it takes just four and a half hours to complete the round trip. You can get by car to the Albanchez Peak and start the route there. The route goes along a magnificent deep precipice, with beautiful cliffs and small waterfalls taking you to the end of the route, where you reach the “Tio Lobo Waterfall” and a wonderful landscape with nature pools that you will remember forever.

almazara4. Visit an almazara: it is impossible not to mention the Denomination of Origin “Sierra Magina” olive oil. The whole National Park and the surrounding region is encircled by olive groves that are used to make one of the best extra virgin olive oils in Spain. In Jimena you can visit a public almazara ( the place where the olive oil is made), Oro de Canava. You can see how the olive oil is made and purchase some of this magnificent liquid gold in the shop attached to the almazara.

rincon_la_charca5. Where to eat: in Pedalajar you can stop a little bit longer and try the meals that the restaurant “El Rincón de la Charca” offers. This restaurant has a fine selection of cured meats, game and garden produce. It is located in a very beautiful landscape and decorated in a modern, rustic style. In fact, all the small towns have restaurants and “tabernas” where you can enjoy incredible meals at very affordable prices.

Now you have all the tools to make your foodie holidays unforgettable. Come on, don’t procrastinate!  Start your amazing trip through Sierra Magina now.

Treasures - Oro de canava


Established in 1976 in Jaen in the Sierra Mágina region, Oro de Canava is considered one of the best extra virgin olive oils in the region. This oil is produced in a region designated as a National Park due to its outstanding natural beauty and large variety of foliage giving it its superior quality.

The love and care for this produce begins in the grounds of the partners of this cooperative, where they only select the olives from the tree, not the ones on the ground. Only the best Picual olives are selected at the optimum point of maturation, and harvested early to increase the fruity overtones of this fabulous olive oil. In addition, the microclimate of the Sierra (Spanish for mountain range) contributes to this liquid gold being recognized for its unique and superior organoleptic characteristics.

The characteristics of the resulting oil, winner Treasures - Oro de canavaof four prestigious awards, are “its intense fruity fragrance of green olive; its complex aromas of fresh and dried fruit – spearmint, tomato and banana peel with nuances of almond and apple; its crisp flavour, fragrant, harmonizing a light bitterness with a progressive piquancy; and its very structured and imposing quality”.

The Ministry of Agriculture of Spain granted it an award for Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2012. This oil has also won the Alcuza Award, in two consecutive years (2012-2013), and the Provincial Council of Jaen Award, 2012 and 2013. Jaen is an area of Andalucia, the largest olive oil producer in the world so they must know a bit about quality of olive oil ;-).

This extra virgin olive oil gains its name from the use made of the water flowing from the nearby Cánava Spring to wash the olives after twigs and leaves have been removed. Oro de Cánava means Gold from Cánava.

Don’t miss the chance and visit this site following one of our Gastro Routes. You can also order a sample writing to



Do you know how to distinguish a good extra virgin olive oil from another not that good? In this post you will learn how the masters do when tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

We have all heard about the famous wine tasters, also known as sommeliers. But, have you heard about olive oil tasters? These professionals have to tasting_extra_virgin_olive_oilvalue the same properties in olive oil that the sommeliers do in wine.

The only big difference is that olive oil tasters do not care about the colour of oil and they taste in blue glasses so that the colour doesn’t interfere in their ratings, whereas the colour and ribbons are essential in wine tasting.

So let’s start with the tasting guide for Olive Oil, as mentioned before, in only 4 steps: visual, smell, taste and touch.


Pour the oil in a blue or at least dark glass, just about 5 tea spoons. Cover the glass with one hand and hold it with the other making small circle movements to let the aroma release. Uncover the glass and breathe in the aromas. Repeat several times varying from briefly and shortly, to deeply and slowly.

At this point tasters just check if the smell is pleasant or unpleasant, if they like it or not. Positive hints are almond, apple, grass, etc. Negatives are all unpleasant smells, for example: vinegary, rancid, etc.


Tasters slurp a little bit of oil and at the same time they take some air as well, making a peculiar weird noise. This is because the air helps the oil to spread into the mouth and highlight every hint of flavour. This noise is also done by the sommeliers and is sometimes funny to see them tasting the wine.

A fruity taste, the bitterness, and a dry sensation are positive aspects. Metallic, winey are negative tastes.


In this step you should evaluate the feel of the oil in the mouth and palate. The oil has to have a strong consistency but at the same time has to be watery. A pasty feeling is a negative aspect.


Colour is not an important aspect in olive oil tasting. It’s a common mistake thinking that an olive oil is better if it’s green. Clarity and tasting_extra_virgin_olive_oiltransparency is a positive aspect when tasting olive oil. Muddy or cloudy oil is not good oil.

No one is born knowing how to taste an extra virgin olive oil and that is why these simple steps are very helpful if you are ever interested in tasting oil. Obviously, the taste depends on the taster aptitudes but also on the difficulties of the product itself.

Do not be afraid to start and became an expert in the virgin olive oil tasting. Soon we will be offering tasting packs but meanwhile you can start tasting some of this oil treasures.



After some months of hard work we are ready to start our Gastrotravelling Box Series. Every month we will release a special box or hamper containing selected products from a different region of Spain. Every month we will launch a Gastrotravelling Box with products that match our quality and ethical values:

  • They represent the highest quality produce the region has to offer
  • Sustainable production methods
  • Honesty in production

Not all Extra Virgin Olive Oils are made equal and not every red sausage is a chorizo.

There is a distinct difference between the chorizo crafted lovingly by an artisan, who see’s their produce as a part of their personal identity, and one which is made industrially that stinks of ammonia when you open the wrap. Similarly if a label says Extra Virgin Olive Oil it should be 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil and not diluted by up to 50% with others of less quality – much like the ones you can find in your supermarket.

This box will be available online in our partner store and at the same time we will provide you with some hints to distinguish the taste and quality of the products, explanations about the origins of the different recipes and of course, some history lessons, travel guides and a weekly recipe to learn easy ways to astound your hosts and friends with the ingredients included into the monthly Gastrotravelling Box.

On your marks…… Subscribe to receive a notification as each new box becomes available

Get Set……Register with Spaininabox for exclusive discount vouchers

Go Gastrotravelling!!!……Travel through different regions of Spain via tasting, reading and feelings.

Food is the best daydreams machine

We will kickstart this Gastrotravelling Series with the famous region of Jaen. This region is the largest producer of olive oil world-wide. In fact, Jaen produces more olive oil than the second largest producer COUNTRY in the world!

Thomas Jefferson called the olive tree the richest gift of heaven and we will bring for you one of its best juices, Oro de Cánava Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is undoubtedly one of the best Olive Oils from the region; a golden, thick as honey oil that is guaranteed to add the magic touch to all your dressings.

We will give you some hints to distinguish a good olive oil from the dark shadows of this industry.

The Jaen Gastrotravelling box also contains a selection of cured hunting meats, delicious bites of wild boar, venison, game or mallard which act as a perfect companion for the olive oil. Again, we are brimming with original ideas and recipes so you can get the most out of these products – Imagine tucking into some tasty venison bolognese stuffed sweet peppers… Mmmm Yummy!!!!

We will talk about where our products are produced and provide you with travel guides to visit the area and even the factories, so you can witness artisan production in action! By commenting and sharing our content you could be the winner of a monthly contest to get off the beaten the track and visit some of our producersaccommodation included!

Don’t miss your chance and remember, on your marks, get set, Go Gastrotravelling!!!

Muñana caves for wine ageing

Wines From Granada: Muñana Petit Verdot

Concept of the Author

“All our varietal are an expression of the varieties themselves in our terruño. Our Petit Verdot 2009 is one of these and it is the best demonstration of what each variety can individually contribute to the different assemblies of our wines.”

Awards and mentions
INTERNATIONAL WINE GUIDE 2012: Silver MedalPetit Verdot 2009 profile
PEÑIN Guide 2009: 89 points
PEÑIN Guide 2011: 88 points
PEÑIN Guide 2013: 87 points
REPSOL Guide 2013: 99 points

Grape Varieties
100% Petit Verdot from its own vineyards

Produced and bottled by the winery (Estate Bottles)

Finca Peñas Prietas (Cortes y Graena, Granada)

Year and Production
Very good
11.914 bottles

Analytical Parameters
Grading: 13.5% Vol.
PH: 3,6
TA: 5.0 gr/l in tartaric acid
Procedures: 30 minutes after collection in 15kg boxes, the Petit Verdot grapes are placed in a refrigerated room at 5°C until the temperature stabilises before the best fruits are manually selected.
A short maceration is carried out for 4-5 days at a temperature of 20ºC followed by alcoholic and malolactic fermentations with cold stabilisation at -4ºC. 12 months in 300l French oak barrels, of nine different coopers and different toasts. Then 12 months in natural caves at 14°C average temperature.

Tasting notes
The appearance is a nice, covered ruby colour with violet hues yet despite being a 2009. Notable varietal character on the nose, with hints of banana and pencil lead, deep balsamic that gives a lot of freshness and enveloping aromas of black fruit compote. The palate is fleshy and creamy, with excellent balance between acidity and fruit weight. Marked minerality on the palate, which puts us in the land from which it comes. As mentioned before, the wood appears in perspective providing spicy and toasted nuances. The finish is long and rich. A truly elegant wine and highly recommended.

Serving temperature: 17ºC
Food pairings: All kind of meats.

Find it in Spaninabox at a very special price.

smoked pomfret goat cheese

Smoked Pomfret fish, Rosemary Goat cheese and lamb lettuce salad

We’re looking forward to the summer as we propose this combination of smoked pomfret fish, the tasty and award-winning rosemary goat’s cheese and fresh lamb’s lettuce which serves as a perfect starter tapa.smoked pomfret, rosemary goat cheese

Ingredients for 4 tapas:

  • 100g of lamb lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes – sliced thinly
  • 4 slices of smoked pomfret
  • 8 slices of Rosemary goat cheese fresh
  • Reduced balsamic vinegar
  • Ground pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Salt


To prepare the salad, position a mould at the center of the plate, then begin by placing a layer of lamb’s lettuce at the bottom. If we are going to eat immediately we can add salt and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. Otherwise, leave these steps until the end as the salt will extract water from the lamb’s lettuce and it will lose its turgidity.

For the next layer, place the slices of smoked pomfret, followed by another layer of lamb’s lettuce. Add one layer of thinly sliced Rosemary Goat’s cheese and finally, top off with a layer of fresh tomato slices.

Sprinkle with a few threads of reduced balsamic vinegar, a trickle of olive oil, ground pepper and salt if you like.

Stay in a winery Bodegas Muñana

Stay in a winery: Bodegas Muñana

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada lies Bodegas Muñana; a unique dwelling which takes a holiday with family or friends to a whole new level. Escape from the stresses and strains of the 21st centuary with this gastrotravelling experience, and strip life back down to the basics: Good food, good drink, good shelter and most importantly good company!

Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of wine – discover it’s origins and allow your senses to run astray. Breathe in the fresh air, smell the soil from the vineyards, and learn about the production and ageing processes which result in sublime wines.
winery_stays_Munana_sm1You will you enjoy a tasting session with some of the very best wines from this vineyard which is irrigated with water from the melting Sierra Nevada at an altitude of 1200 m, in clay loam soils and bred in caves with French and American oak barrels. A process which works in perfect harmony with nature.

Inside the winery complex there are two fully equipped self-catering one-storey apartments surrounded by the vineyards. Stay here and a tour through the winery and a tasting session is provided absolutely free of charge!
The location of the winery benefits from being within reach of a number of spectacular natural and cultural hotspots. Guadix (where the winery is located) and the surrounding areas, are characterized by a landscape of badlands and plenty of cave houses. Nearby heritage sites include the Puerto de la Ragua, which is popular amongst skiiers, the Calahorra, which has been populated since the paleolithic age, Ancient mines in Alquife which brought prosperity to the area during Roman times, Arab baths in Alhama de Granada which date back to the 1400’s, and the troglodyte town in Purullena, known for its quirky hillside settlements and stunning views, amongst many other visit-worthy locations all within easy reach.

Additionally, the Alhambra and Granada itself are only 45 min away, should you wish to experience City life at any time.

Accomodation details

House “2 Cepas”
House “3 Cepas”
Day rider
(inc. tasting session+guided visit)
£200 £300
Extra day £140 £210
Per week £950 £1400
Specs 2 twins room with 105cm beds 1 double room King size bed and 2 twins with 105cm beds.
  • Spacious and bright living room with a large table where to enjoy a delicious meal cooked in the fireplace accompanied by any of the sublime Muñana wines.
  • The kitchen is integrated into the living room and has all the necessary utensils apart from microwave and dishwasher.
  • Central heating and a big shower completes the equipments.

Bodegas Munana also offer flexible catering services from just 10 to 200 persons for incentives, product presentations and any social event should you wish.

For availability or further information on this or any other aspect just send us an email



Concept of the Author

“We have tried to show all nuances of Syrah and Tempranillo at the terroir of MUÑANA. We have created an amazing young wine surprising because of its power and the variety of sensory notes that it hits.”

Awards and mentions
INTERNATIONAL WINE GUIDE 2012: Bronze Medaldelirio2012_profile
PEÑIN Guide 2011: 88 points
Repsol Guide 2011: 90 points
Repsol Guide 2012: 90 points
Repsol Guide 2013: 90 points

Grape Varieties
Syrah-Tempranillo from its own vineyards

Produced and bottled by the winery (Estate Bottles)

Finca Peñas Prietas (Cortes y Graena, Granada)

26.500 bottles (Limited Edition)

Analytical Parameters
Grading: 14% Vol.
PH: 3,7
TA: 4,8 gr/l in tartaric acid
Procedures: 30 minutes after collection in 15kg boxes, the Syrah and Tempranillo grapes are placed in a refrigerated room at 5°C until the temperature stabilises before the best fruits are manually selected.
A short maceration is carried out for 4-5 days at a temperature of 20ºC followed by alcoholic and malolactic fermentations with cold stabilisation at -4ºC.

Tasting notes
It has a very dark and intense redcurrant colour. The aromas remind us of the leather, truffles and especially violets. The palate is unctuous, vigorous with a balanced and soft alcoholic degree. Blackcurrant flavours predominate leaving a lingering memory in the mouth.

Serving temperature: 14ºC
Food pairings: Fish and White Meat.

Find it in Spaninabox at a very special price.