Jessica Salyer
June 2, 2021 | Jessica Salyer

El Camino de Santiago

A note from Jessica Salyer, Curate Wine Program Manager.

Here in Western North Carolina, hiking is a big part of life! Late spring is an amazing time of year when the mountain laurels are blooming, and it's time to get out and explore, forage for chanterelles, play in a mountain stream, and connect with nature. For this month's shipment, I wanted to draw a parallel with the hiking culture here, and a popular hike – actually a pilgrimage – in Spain: El Camino de Santiago. For this shipment, we're focusing on wineries along the pilgrimage route. Read more about the Camino below, and explore the wines with us! Maybe you'll be inspired to add a new trip to your bucket list!

-- Jessica


The Camino de Santiago, or “Way of Saint James,” is a popular pilgrimage leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Santiago de Compostela means “St James of the Field of Stars,” named for the Apostle Saint James the Great, who is believed to be buried there. This pilgrimage isn’t one particular trail, but a large network of routes that begin in different cities throughout Spain, Portugal, and France. Most popularly hiked is the Camino Francés – a nearly 500 mile trail starting in St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France, crossing the Pyrenees and continuing west across Spain. People began walking these trails as early as the 9th century, though in the beginning, pilgrims’ “starting point” was their own front door! Like the Appalachian Trail that runs through WNC, Camino trails beckon explorers from all walks of life.

Be it for spiritual or recreational reasons, hundreds of thousands put their feet to the trails each year, stopping to stay in albergues (hostels) along the way. Travelers taking on the Camino will pass by some of Spain’s most famous cathedrals, medieval towns, and – lucky for Spanish wine lovers – wine country! La Rioja, Castilla y León, or Ribera del Duero are a few wine regions hikers may encounter along the way. In the Navarro region, Bodegas de Irache even has a wine fountain, where hikers can stop for a sip of red wine from the tap!


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