Archives November 2018

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PICK YOUR OWN WEDDING WINE IDEAS

Have you recently gotten engaged? Well this is a time for celebration and what better way to celebrate your upcoming happily ever after than a trip to some European vineyards to sample the top wedding wines on offer. You don’t have to wait for your honeymoon for your next getaway and planning your wedding should be fun, exciting and a learning curve.wine-tasting-pick-your-own-wedding-wine-orchards-near-me-tour

From one bride to another, believe me the last few weeks do get a little stressful so the more you enjoy the initial engagement highs the better. A pre-wedding getaway can be just what you and your partner need before you go through with the biggest commitment. It was a friend that suggested these itineraries as she wanted to embark on a wine filled adventure herself. Now we can’t get enough of them.

We have come up with our top tours for picking out your wedding wine. Each itinerary will give you the chance to sip on the local wines, meet the producers and even learn about the production process. What a lovely way to incorporate a personal experience into your wedding drinks.  

Here are the top ‘Pick your own’ wedding wine tours:

BURGUNDY WEDDING WINE ADVENTUREwedding-wine-ideas-france-adventure-orchards-near-me

Bring a touch of class to your wedding menu with luxurious wines from the famous region of Burgundy. If you are considering a burgundy wine than why not plan a tasting experience to learn about the region, meet the producers and see the wines on offer. Home to some of the worlds renowned wines like Domaine Denis Mortet, Domaine Armand Rousseau and Chateaux des Quarts.

Our two day Burgundy wine experience will give you a true taste of the land.

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ROMANTIC DOURO VALLEY VINEYARD EXPERIENCE

This UNESCO listed region of Northern Portugal is one of Europe’s most stunning and fruitful areas. The mild atlantic climate and terraced vineyards make this wine destination extra special. Start your romantic adventure in the lively town of Porto. The next morning you will be picked up by expert guides who will bring you to the heart of the valley to taste the local wines. In the busy wedding planning phase there is always time to stop for a picnic and a glass of vinho.

This two day tour is the perfect combination of food and wine.

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WINES OF TUSCANY WEDDING WINE TOUR

Are you an adventure lover? If you and your fiancé are outdoor enthusiasts than how about a cycle through the heart of romantic Tuscany. You will cycle through some of the most stunning landscapes, passing vineyards and orchards as you pedal. Enjoy staying in the medieval mountain-top villages, tasting the delicious local Italian cuisine and getting the opportunity to sample the best local wines that you can choose for your wedding package.

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LUXURY WINES OF ITALY TOURwedding-wine-engagement-celebration-in-europe

This is a trip to Italy’s premier food and wine region of Alba. Famous for it’s rare white truffles and delicious red wines this tour will bring a bit of luxury to your wedding menu. As home of the Ferrero Rocher and nutella you can incorporate delicious local Italian chocolates and wine into your big day. With our experts guides you will discover all that is on offer over the course of a 4 day trip, staying in the most unique accommodation and farmstays.

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How to choose my wedding wine? Here are a few tips to look out for…

  • Wine professional and good vineyards will provide bulk wine packages for weddings that are good quality and not overly expensive (depending on what you are looking for)
  • Think food rather than season – whites with fish, bold reds with beef
  • Food pairings matter
  • How much will you need?
  • Don’t forget reception drinks

Where will you get your wedding wine? This is the fun part. Let’s go explore and enjoy every moment of this magical time together.

For more information on any of our wedding wine ideas and tours please contact one of our travel specialists.

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Introducing OrchardsNearme.com Fruit and Foraging Adventures

Introducing OrchardsNearme.com Fruit and Foraging Tour Specialists.

We don’t claim to be the experts but we certainly know the experts and are passionate fruit lovers who want to learn about the land around us. Our mission is to encourage nature lovers from around the world to go to grow. When we travel we have the chance to engage in lifelong learning and appreciate the natural landscape around us. From digital detox to reflection time there are many reasons why we recommend getting out on the nature trails.

All of our tours are designed to give you a true taste of the land you are travelling in. Learn about the local culture, discover the harvest traditions, participate in the fruit picking and enjoy an immersive foodie experience. We have teamed up with the very best farms, vineyards and orchards to bring you unforgettable adventures in nature.

Here are some of our favourite fruit filled experiences in Europe:

A TASTE OF TUSCANY

A timeless adventure to the heart of the Tuscan countryside is just what the soul needs. On this trip you will be surrounded by nature and have the chance to sample the best of Italian food and wines. This is a heartwarming orchard experience, perfect for first-timers.

Details: A Taste of Tuscany

THE FLAVOURS OF FRANCE VINEYARD EXPERIENCE

Get a true taste of the high life as you cycle through some of the most famous vineyards in the Burgundy region of France. France is the largest producer of truffles in Europe and you will have the opportunity to hunt for these forest treasures as part of your french fruit filled adventure. This beautiful experience will reward you with the freshest fruit and wonderful castle filled landscapes.

Details: Flavours of France

FLAVOURS OF THE DOURO VALLEY

Portugal is packed full of flavourful regions to be explored but none as much as the famous Douro Valley. Terraced vineyard, local guides and wine sipping! What more could a foodie adventurer want? Sample the famous culture of Porto and landscapes of the Douro.

Details: Flavours of the Douro Valley

OLIVE PICKING ADVENTURE IN GREECE

Greece is the perfect place to unwind and get back to nature. On this olive adventure you will the chance to participate in the harvest activities, taste delicious olive oil and explore the stunning greek countryside.

Details: Olive Picking Adventure Greece

LUXURY TRUFFLE HUNTING AND WINE ADVENTURE IN ITALY

Did you know that the region of Alba in Italy is famous for its white truffle? Discover the tasty truffle on a real truffle hunt, taste the local wines and enjoy getting to know the landscape of one of the most beautiful regions in Italy.

Details: Luxury Truffle and Wine Experience Italy

When and Price: Our tours are available all year round and the guided tours depart on specific dates. Contact the OrchardsNearme.com travel specialists for advice.

Special: Book your orchard experience now for 2019 and get 5% OFF. *Offer cannot be combined with other discounts. Offer available until January 31st

Includes: standard packages include unique wine and food experiences, half-board accommodation in selected properties, luggage transfers and holiday pack with maps and practical information.

Does not include: flights and insurance.

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Coffee beans aren’t actually beans

Did you know that coffee beans are actually seeds? They come from a small cherry red fruit! Our favourite morning beverage comes from a fruit plant.

Dating back to the 15th century, drinking coffee has a long history. It was founded first in Kaffa, a medieval kingdom in Ethopia and known as an effective way to suppress appetite back in the day. coffee-fruit-coffee-beans-did-you-know-orchards-near-me-min

Today small coffee farmers from around the world rely on these coffee plants to make a living. As the world leader in coffee production Brazil harvest over 3 billion coffee plants.

To promote an eco-friendly approach to your coffee consumption look out for Fair trade coffee suppliers and shade grown brands of coffee. The alternative approach to production is known as sun cultivation which involved deforestation, pollution and a lot of chemical festilizers.

A newly planted coffee tree can take up to seven years to produce the fruitful berries. On average it will take 3 – 4 years. The fruit is called a coffee cherry and it often picked by hand. The seeds are removed and dried. This can take up to several weeks. Roasting the green coffee turns it into the brown aromatic beans.

These coffee beans give us a kick in the morning, help us through the day and cover our mouths in delicious goodness. I know that many of us would like to meet the great producers that bring these amazing beans/seeds to life.

If you have anymore fruitful facts please let us know.

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7 Must try Foods in Portugal

Would you like to get a taste of the Portuguese cuisine at its best? Everywhere in the world has dishes that connect the people to the land and bring us closer to the culture of a region. Getting a taste for the local flavours with some delicious dishes is one of the top ways to get to know a country and its history. Here are our top 6 must-try foods in Portugal:

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The Portuguese version of the famous Spanish tapas, these mouthwatering bites are the perfect accompliment to a local beer or glass of Vinho Verde on the day by the harbour in Porto. Try the Bolinhos de Bacalhau (mini fish balls), presunto (a local traditional ham), Salada de polvo (octopus salad), Caracóis (tiny snails of the sea).

Caldo Verde

This traditional Portuguese soup translates to green broth and it eaten throughout the year. You will find it as a staple on most restaurants in portugal. When you taste it you will get a real taste of the Portuguese countryside. Often eaten as a starter course this is the perfect way to get a flavour of Portuguese cuisine. The main ingrediants include Kale, onion, garlic, potatoes and chorizo. Here’s a traditional Caldo Verde recipe from Portuguese Insider Tia Maria

Bacalhau

More of a key ingrediant than a dish, Bacalhau is held close in the hearts of all locals in Portugal. Whether grilling it in the summer months or baking it in the winter, this fish is certainly on our list of must-try foods in Portugal.must-try-portuguese-foods-orchards-near-me

Arroz de Tamboril

This dish also known as monkfish rice would be a savoured delicacy in other parts of the world but the readily available fish across the regions of Portugal make this a deliciously accessible meal. It is a traditional dish appreciated by locals. Key ingredients of Arroz de Tamboril includes monkfish, onion, cilantro, garlic, tomato, paprika and pepper.

Sopa de Cação

A heart warming soup filled with delicious vegetables that will fill you to the brim with energy. Yes please! 

Ameijoas a bulhao Pato

Offered in most restaurant along the Atlantic coast of Portugal this is the perfect dish of shellfish on a summers day. Clam are cooked in oil, garlic, cilantro and a dash (or three) of white wine. Being so close to the sea it would be a shame not to sample the delicious seafood. Simply put this is a meal of cockles (clams) in a tasty white wine sauce. The secret is in the picking and the Portuguese shellfish farmers have made an art out of this. An extra benefit is that they are rich in fatty acids containing Omega 3 which has many health benefits.pastel-de-natal-portuguese-food-portugal-orchards-near-me

Pastel De Natal

Last but not least the world famous Portuguese pastry of Pastel de Natal. This custard filled tart will have your mouth watering for days. Crispy on the outside, warm and creamy on the inside. What’s not to love? You will find these in bakeries and restaurants throughout Portugal. Each region has its own twist on the classic dish but all are delightful to eat.

Bom apetite from Portugal!

THE FLAVOURS OF PORTUGAL TOURS

These are just six of the many dishes to sample on your next Portuguese adventure. If you have any must-try foods in Portugal to add to the list please let us know.

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10 Reasons to fall in love with Fruit Picking

There is nothing we love better than being out in the fields getting back to nature. Why have we abandoned our roots? Let’s reconnect with the land and fall in love with fruit picking. Here are just a few reasons we think fruit picking will give you time for reflection and get you back to basics:

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For more details on any of our fruit filled adventures please contact one of our fruit loving team.

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Map of the Italian Wine Regions

When you think of Italy you must think of wine. Fields bursting with vines, heavy with ripened grapes and dying to be picked. Italy is home to some of our favourite vineyards and here is a simple map of the Italian wine regions to wet your tastebuds.

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Veneto

Romance, history and the floating city of Venice make this region of Italy a tourist hotspot. This is actually the largest wine producing region of Italy. Keeping with its romantic nature the area North of Venice is known for prosecco production as well as some refreshing white wines. It’s mediterranean micro-climates makes is perfect for producing sparkling dessert wines and you will find plenty of fizz on offer when you visit.

Tuscany

Discover the famous rolling hills of Tuscany when you visit any of the fantastic vineyards in this wine region. Some of the most renowned wines in the world come from this area. Wine is embedded into most aspects of life in Tuscany. The grapes hanging from the vines, the old houses on ancient vineyards and the tasty food pairings make it the perfect combination of food and nature. Chianti is certainly the most famous wine of the region and was established in 1932. Try the merlots and the cabernet sauvigan warm reds when you are in the area.

Piedmont

With the highest number of classified wines this area has some of Italy’s best rated wines. If you are a berry fan (as we are) then you will enjoy the red Dolcetto wine with its hint of blackberry flavour. You will stumbleupon wonderful producers around the area of Alba where you can pair the wines with the famous local truffles. If you have been lucky enough to taste an Asti wine than there is a high chance it came from Piedmont as they produce over 60 million litres of this sweet white wine each year.

Emilia

Dating back to the 7th century, the wine production in this area of Italy is prolific and leave you with long lasting memories. Taste the local frizzante, sparkling wines, for a true taste of summertime.

Lombardy

Northern Italy is packed full of wine producing areas but Lombardy holds a special place in our hearts. Located near the Adda River, the vineyards here enjoy a mild climate and produce tantalizing red wines and sparkling delights. It’s location between the Alps and the po basin makes it an extra special place to visit at harvest time.

Umbria

Medieval villages and iconic towns like Assisi make Umbria a must visit place when you are on tour in Italy. The benedictine monks were the first to plant vineyards here and the red wines are warm and bold. They have benefited from their world renowned neighbour, Tuscany and use their traditional Italian style to their advantage.

Abruzzo

The Montepulciano grape is famous in Abruzzo and throughout the world today. This region is widely known for its rose wines and mountainous landscape.

Marche

The Verdicchio grape is a sure encounter when you visit the Marche wine region of Italy. This is an acidic, dry white wine that goes perfectly with any fish dish on offer.

Puglia

When in Puglia you have reached the heel of Italy. Vineyards and olive groves create a patchwork blanket look in this region. Full bodied reds are a staple part of the diet in this area and you will enjoy getting to know the flagship primitivo grape that is famous in the towns of Lecce and Manduria.

Lazio

Last but least is the Lazio wine region. Home to the capital of Italy, Rome, the volcanic hills of Lazio make the ideal landscape for crisp, white wines.

Wherever you go in Italy have a sip or two of the scrumptious wines on offer. You will learn about the land, the nature, the climate and the culture through its many delicious varieties of grapes.

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