The magnificent Duoro River gives shelter to some of Spain’s greatest wine regions. Originating in the Castilla y Leon region of Spain, it cuts across northern Portugal to its outlet at Porto. Spain’s top quality red grape, the Tempranillo is planted along the verdant banks of this remarkable river, called the Rio Duero by its countrymen.
Along with being the third largest wine producer in the world, Spain also has the most land dedicated to vineyards, over five million acres. Grapes are grown throughout its every region, including the highly respected Rioja and Ribera del Deuro varieties.
Roughly translated as “river of gold”, the Rio Duoro enters Portugal where its landscape, the enchanted Douro Valley has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for both its dramatic beauty and its long history of wine-making.
Bounded by a long tradition, the Portuguese winegrowers have kept faith with their own 250 indigenous grape varieties, producing very unique, delightfully different flavors. It is no wonder why many wine experts call Portugal the last frontier of wine in Western Europe!
The University of Hong Kong Museum Society is pleased to present its sixth gastronomic wine tour, as part of its wine tour series. As we trace the Douro River, we will explore the Ribera del Duero and Rioja wine regions of Spain and the Douro, Bairrada and Alentejo regions of Portugal. Together with internationally renowned food and wine connoisseur, wine judge and educator, Mr. Wilson Kwok, we will visit top Spanish wine producers such as Pago de los Capellanes, and Marques de Riscal along with important Portuguese wineries such as Quinto do Cotto and Luis Pato Winery.
Our gastronomic adventure will showcase local specialties in highly rated establishments such as Marques de Riscal (Michelin 1 star) in Rioja, Spain and DOC on the banks of the magnificent Duoro in Portugal, as well as within the more intimate surroundings of family-owned wineries. At each stop, we will learn to pair the particular wines of the region with Wilson’s carefully selected menus.
Wilson Kwok has one of the most impressive resumes in the food and wine industry in Hong Kong. Holding a Master’s Degree of Enology at the University of Bordeaux, France as well as a Grand Diploma from the Cordon Bleu de Paris, in France, he was knighted by the French Government as Chevalier de L’Ordre du Merite Agricole for his outstanding contribution to French cuisine and wine. He has served actively as a judge in wine competitions since 1994. In 1996 he became the first in Asia to be invited to be a Member of the Jury for the prestigious wine competition, the Citadelles du Vin which is held in Bordeaux every year. In 2000 he won the Sommelier of the Year in Hong Kong on Australia Wines.
As managing director of the W’s Group, Wilson also oversees the running of his flagship restaurant, W’s Entrecote. He has published a number of cookbooks (bilingual Chinese and English) as well as contributed columns to a number of monthly journals including “Wine Now” Monthly Magazine (Chinese) as well as in the South China Morning Post. Wilson advised as well as co-hosted TVB Jade’s 6 episode series, “Wine Confidential”. More recently in October 2010, Wilson released in his own voice the first volume of an audio set of four wine glossary references spoken in six languages.
Since 2010, Wilson has taken members of the HKUMS on gastronomic wine adventures to Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Tuscany, Piedmont, and most recently, to Alsace and the Rhine Valley.