jueves, 30 de octubre de 2014

Urbina Tutored Tasting at Gales of Llangollen Hotel & Wine Bar


- History: The building that houses Gales at 18 Bridge Street has a rich history. For hundreds of years the hostelries of Llangollen served the needs of travellers taking he road from London to Dublin. As they approached the wilds of Snowdonia the small town of Llangollen must have seemed an outpost of civilisation.

From the late 17th Century the premises of 18 Bridge Street, then the Lion Inn was one of those hostelries. (The building that houses the Wine Shop was The Butchers Arms).

In 1815 the renowned engineer Thomas Telford forged a new road through the area diverting the increasing volume of traffic away from Bridge Street, the original main road. Eventually in the 19th Century the licenced premises that had been the Lion Inn became an Ironmongers shop.

In 1977 Richard Gale was looking for premises to start a Wine Bar. By chance a friend suggested Llangollen as a suitable location and so a chain of events began that led to 18 Bridge Street once again becoming a haven for travellers visiting or passing through North Wales.

Initially the reception was mixed - this was, after all, the first Wine Bar in North Wales! Over 35 years, however, local support has ensured the ongoing sucess of Gales and underpinned the development of the business that now includes Gales Wine Bar, Hotel and Wine Shop.

With a second generation of the Gale family now firmly established in the business, the future of the old hostelry is assured.

- Name: Gales Of Llangollen Hotel & Wine Bar
- Adress: 18 Bridge Street, Llangollen, Denbighshire, LL20 8PF
- Tel: +44 (0) 01978860089
- Fax: +44 (0) 01978861313

- Wine Bar: The wood panelled Wine Bar is the award winning centre of the business. Its character is largely unchanged from the original 9 table experience back in the 70’s. It now boasts 20 tables but still works on the foundations of simple home cooked food using the best local ingredients and wine expertly picked to offer the best range and value.

Gales owes its busy informal nature to the fact that it never takes a table booking and takes orders though a bar service of friendly, knowledgeable staff. Whenever you come though the door you know you will receive the same amiable welcome.

Opening Hours:
. Lunch: 12.00 - 2.00 Monday to Saturday
. Dinner: 6.00 - 9.30  Monday to Saturday

- Food: At Gales they offer a variety of dining options from casual ‘grazing’ dishes based on the Spanish tradition of tapas, through to monthly changing a la carte evening menus.

To compliment their grazing menu they offer fromagerie and charcuterie selections utilising carefully chosen examples of artisan Welsh & British cheeses alongside the finest imported chorizos, salamis and cured pork products.

Permanently featured on their chalkboards and available during both lunch and evening service are a range of salt baked potatoes and a regularly changing selection of pastas, salads, sharing platters and lighter meals.

The full a la carte menu is available Tuesday through Saturday; this four course individually priced menu changes monthly and is strongly based around the seasons, taking influence from British, European and Mediterranean basin cuisines. Monday nights feature their special 'Supper Menu' with a reduced price set menu.

- Hotel: Situated in one of the oldest streets in Llangollen and a few seconds from the high street, Gales has 15 en-suite bedrooms. All their rooms are individually decorated and sympathetically restored in keeping with the historic character of the buildings.

Eight of the rooms are above the Wine Bar in a Georgian townhouse, with many original features.

The remaining rooms are in a much older timber framed building across the driveway. These rooms have exposed beams, wattle and daub walls and all have original features.

All the rooms are available as double or single occupancy, many can be used for twin or family occupancy.

All the rooms have tea and coffe making facilities, hair-dryers, direct dial telephones, widescreen televisions and wifi access.

Room Rates (Prices correct as of April 2013)
- Single Occupancy £60
- Double Occupancy £80
- Suite (Room 10) £90
- Executive Suite (Courtyard Cottage) £110
- Extra Person £10
- Continental Breakfast £0
- Cooked Breakfast £5

- Gales Cottages: Gales Cottages are situated in the beautiful town of Llangollen, only a few minutes  walk from the town centre.

Three of the cottages are on the banks of the River Dee overlooking Castell Dinas Bran in Church Street, the oldest street in Llangollen. The fourth cottage is in a courtyard behind Gales Hotel in Bridge Street.

The properties have been sympathetically renovated maintaining original features such as beams and wattle and daub walls wherever possible. Nos. 21 and 23 Church Street date back to 1695 and were once the Quaker Meeting Rooms.

All of the cottages have wall mounted televisions, ipod dock/radios and free wi-fi. All are equipped with washing machines/tumble driers and dishwashers.

The cottages are comfortable retreats in which to relax and unwind or an ideal base from which to explore the town's attractions, the local area and the beauty of North Wales.


- Richard Gale: Wine buff and so addicted to “winebar lifestyle” that he decided many years ago that the less expensive option would be to have one of his own. Gales is an extension of Richard's personality. It's a business but it has to be fun for the family, staff and most importantly the customers. (Richard thinks broccoli is ridiculous: loves Emerson Lake and Palmer and The Hollies and we suggest all customers ask him to relate the ‘Bible Salesman Joke').

- Pip Gale: On graduating from University in 2001, Pip traveled extensively to expand his knowledge and understanding of wine before joining the family business. As Director and General Manager he has embraced the Gales business philosophy, keeping the style and traditions whilst introducing new features. Pip continues to explore; tasting and travelling around European Wineries. Pip is an active member of the wine community, and in 2013 was admitted to the prestigious Academie du Champagne. (Pip won't play monopoly on moral grounds).

- Gillie Gale: Gillie and Richard started the Wine Bar in 1977 where Gillie's cuisine brought a change of style to Llangollen. Gillie now runs the Hotel and Wine Shop side of the business in addition to being the voice of reason. (Occasionally, Gillie 'needs' a G&T).

- Andrew Gale: Andrew is a freelance photographer and web designer. His artistic and creative abilities have led to his input at Gales as Design Consultant in which capacity he deals with marketing, advertising and publicity (and the website). (If you see him in the bar his drink is rum).

- Holly Gale: Over the years Holly has been a great help behind the bar and in the shop but she is now living and working in London. (Holly would like to be a vegetarian, but she loves Steak too much).

- Andrew Mckernan: Andrew started working at Gales of Llangollen in 2006 at the tender age of 16. Gerk, as he is known to the staff (Richard still thinks his real name is Gerk Mckernan) took a great interest in everything the job had to offer moving quickly from KP to waiter and trying his hand at most positions in the Kitchen and Bar. He left to work on the railway in 2008 but returned to in 2009. Over the years he has taken on more and more responsibility and can often be found in charge of the place. His friendly and attentive nature towards customers makes him a big hit with the locals and hotel guests alike.

- Daniel Gaskin: Despite gaining his degree in Film at Liverpool back in 2003, Dan decided it was the chef's life for him (luckily for the Gales of Llangollen) and has speedily progressed through the ranks to become a talented and focused chef.

Dan joined Gales of Llangollen as head chef in late 2011 having spent a few years with gastropub specialists Brunning & Price following his formative years in restaurants and hotels in the north Wales area, Liverpool & north Shropshire.

Since joining Gales he has been broadening his experience securing 'stage' placements with Michelin level chefs, Adam Gaunt-Evans & Bjorn Van Der Horst in Wales & the Maldives respectively and hopes to continue with further placements during the coming years.

- Scott Griffiths: Rarely have they seen a team member progress at the rate Scott has. Coming to Gales of Llangollen in early 2012 with little-to-no experience in a professional kitchen, Scott has advanced with leaps and bounds to become a truly indispensable member of the team. Scott worked as roofer's apprentice after finishing school. This trade has left him with a keen eye for precision, neatness and a passion for a quality finish, skills which transfer nicely into the kitchen environment. He is as hard working as they come and is sure to go far on his new found career path.

- Dyfan Hughes: Dyfan joined the team as an apprentice in late 2013. Dyfan grew up in the picturesque Ceiriog valley and one would struggle to find a more patriotic Welshman. Mad about all things sporty he is a keen footballer and has represented Wales as a crown green bowls player. Dyf is particularly fond of seafood (and the bountiful Welsh coastline) his tastes are expanding and his palate improving all the time. In Gales of Llangollen have no doubt Dyfan has what it takes to become a great chef in the future and they’re having fun getting him started on his journey. He is fresh faced and eager to learn - a joyful addition to the brigade.


The hotel reception is situated within our Wine and Gift Shop.

The cellar-like ambience of the room adds to the character, with slate floor, wattle and daub wall and huge inglenook fireplace.

- Wines and Spirits: All their listed wines are present as well as many bin-ends and unsual selections from around the World. Ranges incude their own shipped wines from Europe to vertical vintages of Chateau Musar. Wine is arranged by region in custom made racks.

Glass shelves and back lighting provide a fantastic display piece for their spirits selection. They stock an interesting and unusual range catering for all tastes - from classic single malts and cognacs to boutique gins and tequilas.

- Paraphernalia: The gift shop began as a few items for sale in at the reception. Now they have a wide range of stock from wine paraphernalia and exclusive glassware to kitchen gadgets, china, jewellery, games and gifts for men.


Their extensive wine list boasts labels from around the world. Many of the wines are shipped by themselves and offer quality and value for money. Try Burgundies, Bordeaux and wines from other French regions, Spanish Riojas and wines from the Lebanon. Sample New World wines from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and North and South America.

As well as wines behind the bar, they carry a wide selection of other drinks including interesting and different bottled lagers and ales, soft drinks and specialist spirits. They have a huge fan following for our Westons ciders.


- Pablo Y Walter Malbec £19.95
- Monteagrelo Malbec £25.95

- Wakefield St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon £40.95
- Chapotier Shiraz £19.95
- Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache £19.95
- Jim Barry McRae Wood Shiraz £41.95

- Byron Pinot Noir £30.95 

- Andes Peak Merlot £15.50
- Andes Peak Carmenere £15.50
- Viu Manent Secret Pinot Noir £19.50

- Ch Bernadotte £25.95
- Chateau Saint-Andre Corbin £22.50
- Fleurie £18.95
- Gevrey Chambertain Vallet £49.95
- Morgon £18.95
- Beaune 1st Cru £40.00
- Chateau Neuf Du Pape Rouge £29.95
- Domain La Colombette Pinot Noir £16.95
- Henry Fessy Chenas £19.95
- Chateau Matt £21.95 

- Chianti Classico Paglia £18.95
- Suri Barbera D Asti £19.95
- Tommasi Arele Appassimento £22.50
- Poderi Colla Nebbiolo d' Alba £21.95

- Hochar Pere et Fils £19.95
- Chateau Musar £31.95
- Musar Jeune £17.50

New Zealand:
- Mudhouse Central Otago Pinot NoiR £19.95
- Craggy Range Syrah £33.50 

- Duas Quintas £18.50

South Africa:
- Peacock Ridge Merlot £16.95

- Tres Picos Garnacha £21.95
- Corimbo £32.50
- Roda £39.95
- Urbina Crianza £19.95
- Urbina Selection £25.95
- Urbina Gran Reserva £34.95 


- Compose Sparkling Shiraz £32.50

- Bolinger Special Cuvee £59.95
- Ayala Brut Majeur NV £37.95
- Louis Roederer Champagne £55.00

- Prosecco Extra Dry £17.95 


- Yalumba Y Series Viogner £18.95
- Oxford Landing Chardonnay £16.50

- Byron Santa Maria Chardonnay £29.95

- Gewurztraminer Traditional £19.95
- Meursault Les Tillets £44.95
- Chateauneuf - du - Pape Blanc £29.95
- Muscadet Sur Lie £15.95
- Pouilly Fume Malt £22.95
- Chablis 1er Cru Vaulignea Motte £25.95
- Due De Morny Picpoul Pinet £17.95
- Tariquet Classic £14.95
- Tariquet Sauvingnon £15.95
- Tariquet Chenin Chardonnay £16.95 

- Terrazze Pinot Grigio £16.95
- Soave Classico Pra £19.95

New Zealand:
- Twin Islands Sauvingnon Blanc £18.50
- Mudhouse Sauvingnon Blanc £18.50

South Africa:
- Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 28.95 


- Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes £50.50

South Africa:
- Klein Constantia Vin De Constance £49.95


- Ancora Pinot Grigio Rose £14.95


- White Urbina 2012: The 2008 White Viura is 100% fermented and aged in stainless steel. Medium straw-colored, it Offers up a nose of melon, apple, and pear. On the palate it is smooth-textured, flavorful, and lively. This nicely balanced Offering Should drink well for Another 3 years.

- Rose Urbina 2013: 100% Tempranillo, 48 hours maceration at 10 ° C and Fermentation at 18 º C. Pinkish-red. Very pleasant fruity aromas and complex. Compact taste and very smooth, with long aftertaste.

- Urbina Tempranillo 2013: 100% Tempranillo, maceration for 15 days at 25 º C. Intense red cherry, with Ruby very bright, upper middle layer. Intense primary aromas of red fruits, strawberries and raspberries, elegant, discovering slight aromas of licorice and flowers. Fresh taste, good body, feeling strong and balanced flavors of nuts.

- Urbina Crianza 2008: 95% and 5% Tempranillo and Graciano Mazuelo. Fermentation at 28 º C and macerated for 28 days in stainless steel tanks, the wine spends in oak barrels for 12 months after it is bottled and a minimum of 6 months in bottle before release. Cherry-ruby color, balanced, nuanced black currant on the palate, good structure and persistence. This wine comes from vines that reach 20 years of age, but all coming from our high quality vineyards.

- Urbina Tinto Seleccion 1999: 95% and 5% Tempranillo and Graciano Mazuelo. This wine comes from the best grapes from the winery, all from vineyards over 20 years. These are wines that reach the winery Gran Reserva quality. Fermentation at 28 º C and macerated for 28 days. Stay 16 months in oak barrels. Color ruby red with purple tones. Intense aroma of fruit. Pleasant complex flavors and intense aftertaste. Well conserved at temperatures between 15 º and 18 º develop its great qualities and will become a type Gran Reserva, after 3 or 4 years.

- Urbina Reserva Especial 1998: 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. This wine comes from the best grapes from the winery, all from vineyards over 20 years. It has been 12 months in new oak and 12 months in 7 years oak. And in bottle has been 12 months before commercialization. Dark ruby color with amber tones, rich bouquet of vanilla oak, elegant, attractive sweet mid palate with good concentrated ripe fruit, excellent length, classic and complex.

- Urbina Gran Reserva Especial 1994: 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. This wine comes from the best grapes from the Estate, all from vines over 20 years. Fermentation at 28 º C and macerated the last 28 days, followed by 24 months in oak and 48 months in bottle. Garnet-red color, splendid maturity, complexity on the nose, the palate is seen in the harmonious and balanced oak and fruit tannins, elegant and velvety soft, and wonderful length.

The 1994 Gran Reserva Especial (from a great vintage) is medium ruby colored with a lovely bouquet of cherry blossom, earth notes, spice box, leather, black cherry, and plum. On the palate it is multifaceted, elegant, concentrated, impeccably balanced, and holding strong. It should drink nicely for another 10-15 years if not longer.


- Llangollen: The gateway to North Wales, Llangollen offers a wealth of attractions. The river and the glorious Dee Valley are a centre for kayaking, white water rafting, gorge walking and abseiling as well as an ideal spot for walking and relaxation. The Llangollen Heritage Steam Railway and the canal Wharf are great places for a trip back in time. From the Wharf you can take either the gentle horse drawn canal boat to the Chain Bridge and Horseshoe Falls or the trip across the remarkable Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a World Heritage site built by Thomas Telford in 1805.

The Dee Bridge, which can be seen from the Church Street cottages' gardens, was built in 1345 by John Trevor of Trevor Hall, who became the Bishop of St. Asaph. There are numerous historic treasures around the town, such as Plas Newydd, home of the 'Ladies of Llangollen' and Dinas Bran Castle, alleged resting place of teh Holy Grail. Valle Crucis Abbey and Eliseg's Pillar are just on the edge of town as is Llangollen Motor Museum.

The Royal Pavilion in Abbey Road attracts visitors from across the world for the International Musical Eisteddfod and hosts the annual Hamper Llangollen Food Festival. The railway holds Thomas the Tank weekends, Beer Train events and Santa Specials.

Llangollen is also the ideal base location for exploring further afield. From the lakes of Bala and Betws y Coed to the mountains of Snowdonia and the Coastlines of North and Mid Wales. In Llangollen you are also positioned within easy reach of the main arterial routes to Chester, Shrewsbury, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

- Richard's Route: There are many local wonders worth a visit in and around Llangollen, over the years Richard Gale has devised a car journey that takes it all in!

Taking the A5 towards Corwen will bring you to the charming Tudor style Railway Station at Berwyn. Crossing the river here will take you past the Interesting Chan Bridge, from here it is but a stone's throw to the Thomas Telford designed Horseshoe Falls, which feeds the Llangollen Canal from the River Dee.

Past Valle Crucis Abbey and Eliseg's Pillar towards the spectacular Horseshoe pass. Returning down the old Horseshoe pass Road will take you to World's End, the Eglwyseg Rocks, the Panorama and the back of the ancient ruins od Castell Dinas Bran, where views over the town are simply breathtaking.

Drop town through the quaint village of Garth to Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Cross the river below and return to the town to see the famous 'Old Ladies' House - Plas Newydd. Then return to Gales for liquid fortification - you've earned it.

- Plas Newydd: Plas Newydd is an historic house only a short walk from the wine bar and a must see. With bowling greens, dovecots, sunken garden walks and a main house with beautiful carved beams. Ask Richard over breakfast to give you the low down.

- Valle Crucis Abbey: Valle Crucis was dissolved by royal decree in 1537 but its ruins still show what a beautiful building in the perfect setting it must have been. A must visit.

- Dinas Bran Castle: With spectacular views, it is worth the short but very steep walk to the top. Locals cheat by driving up to the panorama road and start half way up but the walk is easily managed from the centre of town.

- St Collen Church: Our local church and how the town got town got its name. Llangollen literally means church of Saint Collen. A beautiful church at the end of the street on which Gales is situated. Pay particular attention to the beautifully carved wooden ceiling.

- Eliseg's Pillar: A striking monument that sits upon a mound in the middle of the valley just by the Abbey.

- Erddig: A National Trust house which contains an amazingly well kept stately home and gardens. A whole day should be allotted to explore everything they have to offer. Great for all the family.

- Chirk Castle: A huge National Trust castle set in stunning grounds. Exploring the dungeons, moat and extensive gardens is a real adventure.

- Llangollen Canal: Llangollen Canal received the prestigious World Heritage status for this calm meandering canal created by Thomas Telford. It is a feat of engineering that melts into the local scenery as if it has always been there.

- Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: The famous Thomas Telford construction is, even after 100 years, still a technical marvel. There are boat trips but just walking across gives you an idea of the scale and beauty of the structure. If you see one thing in the area it should be this.

- Horseshoe Falls: Also created by Mr Telford, this man-made waterfall is an incredible example of using natural resources in a way that is sympathetic to its surroundings.

- Horse Drawn Boats: A casual ride along the canal, powered the way the boats used to be. The Wharf is situated in town and is the ideal place to start your discovery of the Llangollen Canal.

- Steam Railway: The Llangollen Heritage Steam Railway is one of the town's biggest draws, whether visiting one of the Thomas the Tank weekends, enthusiast festivals, booze trains or just going on a short journey to some of our neighbouring towns and back. The trains and friendly volunteers make an amazing journey back in time.

- Pro Adventure: A not-for-profit provider of a large range of activities including rafting, gorge walking and climbing - locally or on their indoor wall in the middle of town.

- Safe and Sound Outdoors: Everything is catered for by expert and frendly instructors, you are in safe hands.

- Ty Nant: Andy at Ty Nant can provide you with all the kayaking, boating and other extreme activities you can think of.

- Llandegla Mountain Biking: Mountain bike trials for all skill levels with green runs right up to blacks. (We don't have a bike lock up at Gales but if you wish to have your bike safely stored we can arrange something).

- One Giant Leap Downhill: Top downhill track, not for the faint hearted. Plays host to some of the country's top competitions. Some easier tracks are available along with guides from the excellent Cambell Coaching

- Fauxdegla Clay Pigeon Shooting: A top shooting facility only a small drive from Llangollen. It features seven shooting areas, each with a different discipline.

- Paragliding: One of the best ways to see the valley is from a vantage point only available to the birds or members of this paragliding club.

- Fishing: The river is fed by the headland lakes of Alwen, Brenig, Celyn and Bala and is one of the purest rivers in Europe, renowned for it's brown trout and grayling. Llangollen Maelor Angling can supply day tickets for ten miles of the River Dee.

- Golf: The Vale of Llangollen Golf Club is one to the best and most beautiful golf courses in the area. With stunning views on every hole it's a must visit for any golfer. Other courses within a short distance are Hentley, Oswestry, Llanymynech and Carden Park all well worth a visit.

- International Eisteddfodd: Set up in the same act of parlament as the Edinburgh Festival to bring the world together after the war, this festival brings colour and fun to the town.

- Fringe: This eclectic festival is a strong favourite for locals and visitors alike. Expect comedy, punk, pop, poetry and more.

- Hamper Llangollen Food Show: This long standing and extremely popular food festival takes place over a weekend in October. You can enjoy local produce and cooking demonstrations - you might even find a friendly local wine bar showing some wines and spirits.

- Llangollen Museum: A great place to get further information on Llangollen's rich history from friendly, local, knowledgeable volunteers.

- Motor Museum: An amazing hidden gem a short walk along the canal. Full of cars, parts and memorabilia.

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