lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2009

* * * * * Feliz Navidad - Happy Christmas * * * * *

Amigos y visitantes: Casa Josephine os desea una Feliz Navidad a todos.

Merry Christmas to you all, dear friends and visitors!

jueves, 12 de noviembre de 2009

Visitando vecinos: Lola.

Un paseo por las colinas en torno a Sorzano siempre es mejor cuando termina con una visita a nuestra querida Lola Barasoain en su antiguo molino. Lola vive entre bosques y arroyuelos dedicada a su pasión: las almazuelas.

As the poet once put it, "the woods are lovely, dark and deep", but the woods around Sorzano are even lovelier since Lola Barasoain (one of the world's specialists in patchwork, and beloved friend) lives there. It is always charming to end a walk in the countryside paying a visit to Lola in her 18th mill.

domingo, 25 de octubre de 2009


A little bit of consant upkeeping....Since the very first day, we decided to take a hands-on approach. So here we are, keeping Casa Josephine beautiful and fit!

viernes, 16 de octubre de 2009

View from our window: summer...

...seems to be lingering, and we are enjoying the lovely weather, wishing that the leaves took just a little bit longer to turn their color!

jueves, 15 de octubre de 2009

Bakery "Las Cien Doncellas"

The bakers in Sorzano have been awarded "Artesanos de La Rioja", a title that certifies that all the procedures used to make their bread and delicious pastries follow the tradition and respect the highest standards.
Theirs is the only bakery in Rioja to hold the title.

In the bakery (one minute away from Casa Josephine) you will also find organic olive oil, chocolate, honey, ice-creams...
Check their web for a visual sample of their excellent production.
In the meantime, we will dip a piece of crusty fresh bread in olive oil from Sorzano and think: isn't life nice?

miércoles, 14 de octubre de 2009

Algunos blogs sobre vino

Mientras esperamos a que el vino de este año esté listo, navegamos por la web para encontrar algunos blogs que os recomendamos:

-Los emprendedores Arranz-Argote, dueños de la interesantísima bodega ARAR, en Navarrete (a pocos kilómetros de nuestra casa) han hecho El Blog de una cepa. Información detallada y precisa sobre el proceso del vino....casi minuto a minuto.

-El Rioja de Blog en Blog es una iniciativa del Gobierno de la Rioja, que entra así en la blogosfera.

-Y, Devinis, el blog de Joan Gómez Pallarès, con una impresionante selección de blog sobre vino.

martes, 13 de octubre de 2009


To celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of harvest, Sorzano got ready for its Fiesta!
Besides the religious parade, we had a theater première (congratulations!), local food tastings, wine, cheese and beer tasting lessons, a huge paella (for 500 people), costume parties and, of course, all-night dancing.
We had a ball. Indeed.

miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2009

Casa Josephine room by room (2)

This is Casa Josephine's living room on the first floor. As the house has a capacity for up to 10 people, we wanted to create spacious areas where our guests can relax, have a chat, read or simply do nothing, which seems to be ultimate luxury these days...

The drawing on the wall (the turtle and the rabbit) is a piece by our dearest friend Silja Goetz.

martes, 6 de octubre de 2009

Presents for Pablo

A lovely birthday at Casa Josephine. Pablo turned 35.

Raquel brought this.

Óscar brought this.

Lola cut these hydrangeas from her garden and came down from her mountain retreat for a cup of chocolate.

Josué thought Pablo needed to unwind.

José picked the kindly fruits of the earth from his orchard...

...and Iñigo converted them into a fritada: sun-riped tomato from our orchard, green peppers, olive oil and garlic.

miércoles, 30 de septiembre de 2009

Casa Josephine room by room (1)

What a pleasure is to wake up in this sun-bathed room at Casa Josephine!

With a window that faces south and a balcony that faces east, the first rays of the morning sun light up this room, its entrance hall and its en-suite bathroom.

We chose light pale colours...

...some coral, fossils, mirrors, a crazy lamp...

...and a wild chessboard for the floor!

domingo, 23 de agosto de 2009

Our neighbor Lola: The Queen of Patchwork

Sorzano is proud to have Lola Barasoain as its most distinguished neighbor. Former coutourier -and model- for the Givenchy atelier in Paris, she chose Rioja as her place to live in the early seventies.

Way back then, she started collecting patchwork samples, quilts and ornaments from the old ladies in the villages, saving this art form from disappearing in Rioja.
Lola is considered to be the world's specialist in Spanish Patchwork (called "almazuelas").

Her house in the woods near Sorzano, "El molino", is a former mill, refurbished to hold an impressive collection of textiles and old patchwork patterns.
El molino was featured recently in Casa & Campo magazine .

There she conducts her patchwork classes and lectures,
summer camps and activities for children.

And here's the material we dealt with when we gave patchwork a try...

And here's the results. Casa Josephine's patchwork!

How about a stay in Casa Josephine perfecting your patchwork technique?
Let yourself be pampered at our cozy Casa and enjoy private daily patchwork lessons with expert Lola Barasoain.
Contact us at for a patchwork holiday.

miércoles, 5 de agosto de 2009

Our Top-Ten favourite restaurants (3): Marqués de Riscal

Francis Paniego is himself a guarantee of excellent cuisine. His experience at mythical restaurant Echaurren, in Ezcaray, has prepared him for this new challenge: to orchestrate and conduct the kitchen at Marqués de Riscal Starwood Hotel, in Elciego.
You can opt for the "nouvelle cuisine" experience at the elegant "Restaurante Marqués de Riscal", at the top of the building, or at the "Bistró 1860" which has a slighty more casual atmosphere.

And then, how about relaxing at Spa Caudalie?

Sounds like a plan, doesn't it?

martes, 4 de agosto de 2009

Happy birthday, Patricia

Our best friend in Sorzano, lovely charming wonderful kind-hearted Patricia is celebrating her birthday today.
Felicidades, querida Patricia. Te queremos muchísimo.

(We are sure that guests and clients of Casa Josephine who have had the chance to meet her are joining us today singing "Happy Birthday")

Introducing our wine guru

We owe everything we know about wine to Lidia García Merino, one of the best "noses" in Rioja Wine Region. She holds -among many others- the honor of being the first woman to be admitted into "Cofradía Del Vino de Rioja", a board of aenologists, wine makers and wine experts dedicated to study and promote the knowledge of local wines of the highest standards. Her natural gift for tasting wine keeps astonishing us, and we follow her advice on wine blindly.
So far, we have neven gone wrong.
¡Gracias, Lidia! We love you!

a walk at sunset

Strolling at sunset. My favorite espadrilles, orchards, paths....This week, the earth is overwhelming us with gladioli all over the place.

Maria, breakfast at Casa Josephine

miércoles, 22 de julio de 2009

Fiesta time

Local festivities concentrate in the months of May, August and September.
With the ocasion of The Virgin of August (15th), Sorzano celebrates a procession to the local hermit. It is a ritual called "subir al bollo", which could be translated as "climb the hill and get the bread roll"...indeed.

Step 1- The dancers and the walkers parade up the path to the hermit. Along with them goes the trickster, dressed in a colourful striped suit. It is a figure of pagan origin.

Step 2-Mass is celebrated. Which does not mean that it is attended.

Step 3-Bread rolls stuffed with chorizo are distributed to the people.

Step 4- Dancers lead the parade down the hill.

Step 5- ...the authorities follow, carrying a nice pie for the statue of the Virgin

Step 6- ...and Virgin Mary goes down the hill. In the village, the parade ends at the main church.

Step 7- And the dancers take a rest before the paella.