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Ireland Tour; O’Brien Wine Club 2014; Day 1

Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey Copyright 2014  Andy Richards

Ha’Penny Bridge over the River Liffey
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

In April, 2014, we traveled to Ireland with The O’Brien Estate Wine Club for a tour of the country. This was not a “general” sightseeing tour of Ireland, however. Late April marks the anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf, in which Ireland’s most famous high king, Brian Boru’, defeated Nordic Invaders, only to be assassinated shortly thereafter.

Ha'Penny Bridge River Liffey Copyright 2014  Andy Richards

Ha’Penny Bridge
River Liffey
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Bart and Barb O’Brien, proprietors of the estimable O’Brien Estate Winery in Napa, California, like all American O’Briens, are direct descendants of Brian Boru’, and they thought it would be a great idea to follow the lifeline of King Brian, culminating in the festival of the battle of Clontarf (now a suburb of Dublin). Our trip ended with a 3 night stay in the Clontarf Castle, which is now a very nice hotel in Dublin. The O’Brien Estate wines, which feature names such as “Fascination,” “Seduction,” “Romance of the Heart,” are award-winning wines, garnering Wine Spectator scores in the mid and high 90s. I can attest from personal experience that there wines are unique, wonderful and have few peers.

O'Brien Estate Wine Club 2014 Irish Tourism Tour Copyright 2014  Andy Richards

O’Brien Estate Wine Club
2014 Irish Tourism Tour
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

We spent a week (and what sometimes seemed like endless hours on a bus), covering the Connemara district, the Burren, and the areas around Galway, Limerick, Armaugh and Dublin where Brian Boru’ had significant “life events.” In that journey, we saw our share of Irish countryside, castles, and churches. We also frequented an Irish Pub or two, visited a whiskey distillery, and the Guinness Storehouse. The next couple blogs will chronicle some of those visits.

CITY CENTER DUBLIN, IRELAND 04192014000045

Irish Pub near Guinness Storehouse Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

We arrived in Dublin the morning before our group was to convene, and after checking into our hotel (the Ashling) in Dublin, we embarked on a whirlwind tour of the city center, including a walking tour.

Dublin Castle Copyright 2014  Andy Richards

Dublin Castle
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

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