Today at midnight, we are heading off to Catalonia, which is located in the northeastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula containing everything from the craggy [Costa Brava->http://www.catavino.net/archives/212/2005/11/19/] coastline to the mountains of the Pyrenees, along with cities such as Barcelona, Tarragona, Lerida and Gerona. Generally known for its milder climate, Catalonia is one of the more prosperous regions of Spain than you would expect for both its size or its population.
In truth, Catalonia is an enormous region and in our limited time we plan on making it to two bodegas located in two different DOs: Montsant and the Penedes. Approved as a DO at a regional level in autumn 2001, [DO Montsant-> http://www.domontsant.com/#] has already received a considerable amount prestige as a subzone of DO Tarragona. The red wines are often blends that employ Garnacha, Cariñena with an occasional experimental French grape sneaking in from time to time.
[DO Penedes->http://www.dopenedes.es/index-gb.htm], has been known for their continual strides in improving upon previous successes. Known primarily for it’s Cava’s it has not relied on this success alone, and today you can find crisp exciting whites along with good examples of Spain’s deepest reds. The three main white grapes used for making Cava include, Macabeo ,Xare.lo and Parellada and we both look forward to seeing what other grapes are being played with.
After a few days doing the typical whirlwind tour, Gabriella will head back to Madrid while Ryan will attend [Alimentaria->http://alimentaria.com/es/global/portada.htm] in Barcelona – an international tradeshow on food and wine. Celebrating their 30th anniversary, Alimentaria anticipates nearly 5,000 food and beverage manufacturers, distributors from over 70 countries, and potentially, 150,000 visitors – not a bad turnout if all goes according to plan.
We expect a fantastic trip, which will include plenty of pictures, interviews and information. So, stay tuned for future articles.
Gabriella and Ryan