…a very responsible blog…catavino.net…[it's] refreshing to see such professionalism.
Robert M. Parker Jr.

An Iberian Wine Year in Review

Ryan and Gabriella - Norway 2005

We began our year in Norway eating lutefisk, potato lefse, gjetost and sipping aquavit by the roaring hot fire among our family. It was a Holiday season that invoked a feeling that you were living in a children’s story where the bread was always warm and fresh, the food was delicious and the family ended every night slightly tipsy but full of warm holiday cheer. It was a perfect beginning to a new year.

Upon arrival back in Madrid, Spain, Ryan immediately repacked his bags and took off to the Alentejo Region in Portugal where he met with several different bodegas such as Quinta de Moro, Herdade de Esporão and José Sousa, while tasting incredibly delicious wine among warm loving people. The Portuguese are not only generous and inviting people, but they also live among some some gorgeous scenery you have ever laid your eyes upon, which has made it difficult for us to stay away from the country as much as we have. Although our trips have been limited over the past few years, we are dedicating our energy to including several more articles and podcasts from Portugal in the upcoming year. Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten our western neighbor’s wine!

Sunset - Alentejo


Podcasting entered Catavino’s repertoire this past year when we decided that we wanted to expand our coverage, offering people a convenient way to listen to stories about Iberian wine without having to be attached to your computer screen. Although podcasting has been slow for us to grow, we are confident that in the coming year we’ll work out the kinks and get on a schedule. Neither of us have had a background in radio, requiring us to learn an entirely new language. As a result, our first handful of podcasts sound a little like we are talking in a muffled cave, but as time continued, we are proud to say that we are slowly getting the hang of it. Roy Hersh was kind enough to join us on our second podcast, followed by a trip to the Penedés, interviews with winemakers in the Duero, along with a few phone conversations with an author and a wine grape geek!

Wine and Mic

Barcelona, here we come! 2006 also marked Catavino’s headquarters moving to Terrassa, Spain, located approximately 30 minutes outside of Barcelona proper. Although it did create a bit of disruption in work flow as a result of not having an internet connection for approximately a month, we made due finding Internet cafes wherever we could. We couldn’t be more pleased to be among the mountains, the sea, the fresh air and the hectares upon hectares of vines that we have finally put our suitcases away and called Terrassa “home”. Sure, learning a third language has been a bit of chore, but it is one we have taken on with joy and excitement and hope to pass on to you. Additionally, what better incentive to move than to have the opportunity to try a completely different side of Spain that we hadn’t tasted before!

2+1 Survey

2006 commenced the2 + 1 Iberian Wine Survey. Our original intention behind this quirky little survey was to pick the brains of wine bloggers to see if we couldn’t stir up some personal dialogue about Iberian wine by offering them an opportunity to share their experiences. It’s easy to write articles about things you believe people want to learn, but it’s a completely different entity to actually go to the individual themselves. The survey consisted of 3 questions: 2 we asked of the individual and 1 that a podcaster, a wine charter, and a spitter took time to ask us. What started as a fun idea, developed into a popular article which people really enjoyed reading. Our hope is to expand this into 2007 to include everyday Spanish and Portuguese wine drinkers from all over the world.

As you know, Catavino covers a very specific niche of wine. Therefore, over the past few years, we have heard several mistruths proported about Spanish and Portuguese wine that are wholeheartedly believed by the people who share them. We accept that we all have some ideas in our heads that aren’t necessarily true but have been acquired by past experiences; but when these ideas are believed by the masses is when we felt another reality needed to be presented. The Iberian Myth Busters is a series we created to debunk myths we’ve heard time and time again such as that vintage actually matters or that sulfites are added to wine and cause headaches. This series has also been a great success for us and one that we fully intend to continue in the years to come. If you think you know of a myth that needs busting, send us a note and we’ll look into it!

myth

Looking back over the year, we feel that Catavino has not only added some fun and interesting new segments, but has re-evolved itself time and time again. We love to talk to you while we travel Iberia hunting for stories, and we hope the year to come is as successful as the year that is leaving us including more mushrooms, Cava and hopefully a return to port.

Thank you all for continually supporting us, while giving us your feedback as to how we can make Catavino the best only Spanish and Portuguese wine blog on the web.

Buenas Fiestas! (Spanish)
Bones Festes! (Catalan)
Boas festas! (Portuguese)

From Gabriella, Ryan and Txarli (our computer wire terrorizing cat!)