Their success; their ability to effectively communicate about spanish and portuguese wine; their energy to grow and create dynamic, authentic and extraordinary services have attracted hundreds of thousands of iberian wine lovers from around the world.
Joan Gómez Pallarès

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Happy Holidays from Catavino to all our Iberian Wine Loving Friends

2012 has been a long journey for Catavino. We began the year without a future, but after a flood of support from a large and loving international community, we returned with a newfound spirit to continue sharing our adventures throughout Iberia. And with this fabulous new energy, our community of writers and readers has substantially grew. Thank you to Sonia Nolasco, Andrea Smith, Quentin Sadler, Burt  Frink, Tara O’Leary, Rick Fisher, and Louis Villard for all of your hard work and insightful writing, and we look forward to more of your stories in the new year! The entire Catavino team wishes everyone fabulous year filled with new wines, great food, and most importantly, long evenings chatting with friends and family. Wine […]

Final Thoughts on the Douro and Portuguese Wine

From the moment I first visited Porto in the winter of 2003 I have been in love with this city. I’m not entirely sure what grabbed me, but whatever it was, it’s never let go. Sitting in my room at the Yeatman Hotel, overlooking the Douro river and the colorful hillside of Porto’s historic center, I feel incredibly fortunate to be here. The people are friendly and welcoming. The food is diverse and exciting. And the downtown is undergoing a revival, where new shops, restaurants and hotels are popping up like mushrooms after the fall rain, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Rain can be absolutely magical, especially when the river sparkles from little pitter-patters of gentle drops; but […]

Rick Fisher for Albariño Explorers Club Ambassador

Summer is but a distant memory in the northern hemisphere ,and white wines will soon begin to collect dust on the shelf, but things are just heating up for Rias Baixas – one of Spain’s premier white wine regions. The area’s U.S. campaign (Albariño Explorers Club) is moving into full swing and is preparing for a great 2013. In an effort to increase interest and exposure to Rias Biaxas and the Albariño grape (one of the world’s great white varietals), the search is on for the first-ever Albariño Explorers Club (AEC) Ambassador. We at Catavino are particularly happy to support this endeavor as one of our own writers, Rick Fisher, is seeking the Ambassadorship. Rick lives in San Diego and has been with Catavino for nearly three […]

Memes and Wine – What wine could learn from the internets

Do you know what a meme is? Defined online as: An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation. An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another. In the 21st century, the meme has been a main drivers of content online. Often born out of the darker places of the web like 4chan or news sites like Reddit, the meme can be a force to be reckoned with. Famous ones you may or may not have heard of include: Dancing Baby, O RLY, LOLCats, and the Star Wars Kid. If you haven’t heard of these, a VERY short google search will lead you to hours, […]

Douro: A Portuguese Region Sprinkled with Pixie Dust

Dreams can be silly. Not the kind that leave you befuddled in the morning, wondering if you’re awake or asleep, but the type that remain on your “maybe one day” wish list. I had a dream. From the moment I learned about how Port wine was made, I wanted to climb into the lagars and earn my “purple foot” badge. Today, I’m proud to say that I finally did it! Granted, it was the “tourist version”, sans the 3 hour stomp and the strict discipline in how we marched, but at least my friends and I on the #Douro12 tour did get sticky. Very sticky. Dreams are inherently different from reality. While we were visiting Quinta de Leda, part of […]

Unusual Spanish Bedfellows: Garnatxa Beer

The names we give to our fermented friends are often misleading and do more to confuse than to clarify. People consistently tell me that I’m a beer person or a wine person, when in reality, you are making a pretty large generalization by lumping all liquids in one group. For instance, Sake, the “wine of Japan” is actually a beer. Some claim that calling it a beer is doing a diservice; though I would argue that by not acknowledging its roots, you are playing to class warfare. There is no shame in beer! Wine is any fruit’s fermented liquid. We do make exceptions for apples and pears, classifying them at times as  cider  and perry, but at their most basic […]

#DOURO12 – Exploring the oldest wine region in the world!

Come autumn, every wine lover pays keen attention to vineyard stories: a time of lush fruit, turning leaves and the promise of great wines in the coming year. As the ebbing summer comes to a close, we do our very best to reach these vineyards in hopes of experiencing a touch of the harvest: smelling the earth, while bending low to pick the very best grapes, our hands dripping in sweet juice. This year, we’ll be sharing a bit of the magic on Catavino live from the Douro valley in Portugal. Over the course of the next week, 5 adventurers from around the world (including myself), will tour the Douro Valley in Portugal, renowned for their Porto wines among many […]

Spanish Culture Documentary – “Arribes: Everything else is noise”

Editor’s Note: Over the years, we’ve watched Zev Robinson create a long list of memorable and meaningful documentaries. From his first investigation into the relatively unknown native grape of Utiel-Requena called, Bobal, to his story of the first demarcated wine region in the world: the Douro in Portugal. Zev is known for films that feel like moving paintings, with stories that ebb and flow into the highly contrasted light and shadow. They are eye-catching, thoughtful and attack subjects that are near and dear to his heart. His most recent work on the very small Spanish wine region of Arribes appears to be as breathtaking and thought-provoking as his previous work. I know we are excited to see it, and hopefully […]

The Flavor Revolution

There is a quiet revolution happening in Spain. Everywhere, youth, elderly and everyone in between are waking up to flavor. They are starting to demand quality, while seeking variety. This quiet revolution saw it’s first rumblings in 2005, and within a few years, has experienced rapidly building excitement throughout the Spanish countryside. Last March, a plaza in Barcelona’s famed barrio “El Borne” was flooded with passionate Barcelonians for a massive “protest”. So crowded was the event that curious locals were turned away at the door. A similar “protest” broke out this past weekend, as Gabriella and I walked the tree covered streets of Poble Nou, and to say we were awe struck, would be an understatement.

The Possibility of Impossibilities

A blanc de noir and a noir de blanc (or “A story of cross-dressing grapes”) When we ‘closed’ Catavino (or rather, put up the virtual ‘gone fishing’ sign), we hinted that our finale might end up being more of a pause in our existence. With time and resources being limited, we opted to focus on those projects that fed us and offered us longevity. However, we knew we would find it difficult not to share our experiences, especially when, as happened recently, we were tasting things that made us stop and think. To be honest, these weren’t wines that we’d run out to buy up by the case, but they did demonstrate a considerable amount of creativity … and if creativity exists, so […]