Notice anything different about the site? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a little more than a fire engine red manicure or a pair of new patten leather shoes. It’s more like dropping 7 dress sizes and then having Penelope Cruz give you full on fashion makeover! How’s THAT for change?!
Since the inception of Catavino, we’ve been collecting material at record pace without ever having annual spring cleaning. Pages were created, abandoned, and never deleted, while categories were added on impulse, rather than logic . Although not quite as impressive as my mom’s basement, our collection of useless content could easily be a contender.
Additionally, our content was circulating within a very small wine bubble, unable to expand to its full potential. Having come from a culture that perceives wine as beverage only enjoyed on very specific occasions, Europe took our breath away. Over the course of 4 years, we learned one very important lesson: wine is the lifeblood that pulses through everything. Whether we speak of a children’s theater performance or a dive bar in the middle of nowhere, wine is integral part of the experience. No matter who you meet, they are related to someone in the wine trade, and regardless if you like wine, both the Spanish and Portuguese are elatedÂ to share their opinions on which wines are of highest quality. Over time, it occurred to us that wine could only be truly understood through the culture, the people, the food and the events we experience traveling from region to region and town to town. By focusing only on wine, we were limiting ourselves from sharing all of the wonderful and rich experiences that make Spanish and Portuguese wine what it is.
So we decided to go full tilt and added a whole host of new features to make your experience at Catavino more enjoyable and user-friendly. Here are a few:
New Features of the Site
FAQ (Facts and Questions): Located in the navigation bar, this feature allows you to ask us any question under the sun! From the number of indigenous grapes in Spain to the bus company that runs from Madrid to Logroño, we’ll always do our best to answer them. Simply type in your question, and if it is not a duplicate, we’ll hit the books in search of an answer. If, and when, we find you a quasi intelligent answer (not always possible, but we’ll try), we’ll publish your question and our results in the FAQ section. Currently, it’s slim pickings in there now, but over the next few weeks, we’ll start populating it with questions and answers. But we need your help. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Able Grape Search Bar: Ablegrape is a marvel of created by our friend Doug Cook, a search engine relates solely to wine. Meaning that if you want to search for the word “grape”, for example, you can through ablegrape and be assured that the results are exclusively wine related! Read this to learn more about this amazing tool. Last year, Ryan suggested to Doug that he would like Ablegrape to allow us to do site search for Catavino. After much debate back and forth, we’re excited to announce that it is now a reality! If you’ll notice, there is also a search box located in the upper right sidebar. This search box is linked to Able Grape and Ablegrape’s index of Catavino.net. This is seriously a cool feature! Thanks Doug!
Featured Articles: Our new site allows us to highlight articles we think are worth your full attention – not to say that all our articles aren’t worth your attention, mind you 😉 Additionally, you can also search by categories, including: food, travel, wine, tourism, events and even a podcast. The last of which we will be launching again in the near future! However, with the new design, there will be many places where the thumbnail image to the article is not displayed correctly. We will do our best to correct that over the coming weeks, but it may take a little time. So bear with us a we fix some of the bugs. If you find one you can always let us know on our contact page!
Advertising: Despite the fact that we took a long and much needed hiatus from advertising, we are now accepting offers for either advertising or sponsorship of Catavino.net. We have a much bigger audience at this point and we want to develop some new features, so hopefully a few ads can help us out. Currently, we have taken on Google Adsense, but if you, or anyone you know, is interested in filling the space, please drop us a line – we’d rather not use the “google” if we don’t have to.
Author Profiles: We are proud to say that our team of talented, witty and passionate writers is expanding slowly but surely. With the new site, we wanted to ensure that if you are partial to a particular author, you could read other articles written by that individual. Simply click on the contributor page and choose the link to the archives of the author you wish to read. And viola! It’s that easy! However, truth be told, we’re still looking for more writers. If you are passionate about Iberian food, wine and culture, please contact us!
Spanish and Portuguese Maps: Located under “maps” in the navigation bar, our intention is to provide you with a visual representation of our articles. Although we are far from achieving that goal, we will attempt to populate both the Spanish and Portuguese maps in the future. For now, you can at least use it as a reference anytime you wish to get a better idea of where a wine region is located. If you would like a physical, comprehensive map for your wall, we are still selling Delong’s Iberian Wine Map throughout Europe. Attractive, detailed, and a fantastic resource, we feel that Delong’s map is the best thing to happen for Iberian wine since we’ve arrived here! 🙂
New Photo Gallery: Truth be told, I made a promise to Ryan that any proceeds made through the sale of his photos will go directly to a new camera. So as you can imagine, as a result of this agreement, he’s been spending many an hour working on his photography. So we’re excited to show off a new and more interactive gallery of wine photos! Simply head over to the gallery and browse away! And if your interested, head over to the online shop to purchase any of the photos you especially enjoy.
Otherwise, we ask for you to have patience with us over the next week while we get work through the bugs of the new site. Additionally, if you find anything glaring that needs to be fixed, we would love for you to tell us about it through Twitter, our contact page or simply in the comment section below.
We hope you like the new look, and thanks for continuing to follow our adventure!
Gabriella and Ryan Opaz