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Tag Archives: catalunya

Mas Candi: Reinvigorating the Native Grapes of the Penedès

As we’ve boasted on many an occasion, the Penedes is an unlimited geyser of native grapes. From our beloved Xarel.lo, a white chameleon grape capable of displaying intense tropical fruit and mineral aromas, to Samso, a vivacious and precocious  red grape, the Penedes is a multifaceted palette of flavors. Yet, despite our undying support for this treasure trove of gorgeous fruit, it’s uncommon to find a winery equally dedicated to preserving its native resources. Over the years, wineries have eagerly ripped up their perfectly disorganized vineyards, chock full of native grapes, to plant internationally renowned grapes. Though varieties such as Chardonnay, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Gewurztraminer have crafted some impressive wines of both personality and quality in Spain, it […]

Rovellones: “Golden Fungus of the Gods”

I often joke that I live in Spain exclusively for its cured Jamon. It is one of the few things that is truly singular to Spain. Granted, you can now buy it in London, and in limited qualities in the USA, among other countries; but in truth, it is only at its best when fresh and served from the rafters of a smokey bar in the side streets of Spain. Jamon Iberico de Bellota is a priceless experience, but there just might be one more Spanish delicacy you can add to the list: Spanish mushrooms! Now, I know that other countries have their unique mushrooms, and if I lived elsewhere, I would most likely argue their greatness as well. Having […]

La Vuelta a España Stages 10-12: Cava, Penedes & Costers del Segre

In our next installment of La Vuelta a España (check out the first and second installments), we’re now coming across one of our favorite regions in Spain, Catalunya. And having spent the last 3 days doing a massive road trip through the designated route of La Vuelta, the cyclists should be in for a thrilling adventure, not to mention a jaw dropping view! So what makes Catalunya the absolute treasure chest it is? Well, first and foremost, one must understand that this is not Spain. For those of you who thought otherwise, realize that the region has fought tooth and nail to retain its unique culture, history and language after decades of oppression under Franco (1936-1975). Catalan, the official language […]

Holiday Wines from Writers: Rick Fisher and John Maher

Here’s a quick look at what two of Catavino’s writers were drinking this holiday season. Needless to say all of us here at Catavino found our tables full of good foods and wines, sometimes Iberian and sometimes not. We’ll have more updates on the wines and foods enjoyed as we get back into our blogging rhythm! Also if you want to share a special Iberian wine holiday story, please email us at: [email protected], and we’ll considering posting it here! Happy New Year to all! Rick Fisher My favorite part of the holidays is the wealth of opportunities to eat great food and drink even better wine. It’s not that I can’t or don’t do that throughout the year; it just […]

Harvesting in the Priorat: Fermentation II, Pigeage, ‘Lees’, and Monitoring Fermentations

A friend of ours Raymond Magourty (Raymondo) is working the 2009 harvest in Priorat, Catalunya for Celler Mas Doix, a prestigious wine producer located in the village of Poboleda whose Parker Points have elevated it in popularity. With his background in wine education, and ambition to learn more about the practicalities of wine-making, the winery employed him as ‘bodeguero’ during the harvest. Raymondo will continue chiming in for the remainder of the harvest! You can also read the first part of this post about maceration & fermentation, his experience at the start of the harvest, visiting local wine festivals, the uncommon debate of when to pick the grapes and barrel topping, the theory of Unnatural Selection, and of course, typical […]

Harvesting in the Priorat 2009: Wine Tourists, Wine Festivals and Grape Picking

Recently, a friend of ours Raymond Magourty, was given the opportunity to work the harvest for a Mas Doix, a prestigious wine producer in the town of Poboleda who’s recent Parker Points have elevated it in popularity, is located in the Priorat. With his background in wine, and desire to learn more about about the Priorat, the winery took him on as an apprentice during the harvest. Hence over the next few months, Raymond will be chiming every now and then with his day to day experiences working a Cataluna harvest! To see his first article, go here. Thursday, September 10th The Mas Doix bodega (winery) is in the tiny remote mountain village of Poboleda in Priorat. We don’t get […]

D.O. Emporda: A Mecca of Natural Beauty and Legendary Wine Stories

Last week, we had the pleasure of enjoying some quality family time in the small mountainous town of Calonge, located north of Barcelona, southeast of Girona and not a stone’s throw from the sea. Perched on a terraced mountain at approximately 500 feet, our casa rural overlooked the dry bush valley, spotted with pine trees, white rhododendrons and red bougainvilleas that slowly declined directly into the bright blue Mediterranean. This entire coastal area is called the Costa Brava, with absolutely breathtakingly scenery and considered the perfect getaway place when you only want to drive an hour to find yourself on the small pebbled beach, relaxing under a palm tree, while eating freshly grilled sardines. In wine terms, Calonge is located […]

Catavino Heads to DO Montsant for Another Regional Report!

What is a regional report? Well, it’s as detailed and comprehensive as your yearly physical, only a hell of a lot more fun! We create a website dedicated to a specific region and pack it full of information. Articles you’ll encounter generally include: typical grape varietals, winemaking trends, interviews with winemakers, tasting notes, culinary history and tradition, places to stay and enough photos to create your own coffee table book. In short, our intention is to answer any and all questions you have on a given region. And as the title of this post has already disclosed, we’re heading to DO Montsant this Thursday where we’ll spend 3 days and 2 nights visiting approximately a dozen+ bodegas, a half dozen […]

Barcelona: Which Wineries You Can Visit By Train

Quite often, we receive requests from people visiting Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon or Oporto, as to which wineries they can visit by train, taxi or foot. Our responses have commonly been, “Good question! And to be quite honest, I don’t know!” Well, maybe Oporto is the exception, as you have a plethora you can get to, but the rest are rather iffy at best. As mentioned in several articles on Catavino, enotourism in Iberia is rather primitive at best. Very few wineries even allow visits, less have someone speaking anything other than their regional language, and just a handful will actually go out of their way to make your transportation to their winery convenient and easy. That said, we decided to […]

Annual Medieval Festival in Vic, Catalunya: The Culture of Vi Calent or Mulled Wine

Last year, we hinted that we were going to be attending our first Medieval Festival in Vic, located north of Barcelona approximately 70 km, but we never let you in on the experience. Vic is the capital of the region Osona, nestled alongside the once beautiful Meder River. Now, unfortunately, the fumes that float up from the once pristine waters smell something closer to 2 month old rotten eggs, but the town itself is quaint, swanky and primarily built in Neoclassical architecture. On a crisp, overcast winter day, Vic is a wonderful and almost dreamlike town to visit. Having gone with a large group of friends in December of 2007, we were completely swept away by its charm and beauty, […]