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Tag Archives: priorat

Friday Feature Photo: Mas Alta Vineyards, Priorat, Spain

Photographer: Gabriella Opaz Capture Date: March 14, 2013 Location: Mas Alta 100 year old Cariñena vineyards in Priorat About: Among the misty vineyards of Priorat, sits Esti, a sweet 4 month old puppy who actively “guards” the vines of Mas Alta Desktop Wallpaper: To download this image, simply right-click on the image and select “save link as” or “save target as”, then select the preferred location on your computer to save the photo. Purchase: Please contact us directly if you’re keen to purchase any of Catavino Friday Photo images. Note that the images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer. Tour: Contact us, if you’re looking for a wine and gastronomy tour in Priorat!

Schist: A Cultural Staple in the Douro Valley and Beyond

Editor’s Note: Fiona Lynch and her husband Jonathan, two passionate geologists, moved from Scotland to the Lima Valley in the Minho region in Portugal. We’re very appreciative of their willingness to share their experience, and hope this will be one of many we can expect from them in the future. Like most of northern Portugal, the geology of the Minho region is dominated by granite rocks. Rolling hills with massive round boulders cluster around peaks or are strewn about slopes and sandy river banks in the valleys. Every now and again, on my hikes through the forests or along the country lanes, I come across a ragged twist of dark orange schist called xisto. This thinly layered rock, ranging in […]

A Celebratory Milestone in the Vineyards: Budbreak

Whether it’s the sight of a flower blooming, or if you’re David Attenborough, the birth of baby elephants and tigers, the first glimpse of Spring does wonders to raise our spirits. A walk in the countryside or stroll in the park will reveal new growth in the flower beds and on the trees and the whole world seems to come alive once again. For viticulturalists and winemakers, Spring brings the same exciting feeling of expectation in the vineyards, as it’s the time of the first crucial milestone in the year-round process of producing wine – budbreak. Budbreak signifies the start of a new vintage and all the hopes and hard worth that come with it!  However, as important a time […]

Red Grape Varieties of the Mediterranean Deserving More Attention

Ever wondered why the same small bunch of grape varieties bobs up so frequently from wine regions around the world? There are many hundreds of different grapes out there, but only a small handful of them have managed to become widely grown and internationally known. Mostly grapes have to settle for limited local fame on their home turf. As far as red wines and black grapes are concerned the core range of grapes grown worldwide is really only Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir. I know some of you will take issue and say that I have ignored Malbec, Zinfandel or Pinotage – or something else that is dear to your heart, but really apart from the four I […]

Senseless Crime: A Priorat Winery is Hit with Vandalism

Not an hour ago, Catalan blogger, Joan Gomez Pallares of Devinis requested that we hit the internets with an important Press Release. Normally, we’re not ones to republish PR’s verbatim, but in this case, we feel you should hear it directly from the winery itself. We tried to call the winery, Terroir al Limit, for a statement but no one answered, understandably so. Also keep in mind that although petty crime is common in Spain, we rarely hear of vandalism of this nature – or of violent crime at all – and are truly saddened for the winery, extending our deepest sympathies. If you would like to contact the winery directly for more information, just head over to the the […]

Traditional Catalan Dish: Spanish Sausage, Spinach and Garbanzo Beans

Spain is synonymous with cured Jamon Iberico, olives and sharp Manchego cheese; but let’s not forget that it’s also the birthplace of a wide variety of sausages. Since the dawn of time, Spaniards have mastered the art of using, salt, spices and fresh air to preserve and cure their meats; and as centuries passed, their creativity blossomed, instigating an array of chorizos, salchichones, morcillas, butifarras, etc. to be eaten alone or with a traditional regional dish. Last night, with my husband (and chef) in London, I needed to don my (erm..his) apron and fashion a few tapas dishes for an impromptu dinner. And although I’m not a die-hard carnivore, I altered my fleshy green side to incorporate some rich Spanish […]

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: Fermentation I – Maceration Techniques

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 villlage 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 about 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 grape varieties of the Priorat. I got over half […]

Harvesting in the Priorat 2009: Differentiating Grape Varieties

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 villlage of Poboleda who’s 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 about his experience at the start of the harvest, visiting local wine festivals, the uncommon debate of when to pick the grapes and barrel topping, and the theory of Unnatural Selection. 10th October The day’s fly by during a hectic harvest. We start […]

Harvesting in the Priorat 2009: Philosophies Surrounding Grape Picking and Barrel Topping

Recently, a friend of ours Raymond Magourty, commonly known as Raymondo, 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 and second article, here. Tuesday, September 15th Today we crushed the young vine Garnacha Negra ‘Grenache’ (approx 10 […]