This is an indispensable tool for those who want to follow, in English, what really goes on in the world of Spanish and Portuguese wines – lively, informative and, most important, first-hand, on-the-scene knowledge!
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Tag Archives: winemaking

Vinyes dels Aspres: Redefining Sweet Wines in the Emporda

To be different takes courage! I appreciate that which cannot be defined and those who fail to fit a description. As long you express yourself authentically, it’s absolutely irrelevant to me if you have 3 eyes, adore Coors Lite, or have a house filled with a half dozen ferrets. Individuality is interesting. This same theory holds true for wine. Those wines that make me stop in my tracks and say “whaaaaat is that?!” are typically wines that I won’t forget. Like the homeless fellow in Barcelona who grabbed me by the hand, looked me in the eyes and said, “Eres el sol!” then promptly kissed me on the cheek and went on his way, showed an unforgettable sense of genuineness, […]

The Essential Difference Between DO de Pago and Grandes Pagos de España

Editor’s Note: DO de Pago and Grandes Pagos de España can be easily confused, but as Louis Villard of Spiltwine.com found out at a recent tasting, the two are fighting similar causes, yet are altogether different. One of the only things that links the DO de Pago and Grandes Pago de Espana is the word Pago; and to be a Pago, one must make a wine from estate grown grapes. The somewhat controversial DO de Pago is the official term used for Spain’s highest level of classification. As of now there are only nine vineyards with the classification. DO de Pago became official in 2003 and the only two regions to have ratified it are Castilla La-Mancha and Navarra. It’s […]

Competition for Young, Innovative Winemakers! But Where are the Spanish and Portuguese?!!

Have you heard of Naked Wines? No? Then you don’t live and breathe in the UK wine world. Simple as that. Approximately a year ago, Naked Wines transformed internet wine sales when they developed a unique approach to online wine retail. Essentially, they realized that wine drinkers weren’t the final decision makers when choosing which wines were available to purchase online. Using a combination of direct marketing and recruited wine drinkers (not wine professionals) when choosing their wine selections, they made big waves across the sector. Not only were they reaching out to small wineries, but they were also introducing previously unknown wine makers into the UK market. What’s truly incredible, or sad, is that they only have 2 Portuguese […]

Iberian Spotlight: The economics of the 2009 harvest and its implications (part 1)

Editor’s note: Everyday, we come across fantastic articles on an Iberian food, wine or cultural experience by a blogger. Some are based here in Spain and Portugal, while others are chiming in halfway around the globe with a new Portuguese recipe or Spanish wine. So in the spirit of sharing quality content, we’re featuring a new section on Catavino called, “Iberian Spotlight”, which will highlight articles we feel are too great to pass by. Many of these bloggers aren’t getting the recognition they deserve, and by spotlighting them, we’re hoping to show added appreciation for their effort! If you want to submit an article to Catavino, or if you know of a blogger we should contact, please let us know […]

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: 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 […]

Harvesting the Priorat: Picking Pedro Ximenez Grapes

Editor’s Note: Have you ever wanted to work a grape harvest – picking, hauling and carrying grapes until your body feels like its been beaten by a 50 pound sandbag? Personally, I have, in part because I’m a sucker for manual labor, but also because I find farming to be a very grounding task. It takes the wine we buy in a store, bottled in sleek and attractive packaging, and brings it back to its essence. Manual harvests introduce humans back to nature, allowing us to smell the earth, feel its natural grittiness under our fingernails and taste a freshly plucked sweet grape from the vine. This process is far from clean, perfect or orderly, but it is life inspiring. […]

Valencia Land of Wine – Free Chapter: Dominio de la Vega, San Antonio (DO Utiel-Requena)

Editor’s Note: This is the 3rd chapter we are publishing of  Valencia Land of Wine (see 1st and 2nd chapter). Articles are written by Joan C. Martin, and translated by John Maher. Each story is straight from the pages of El Pais’s Valencian edition that highlights an aspect of Valencian wine history through the story of one wine. If you are enjoying the stories, you might consider buying a copy with this link:Valencia Land of Wine. Dominio de la Vega Especial: A Singular Cava Dominio de la Vega, San Antonio (DO Utiel-Requena) Dominio de la Vega is a Cava created only a few years ago by Fermín Pardo, Emilio Expósito and Álvaro Faubel, who were among the original shareholders of […]

Fondillón: A Very Unique Style of Sweet Spanish Wine from Alicante

Coming across Fondillón is a bit like meeting Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s Ancient Mariner, buttonholing you with stories of ancient glories and disaster. You’re half fascinated and half disbelieving. Yet he starts pulling bits and pieces out of his pockets – there is the price list of leading Alicante wine merchants Maisonnave & Co. from the nineteenth-century showing that its top Fondillon cost 800 francs per hectolitre, while its top Port cost 153, its top Sherry 204, its top Madeira 272. But what happened? The other wines mentioned may have their ups and downs, but they are still household names and are still drunk enthusiastically in their places of origin and appear on international wine lists. In Alicante itself you’d have […]