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Tag Archives: Winery

Eating at Monvinic, Broadcasting a Live Harvest in London and a Few Random Thoughts

It’s been awhile since we’ve published a post with odds and ends, but the moment has arrived. First up, my experience dining at Barcelona’s famous, Monvinic. As you may recall, my first visit was less then stellar, ending in a rather scathing post. But this time, I had the great fortune of being treated to lunch, where I experienced impeccable service and a spread of delectable food that impressed. (Image by beckysnyder) Our appetizers began with Bunyols de bacallà, or cod “balls”, containing a juicy center with creamy fish goodness oozing out the sides. This was a fish fritter I could fall in love with! Next up, a large plate of the renowned Spanish Jamon de Iberico, thin and perfectly […]

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 […]

Iberian Wine Resources: Which Winery Blogs and Wine Resources are Relevant to You?

When we arrived to Spain a half decade ago, there were exactly zero wine blogs in Iberia. In fact, blogging was just taking form as a medium; a blank slate they say, that has no means of being erased. Once Catavino began to publish, many of the Spanish and Portuguese citizen wine bloggers emerged, inevitably motivating wineries to join in on the fun. Today, it’s getting harder to keep up with all the wine blogs, food blogs and winery blogs proliferating on this Bacchus blessed peninsula of ours. Additionally true, it’s becoming equally difficult to sort through the ample amount of web pages that have good information on the wines of Iberia. However, we’re going to do our best to […]

Favorite Wine Experiences of the Summer: Share Your Priceless Moments!

Whenever I’m asked, “What was your favorite….”, I end up looking a bit starry eyed, clueless as to how I can answer the question sincerely. Life is compilation of experiences, both good and bad, and to narrow down your rich treasured moments to a single point in time is both daunting and elusive to me. However, far be it for me to hold back on an experience that touched both Ryan and I this summer. One of our favorite experiences was visiting DO Montsant to partake in a tasting of approximately 80 wines, most of which were both surprising and distinct in character. Having visited the region on several occasions, focusing most of our attention on the Priorat, our knowledge […]

Lavinyeta in DO Emporda: A Very Non-Spanish, Spanish Bodega

Approximately a week ago, we tasted the 2006 Llavors from a winery in DO Emporda called Lavinyeta. Ryan bought it from a small wine shop in the coastal town of Estartit a month prior, while I was out biking the dirt trails; yet neither of us knew a lick about it, other  than it was local, had a fabulous black and white label with a map of the region, and was in our price range. The winery is located in the small town of Mollet de Peralada, and to date, we’ve only had the pleasure of tasting one of their wines. In 2002, the family bought the land with little more than 2 hectares of 50-70 year old samso and […]

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 […]

Top 5 Reasons Spain and Portugal Can Succeed at Social Media

After my last post on Iberia’s state of success using social media, I received several supporting emails and a few others who felt as if I was a bit tough on Spain. My intent was to write a post that motivated both countries to prove me wrong in my assessment that they are falling behind the times. Social Media, the Internet and technology are the future, and in some places, the present when marketing wine online. There are two options for wineries: admit its existence and discuss ways to approach the internet, or bury your head back in the sand and ignore it while your neighbors charge ahead. So today, I want to tell you, the consumer, and any producers […]

Top 5 Wine Tourism Tips Iberia Can Learn from American Wine Producers

Last week, we had spent the better part of a 6 days touring wineries on both the west and east coast of the United States. And during this time, we had a very unique opportunity to see how Americans create and manage wine tourism programs in order to promote not only their own wines, but the wines of the entire region. As many of you know, although we adore the wines of both Spain and Portugal, we feel that effective wine tourism is one of the greatest areas lacking in Iberia. From wineries that won’t pick up the phone or return an emails to small, family run wineries who close their door to visitors, making it close to impossible for […]

Kosher Wine in Spain: The Spirituality of Wine in Montsant

In the past 4+ years living in Spain, I’ve seen my fair share of Spanish and Portuguese wineries. From old, rancid smelling and spiderweb infested bodegas making drop dead gorgeous wines to sleek and modern wineries who couldn’t make a decent bottle of wine if their life depended on it, my experiences have been vast and memorable. But never in my life have I ever experienced a time when I walked into a winery making Kosher wine and was told, in a manner of speaking, “I’m sorry, but you can’t actually see the wine, both because you are impure as a non Sabbath-observant Jew and because you’re a woman.” Gives you a moment of pause doesn’t it? My following thought […]

Last Day of Catavino’s Stay in D.O. Montsant

Sitting under a 100+ year old pine tree at Mas Figueres Hotel, drinking fresh squeezed orange juice, while nibbling on jamon iberico, lomo, fuet, triangular sliced of manchego cheese, fruit plucked from orchards located not 50 meters away, and a small freshly baked apple pastry – life couldn’t be better. Where we’re located in Montsant, in the south end of the small croissant shaped wine region, is surrounded by forests of pine trees, limestone rock faces, and of course, miles upon miles of vines. Today will conclude the last day of our Montsant stay, having spent 3 days visiting approximately 10 wineries, tasted well over 60+ wines, met with over a dozen winemakers, and have enjoyed a beautiful, albeit curvy, […]