Confraria del Cava!

confraria 6

Last Monday was a very special day. Not only because the sun was shining on Penedés and Sant Sadurni d’Anoia and the autumn colours had started to be seen among the wines, but mainly because of the fact that I could attend the ceremony at the Confraria del Cava.

Last year when I presented my first book at the Cavatast I was honoured with the title Confraria de Merit, which is an honorary title that the Cava order (the confraria), bestows on the people that they think has worked especially well in the interest of Cava. Unfortunately I could not attend the ceremony last year, so I came this year instead.

confraria 4The evening started in good Spanish time 21.30, with some cava while we waited for the ceremony to start. When all the people (about 280 of us) had taken their seats in the cellar, everything started and now the Catalan began… I really need to learn Catalan! Apparently Uppsala university (where I live) is the only university in Sweden where Catalan is actually thought, so maybe I should give it a go. :-)The president of the Confraria, our friend Toni de la Rosa y Torelló, was so kind as to switch to English when he talked about me, so I could at least understand that part.
As the initiations continued, the temperature in the cellar increased and I thought to my self that it is a good thing for the barrels that there is not always that many people there to disturb their peace.
After all the “secret stuff”, medals and diplomas, there was time for more photos and cava! Jippiii! And then we all went upstairs to have dinner.
The first course was served at 23.57, and after the five lovely dishes we took our farewells short after two in the morning.

Confraria 1

It was a LOVELY evening and I’m so happy to be able to call my self “Dama Confrare de Merit”! And I promise to do my very best to live up to it. And as soon as I get my gigantic diploma sent home to me, I’ll frame it and put it on the wall.

A very big thank you to all my wonderful cava friends that made the evening unforgettable! You know who you are, and you know we lover you!

PS: The Roca brothers of “celler de Can Roca” (you know the elected best restaurant in the world 2013) was there too, and received an honorary title. Its the three men in the green capes in the first photo, if you don’t recognise them. 😉

PS2: I’ll post more pictures on facebook if you are interested.


Some links for you!

Vinseum on a Sunday

SAMSUNGWe have had some great days here in Penedés since Friday. We have had dinner with some great friends and relaxed some to be honest. A great differance actually. 🙂

Tonight we have left our beloved CalRuget Bio Hotel to explore “new grounds” at Vilafranca. So tonight we are staying at Casa Torner Güell. This hotel is not very large, but quite modern and very nice. We will write about it more later, but I can only mention that the showers are great! Like  waterfall!
But what I wanted to tell you was that we had a great evening at the Vinseum taverna (at Twitter @TavernaVinseum). We met some new friends and Cava lovers from the US, and had a great time talking about different producers, styles and preferences. So lovely to meet new cava lovers!
Later we met “Mr Parés Baltà” himself and his fantastic wife. It was so great to see Joan again and to finaly meet his wife. It always makes us so happy to see the Parés Baltà family, because they are just really lovely!
Vinseum Taverna is a really great place and they have at least four cavas on glass every night. And not only do they have great Cava, but also wine and some nice tapas if you are hungry. So next time you are in Vilafranca you should definately visit both the museum and the taverna!

The museum has a great many activities so it is worth checking their schedule out!


Our two friends on the hill

viewAt the top of Espiells, at Juvé y Camps we have two dear friends, Toni and Antonio, that we visited one afternoon during our trip. We love coming back here, and it has become a steady event every time we are in the area. During our visits we have gone trough the vine yards, learned about pruning the vines, learned how to propagate yeast, seen the manual riddling halls, tried Swedish white wine and compared it to  one of the whites of JyC (interesting to say the least…), and of course tried many cavas in the amazing tasting room with the view over Montserrat.

We just love it here, there is no denying it!



This time we are gathering some more information for the book, but mostly we just want to see our winemaking friends, and see how everything is going with them and the harvest. Unlike many of the other producers we have met this week, JyC is (at the time of the visit) far from ready with the harvest. Still they have the parellada and all the reds to go, so we understand that it has been a looooong harvest, but good.


Like always we have a great time! We also have the great honor to try some new cavas that are being developed, and like all JyC’s products the quality is fantastic. We just can’t wait for these two new “babies” to come out on the market!
We also try the award winning red wine Johannes, that is so good that Andréas just does not want to leave. 🙂

After some hours with great conversation, cava and many laughs, the sun starts to set and we leave the boys to their work.

skyI know we will see you on Friday but I still want to thank you so much for this visit and hope that all will go well with the rest of the harvest and the reds! (Hoping they will be harvest before christmas!)  😉


Vilarnau twice on one trip


Now we are back in cold Sweden again. You who follow me on twitter have not missed this fact I’m sure. 🙂

But there is still much to report from our 14 days in Penedès and I will try to write about it all little by little.

grusimaskinerietOne of our visits took us back to Vilarnau, where our friend Eva always teaches us something new. This time we could see first hand how the grapes are taken care of when they came in to the winery. And we also had the chance to taste some musts that were undergoing fermentation which is always exciting. The tingeling sensation on the tongue when the yeast is active is quite special.
This harvest seems to have been good in general but quite late and the maturation of the grapes has been slow. So the sugar content has been a bit low at some plots and varieties. But there is nothing to worry about because the quality has generally been very good.
When we were standing watching the machine that separates the grapes carefully from the stems, we heard a loud “clonk”, and after some looking around for what it could have been, Eva found a quite large stone. Quite interesting how that ended up among the grapes. But no harm was done.


Here about 2,5 tonnes (if I remember correctly) of grapes are tipped in to the hopper that will lead the grapes to the machine that takes the stems away.

meramustEva is always so happy! And she has all the reasons to be since the must was developing so nicely!


Newly harvested grape vines just outside Vilarnau’s winery. If I remember correctly these are all Chardonnay.
Just one or two days later we came back to Vilarnau to attend the Harvest fiesta that the winery had invited us to. A wonderful event where we finally had the opportunity to try the new Subirat Parent (malvasia) cava that Eva and Damian (the two wine makers) has been working on. A very special, fresh and flowery cava indeed!


At the harvest dinner we also had the great pleasure to meet Jordi Melendo, who is an champagne expert, but also a cava expert since he is brought up close to cava in Catalyna.
It was a great evening and Jordi also helped me to develop my Spanish. Pan con tomate was the word of the evening. 🙂

A big thanks to the team at Vilarnau that made it all a wonderful evening with wonderful people, cava, wine and food!

Cal Feru is Cava heaven!!

I just love Cal Feru in Sant Saduní d’Anoia!
Just when you go of the train, walk down the road and across the bridge it will be on your right.

Go there if you have the chance!

And of course you can buy the English version of the cava book here. 🙂