D.O. Cava vs. Catalonian independence

I am pretty sure that you have not missed the latest events in Catalonia. I try to keep myself updated through my friends in the area (on both sides of the struggle) and follow the media as everyone else.

But the latest weeks I have also received more enquiries than normal from students writing WSET-papers on cava, asking me about the future of the D.O. These students have not asked me about the ongoing independence quarrels with Madrid, but it got me thinking…

Although I have many times talked about the independence “issue” with many of the winemakers, I have never really thought about the implications it would have on the D.O.
As the rules state now, cava can be produced in 159 municipalities, spread out over the provinces; Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, Girona, La Rioja, Álava, Zaragoza, Navarra, Valencia and Badajoz. As you realise the majority of these are OUTSIDE Catalonia. So if Catalonia got its independence, what would happen?
As far as I know a D.O. is an area within ONE country. If that is the case, would that mean that cava would only be made in Catalonia and all the other provinces would lose their right to call their sparkling “cava”?
Since the regulatory board of the D.O. cava is actually situated in Vilafranca del Penedès, I guess they would decide in favour of their own area, which does have both the history and the production quantity on their side. But it is still a very interesting question.

 

I will have to look in to this some more…

Empty glasses are better glasses

I am a very lucky person. Do you know why?
I have people I love with whom I can share my glasses of cava. I have friends and family to listen to my stories and who share my happiness and worries. I know it might sound obvious, but it really isn’t. It is really everything that matters, when you come to think of it and I do very often, although maybe not as often as I should.

Today we had the happy occasion to celebrate our newest neighbour’s first birthday. She had it a bit rough coming in to this world, so it was really worth remembering and thinking about. We were all so worried a year ago, and today we had almost forgotten.

Looking at the four empty glasses on the table I realised, as the neighbours were just going home, that this is what is really interesting. It was like the glasses had absorbed our whole conversation, as they now held the memories. As I was washing the glasses by hand (very unlike me…) I pondered a bit over our conversations.

It is really easy to forget the everyday things that makes life what it is, and it is easies still to forget what is really important.

Last week we lost a very good friend to cancer. It was all very sudden, unexpected and way way before his time. Since his passing, memories of our travels and good times have been rolling in my memories like a film at the cinema. Many of the memories we have shared and things we have talked about, have been over a glass of cava. So many empty glasses, all containing so many stories and memories.

I’m fortunate to have empty glasses in plural. Just imagine how it would be in singular…

I miss you Lars

Ett bord för två/a table for two – a podcast

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being the guest at the podcast “ett bord för två”/”A table for two”. This podcast is produced by Vinguiden, with Michael Anderquim as the captain of the ship. A truly nice series I must say, since I did listen to most of the podcasts as “homework” before I sat down at Michaels table. Interesting guests and many intriguing topics.

A table for two is a personal and informative podcast where all the guests have something special to bring to the table, both when it comes to stories, life experience and an actual physical wine! The tradition that both the guests and Michael brings one wine each and tells the story behind why they choose this particular wine is very interesting indeed. After listening to a couple of podcasts I found myself wondering and guessing what the guest in question would bring… Pretty obvious I brought a cava. To be more exact Celler Batlle from Gramona which happened to be the best cava I had in the cellar, and also being one of my all time favorites!

If you feel like listning to the podcast and my and Michaels little talk, it will go live on the 13th of september. But be aware that it is in Swedish.
you will find the pod on Acast or through the website www.vinguiden.se

 

Where does the Cava de Paraje Calificado grow?

In the beginning of July the first sites of the new cava classification were chosen. Better late than never I guess, because it has been a very slow process.

If the road that the D.O. Cava have chosen, to promote themselves, will be successful is yet to be seen. But personally I’m hopeful that Cava de Paraje might help to spread awareness about the long aged cavas among the more interested consumers. But we need to remember that the production of these bottles is very low and the crowd that buys them small.

The first 12 sites that has been accepted for the “Cava de Paraje Calificado” (insane that there is no English translation) are spread out both among the big producers and smaller premium houses.

Recaredo´s Turó D’en Mota is of course among the sites and if you want you can read more about this special vineyard in earlier posts here on the blog. Also the house of Torelló have their old vineyards of Can Martí on the list which is happy news, although not surprising. I won’t comment on all the houses but just say that I think it is great that this becomes a reality and I hope that the list will grow in the future.

The 12 Cava sites, and the houses that own them:

  • Vinyes de Can Martí – Torelló
  • Turó d’en Mota – Recaredo
  • Serral del Vell – Recaredo
  • Vallcirera – Alta Alella
  • La Capella – Juvé i Camps
  • Can Sala – Freixenet
  • La Pleta – Codorníu
  • El Tros Nou – Codorníu
  • La Fideuera – Codorníu
  • Can Prats – Vins el Cep
  • Font de Jui – Gramona
  • Terroja – Castellroig

I’m really looking forward to trying all these wines when they are out in store. Even though some already are although not under the new classification.

Hasta luego, Hasta próxima or Hasta pronto?

Three weeks in and the Spanish is progressing you might think? Well I guess it does, but in the back of our heads where we don’t notice. My mind still goes blank in restaurants, and I sometimes find my self repeating verbs… Yo tengo, tú tiene, el/ella tienes, nosotros tenemos, tienen…
Its like my mind is constantly occupied with kids, cava, Instagram, friends, food, excursions, times to keep, book keeping, taxes and on top of it all Spanish. My brain must think I’m insane to try to learn something new in a already overloaded and over heated state of mind. Well we will see if I can make it fly or if I’ll crash and burn.

Three weeks in with people coming and going Andreas and I have that strange feeling that we just came, and at the same time that we have been here for ever. Even though our departure is just one and a half week away, thinking about going home feels strange and unnatural. I suppose that is one of the signs of us growing accustom to Penedés and that we honestly see it as our second home. Its a nice feeling. Hopefully we will have the chance to spend more time here since we are now looking for a hose to rent long term, and maybe we will look at some houses next week. Its all very exciting and that would mean that all of you reading the blog could come here and rent it. Since we will then also rent it to friends when we are not there our selves. I’ll tell you more about it when it happens.

One thing that I think I have got a grip on though is the meaning of these “good buy”-fraces…
Hasta pronto = we will see each other soon and you know it will be during that same day.
Hasta Luego = we will se each other soon but don’t know exactly when.
Hasta proxima= we will see each other later and that can be a day a week or a month. Who knows.
Hasta mañana = see you tomorrow.