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…

Spring in Penedés- A program to enjoy!

I see pictures from Penedés every day, with almondtrres flowering and vines budding. All this why the snow around my hose slowly melts away and the temperatures are trying to stay above zero. Well well,

This week In La Vanguardia one could read about a new spring program that some of the Penedés producers are inviting you to share. I have translated it to the best of my knowledge.

BARCELONA, 11 (EUROPE PRESS)

A total of 12 Catalan wineries have joined in the program ‘La Primavera del Cava’, which will be held from 1 to 21 May in the Penedès and who wants to promote wine tourism in the area.

So far, the wineries Agustí Torelló Mata, Codorníu, Giró Ribot, Gramona, Juvé & Camps, Llopart, Segura Viudas, Sumarroca, Torelló, Vallformosa, Vilarnau and Vins el Cep has joined the program.

All of them will share  activities designed for all ages, which will take place in the vineyards and are designed to make the visitors enjoy the spring weather as the same time as learning new things about cava.

For example, Vilarnau will on May 1st host a tasting of flowers and cavas in the vineyard that will begin with the collection of wild plants in the woods along with the sommelier Carles Aymerich from Celler de Can Roca and the specialist in the use of plants in the kitchen Everist March also he from  Celler de Can Roca.

On the 5th May, those who are interested will be able to enjoy, at Valformosa, a reading of tales that aims to publicize the wine tradition of the company, which dates back to 1865. And on Saturday May the 6th, Segura Viudas proposes a breakfast in the farmhouse with cava, wine and products of near by, followed by a naturalistic walk.

Also on that same Saturday, Gramona offers a tour of its vineyards to learn about the usefulness of medicinal plants, animals, flowers and stars. Llopart will that same day show their wineyards from a helicopter. 

Sunday 7th of May, Torelló welcomes visitors to take a tour of the vineyards with a following brunch.

The following weekend, Saturday May 13th, Codorníu hosts a tour of the vineyards by electric or conventional bicycle, a visit to the winery and a picnic made with Catalan gastronomy together with a tasting of cavas. On Sunday 14th  Agustí Torelló Mata offers a breakfast at the foot of the vineyard and a stroll through the cellar.

During the last weekend of this initiative, on Saturday May 20th, Vins El Cep presents a solidarity walk to visit with family and friends through the sites of the wineries accompanied by experts who will explain the fauna, flora and works of the vineyard , While Juvé & Camps will give the opetrunity to enjoy the flowering of the vines while mountain biking.

Finally, on Sunday, May 21st Sumarroca closes ‘La Primavera del Cava’ with a guided walk through its vineyards, to explain the natural cycle of the vineyards, and a tour in the Wine Jeep.

I really think it all sounds wonderful! But I have to wait until June, to  see all the friends and producers again.

The harvest has begun!

Harvest in our beloved cava country has begun and will go on until way into October. The small roads will be crowded with tractors with their load of boxes filled with grapes and during this time it is always good to take some extra time when driving. You just never know when you will be4 able to overtake them.

Our cave-making friends report that the summer has been very dry, and that the yields are very low. But this does also mean that most of the grapes will be packed with sugars and full of flavours, so nothing is ever just bad or good.

It will b3e very exciting indeed to see how the base wines has come along when we come down to visit in October.

The first guided cava and Penedès group.

Our first guided group have today reached their fourth and last day of the trip. It has really been wonderful and we have been able to show them some of our favourite places here in the Penedès. We have enjoyed local food cooked with elegance and care, paired with some of the really great wines and cavas from the small producers of the region.

To give you a glimse of what we have been up to you have a look at the below pictures and I can also recommend you to have a look at CavaTV posted this week, where Ramón shows us how to disgorge a bottle of cava by hand.

Everything has been going so well and we have received so much positive feedback so we are actually already planning our next tour for cavaTast (the cava festival), the first weekend of October. So if you are interested, keep an eye out here on the blog and also on the Facebook page and Instagram for more information. Or if you have questions you can always e-mail me at anna.m.wallner@gmail.com.IMG_2088

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A perfect visit at the chocolatiers Simón Cóll, and welcomed by Maria Cóll outside.
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Photo opertunity outside the visitors center.
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The two best things about Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, chocolate and cava.
Visit at Giró i Giró. Great cava and fantastisc caps!
Visit at Giró i Giró. Great cava and fantastisc caps!
Grandalla getting their lables by hand.
Grandalla getting their lables by hand.
Tasting a newly degorged bottle of cava, is not every day!
Tasting a newly degorged bottle of cava, is not every day!
Tasting with Ramón, going through his wonderfull portfolio.
Tasting with Ramón, going through his wonderfull portfolio.
Wonderful dinner with tapas to start and Paella for main.
Wonderful dinner with tapas to start and Paella for main. Someone liked it very much.
The second paella of the night, chicken and butifarra. Really great!
The second paella of the night, chicken and butifarra. Really great!
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The paper lights. Everything is in the details.

This last day we have done a walk through the vineyards ending up at Parés Baltà, driving up in the montain vineyards with papa Cusiné. A really wonderful stay and tasting!

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Florian taking us through the vineyards towards Parés Baltà.

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Picknick half way with wonderful sandwiches, fruit and soup! About one hours rest before the next “leg” towards Parés Baltà.

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This way!
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Great food!
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Veronica and Florian, our fantastic guides that take care of everything we might ever need!

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Reaching Parés Baltà and going on a wonderful tour and tasting, with Mr Joan Cusiné and Silvia!

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Mr Cusiné has such a fantastic way of talking about his vines, and the mountain vineyards are the most amazing place to go!
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Papa Joan Cusiné and Silvia hosting our tasting.IMG_2183

Happy vines give good wines and happy people! Everyone was really happy so the vines must have been too.

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Cal Ruget

Thank you so much to our first group  for coming! It has really been a pleasure to show you the area, and these four days has really just flown by! We hope to see you all back here in the Penedès soon again!