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…

1 wedding, 12 arrests and 2 thunderstorms.

We are back after a busy week in Penedes. I just cant believe we got so much done while having kids and the family to consider all the time.  But with a constant focus on the wedding ahead and all the cava, food guests and other logistics I guess it is easy to just loose track. It turned out great though as you can see form the pictures. But we were lucky…

 

At midday on Friday when rehearsal dinner was planed for 6 pm and all things started to get set up, the Penedes thunderstorm was upon us. If you have experienced them you know what I mean. Heavy rain and thunder for about one hour, and then gone. There is always a risk the storm brings his brother after a while, but ont this time! The weather cleared and we got an amazing starry sky to accompany  us al evening.
History repeats itself on the wedding day morning, and the bride askes me if I think that this morning rain was “it”… I happily reply “Of course! There is normally only one shower a day here, if it rains at all.”. She was happy and calmed by my answer and I prayed to the weather Gods that they would give us a break at least during ceremony and dinner. They did! Another amazing night sky with blazing starrs, and the Penedes that me and Andreas have learned to love so much, really showed her best side.

But nothing can be really just joyful and happy can it?
After the arrest in Barcelona of 12 Catalan politicians on the Wednesday and following protests, my mind was constantly jumping back to my friends in the area and their situation. The amounts of flaggs showing the support for Catalan independence, grew in quantity from Thursday on. Driving through the villages and on the countryside they were now numerous, hanging from houses and light poles. I don’t want to worry for the situation Catalonia vs. Madrid and I haven’t so far, but now the game seems to change and  I’m not so sure anymore.

I sit here in Sweden surrounded by the cava made by my friends in Catalonia and my heart is with them.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Finally back at our second home in Penedès

Finally being back here in Catalonia is really fantastic. To celebrate we went to Sitges after a short meeting at Freixenet, regarding the book. The sun was shining and after a walk along the blue water, we had a fantastic lunch with Paella and some Kripta. Pure luxury, but we were both agreed on that it was the right thing to start the vacation with a bang!
What is interesting is that a bottle of Kripta (which is a FANTASTIC real cult cava) cost about 45 € here, and for that price in Sweden you would basically get “the house wine”, when going to a restaurant. So it is really easy to spoil oneselfe going out to eat here.

But as you know pictures say more than thousand words!

 

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This is where we stay.
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out and about in the garden
artichoces for dinner?
artichoces for dinner?
The big house
The big house
24 C in the pool!
24 C in the pool!
Fresh eggs in the morning!
Fresh eggs in the morning!
Roses every where!
Roses every where!

This is our second home and Florian and Veronica are always taking such good care of us! So now we have until Sunday to relax some, with some friends coming on the weekend. But on Sunday our first group arrives for a four day guided tour with visits at wine producers, walks in the vineyards and fantastic food and cava. We are so excited!
(We are staying at CalRuget Bio Hotel)

Great paella is really a fantastic dish!
Great paella is really a fantastic dish!
Kripta for lunch is a rare treat!
Kripta for lunch is a rare treat!

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After a great lunch came a great dinner with four courses, all cooked by Florian. Gaspacho, then sallads from the garden, fried Lamb and  at the end mandarine sorbet for dessert! Yummy!

A great snack before dinner and cava from Mas Comtal!
A great snack before dinner and cava from Mas Comtal!
A sallad from the garden, really to die for!
A sallad from the garden, really to die for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 -16 degrees and sun is better than -5 degrees and snow!

It has been snowing this weekend. I think we got almost 10 cm of snow, and it is actually the only real snow we have got this far in to the winter. So I’m not really complaining.

Since I’m off to Catalonia in a few hours I checked the weather for Barcelona… 14-16 C next week and it looks like there will be some sun too. Just amazing! I know that my friends in Sant Sadurni says that it is cold, but 14-16 C is much warmer than -5 C, that’s for sure.

So I’m going to continue my packing now and try to get ready for the afternoon flight. I must admit though that i will miss my husband and the dog very much, as I always do when they are not with me.