Excursions with a lot of bubbles to the Penedès and its Cavas
“Trying for your wine is a special reward for itself, but it has also been very interesting to know the v ineyards and the special people who work.” (Noah Gordon, writer. Gordon went all over the Penedes up and down to set his novel La Bodega)
The region of the Penedes has many and very varied charms: a landscape of vineyards with the silhouette of the mountains of Montserrat in the background as a starters followed by the magnificent town of Villafranca del Penedés. The castellers (that tradition of raising human towers has become a cultural heritage of humanity) andthe singular gastronomy are part of the Penedes virtues. And do not forget the proximity of these places with the beautiful coastal town of Sitges or Barcelona…
But there is something that I read to elaborate this article and that shocked me. In the Penedés we can find the the Abric Romaní (Capellades), one of the oldest and most important Neanderthal excavations in the world. More than 50,000 years of history !!!
Although, perhaps, there is the origin of everything, we are not going to go back so far to talk about the most characteristic of this area of Catalonia: the quality of its wines which is internationally recognized. They are young, of great aromatic richness. Fruity and fresh. And among them a peculiar variety: the Cava. Yes, the golden wine with bubbles that turns any time of day into a party. To the horror of fine French and purist sumillers, some call it sparkling wine, other champagnes. But Cava is Cava and its elaboration and consumption is a true art.
To make jalous even the characters of Falcon Crest, with Barcelonina we can access this attractive world visiting two of the wineries where this wonderful drink is born: the Llopart wineries and the Albet i Noya wineries.
For centuries, the Llopart family combined the cultivation of the three traditional agricultural products of the Mediterranean: the vineyard, the wheat and the olive tree. It was at the end of the 18th century, when the Llopart decided to dedicate themselves exclusively to winemaking, as happened in a general way in the Penedés.
The cavas began to be elaborated as such from 1887, the year in which Pere Massana began to label his cava with the name of the farmhouse that had in Subirats, Llopart. To this end he created a label, which is still used today, which recognizes a panoramic view of the farm Llopart de Costa and the surrounding mountains.
This 2016 is the year of wine tourism and gastronomy in Catalonia, and in Penedés we will be able to experience the most complete gastronomic experience. It is the ideal moment to follow a course of tasting and to presume to master the art of pairing and other delicacies that are so fashionable. Do not have any doubts: this is the ideal tour for the most demanding palates.
The plague of the phylloxera took Mr. Joan Albet to the lands of Can Vendrell, to replant a farm that was cultivated from Medieval Times. It was in 1900 when the initiator of the saga began to work in those plots as manager. The new generations not only followed and learned the trade but, in the decade of the 70, they were pioneers in producing ecological wines. This not only increased their business but also improved some varieties of grapes of Penedes.
The Penedes means cava and much more
In these visits you can satisfy all your curiosity with the tastings and the explanations of the guides but if you want to go to the appointment with previous information we leave this link very illustrative of the procedures of elaboration of the cava, its types, its history.
The visit to the Penedes will not oblige us to choose between the goodness of the countryside and the architectural beauties because this is also land of castles as can be seen visiting the towns of Castellet, Gelida, Mediona, Olèrdola or Sant Martí Sarroca. Have you also heard of examples of Modernism buildings? Indeed, some of the most beautiful modernist buildings in Catalonia are located here. In other posts of this blog we will speak extensively of them.
But today we are dealing with wine and for the more applied followers of Barcelonina we bring you two basic recommendations: visit VINSEUM (Museum of Wine Cultures of Catalonia) where we can discover the whole history of wine and cava.
And also approach the CIC Fassina (Cava Interpretation Center) to unveil all the secrets of the cava.
Do you still have time? Take advantage of this advice: after enjoying the historical patrimony, wines, cavas and wonderful dishes you can enjoy numerous walking routes and cyclists between vineyards.
The coordinates are simple: sun and sea, the two elements that make this land a privileged place for the cultivation of the vineyard.