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.
One 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.
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!