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.

Nu är det dags för årets andra cavaresa!

Välkommen till Penedés och cavans hemland!30 september – 4 oktober

Detta är en resa för dig som älskar livets goda! Njut av god mat och gott vin i unik miljö, samtidigt som du får en fantastisk inblick i vindistriktet Penedès, som ligger strax utanför Barcelona.

Vi har under flera år, då vi skrivit våra böcker, lärt känna Penedès utan och innan, och många vinproducenter har nu blivit våra nära vänner. Detta har öppnat en fantastisk möjlighet för oss att ta med er på en resa förbi turistköerna och bakom de vanliga guidade turerna som erbjuds. Vi får i stället möjlighet att bli guidade av våra vänner vinmakarna på många av vinhusen. Vi har nu pusslat ihop ett program som vi själva skulle vilja åka på. Dessutom är det cavafestival! Kan det bli bättre?

Vi börjar med att samlas på Barcelonas flygplats lagom till att Norwegian flighten från Stockholm landar kl 16 (man kanske kommer från annat håll?). Därifrån blir vi körda med vår egen buss till vårt hotell Cal Ruget, som ligger i hjärtat av Penedés, mitt bland vidsträckta vingårdar. Här checkar vi in och får självfallet lite välkomstcava, innan det är dags för middag runt kl 20.

IMG_2371Här på Cal Ruget serveras alltid trerätters lagad på lokala råvaror och inte sällan med grönsaker direkt från trädgården. Vi får även chans att njuta vin till maten som kommer från en mindre lokal producent.

Efter en god natts sömn vankas frukost med färskt bröd runt 8:30 innan vi ger oss av mot vårt första vinbesök där vi börjar dagen. Här har vi turen att bli omhändertagna av vinmakarna Toni och Antonio, som går igenom hur cava tillverkas. Vi får även prova några av deras cavor i deras fantastiska provningsrum, som kanske har Penedés vackraste utsikt över berget Montserrat.

meramustDärefter ger vi oss av till deras granne, vinhuset Vilarnau. Här får vi först njuta lite lättare tapas till lunch innan vi har den spännande möjligheten att prova nypressad juice samt basviner i olika skeden av jäsningsprocessen. Ett unikt tillfälle att följa aromernas utveckling och vinets framväxande. Vår guide är vinmakerskan Eva, som tar paus i sitt hektiska schema mitt i skörden för att ta hand om oss. Besöket avslutas med en provning av några av Vilarnaus färdiga cavor. Strax efter kl 16 ger vi oss av hemåt för att få njuta lite av stillheten och kanske ta ett dopp i poolen. Innan det blir middag cirka kl 20 gjord på lokala råvaror tillsammans med vin från en lokal mindre producent.

IMG_2153Dag tre äter vi frukost i lugn och ro innan vi samlar ihop oss för en promenad mellan vingårdarna. Vi kommer att gå ca en timme innan det är dags för picknick på halva vägen. När vi har förfriskat oss och känner oss redo fortsätter vi ca en timme till då vi kommer att vara framme vid producenten Parés Baltà som tillverkar både vin och cava. Här får vi följa med ut i deras underbara vingårdar som är högt belägna uppe i bergen och får lära oss om arbetet i vingårdarna som ligger till grund för vinproduktionen. Tillbaka på Parés Baltà får vi chans att prova några av deras cavor och även viner innan vi blir upplockade av bussen och återvänder hem till Cal Ruget, där vi hinner vila lite innan middagen kl 20. Det blir självfallet trerätters och vin från en ny lokal producent.

amatllerDag fyra blir en händelserik dag, så vi njuter av vår frukost och får starta lite långsamt hemma vid polen innan vi ger oss iväg vid strax efter klockan elva för att vara i tid till vår guidade tur klockan tolv hos den lokala chokladtillverkaren Simon Cóll. Där får vi en interaktiv upplevelse i hur choklad tillverkas från böna till färdig pralin. När vi känner oss färdiga och fått njuta av alla godsaker tar vi en kort promenad upp till den välrenommerade restaurangen Cal Blay för att få äta en god lunch med cava som huvudnummer.

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När vi är mätta och belåtna är det dags för den årliga cavafestivalen, CavaTast! Vi promenerar den korta biten bort till festivalområdet och får där strosa runt för egen maskin i ca 1,5 timme och testa det stora utbud av cavor som finns tillgängligt, då vi klockan 18 går på bussen igen för att åka tillbaka till Cal Ruget. Där får vi chans att vila lite innan det är dags för specialkomponerad avskedsmiddag kl 20.

Sedan är det god natt och god sömn innan det vankas frukost och avfärd dagen därpå.

Saker du kanske undrar…

Vad kostar resan? 15900 kr

Vad ingår? Allt som beskrivs i programmet. Boende i dubbelrum, samtliga frukostar, luncher och middagar, samt vin till middagen. Samtliga vinbesök, transfer i egen buss och två osedvanligt glada och trevliga guider, nämligen Anna och Andréas.

Vad ingår inte? Flyg. Dricka utanför middagar och luncher, men vi lovar att detta finns att tillgå till mycket god kvalité och pris.

Hur bokar man? Man mailar info@teamwallner.com och talar om vilka man är som vill åka. Då kommer vi svara med ett glatt mail och mer detaljerad information.

Vill du ha enkelrum? Det kostar 2000 kr extra, eftersom du då kommer att disponera ett dubbelrum själv.

Hur många platser finns det? Vi har en absolut maxgräns på 10 personer. Vi vill hålla det personligt.

Har du några som helst frågor så är det bara att maila oss på info@teamwallner.com.

Hoppas att du vill följa med till våra favoritplatser på jorden! Här nedan kommer lite bilder från årets första resa.

uppe bland vingårdarna

 

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Andra paellan för kvällen.

Sitta ute med tända ljus medan solen går ned

 

njuta va lite tid vid poolen.

färska ägg till frukost

 

Provning hos Parés Baltà

pappa Joan berättar om Parés Baltàs vingårdar och filosofi.

 

 

 

Confraria del Cava!

confraria 6 Last Monday was a very special day. Not only because the sun was shining on Penedés and Sant Sadurni d'Anoia and the autumn colours had started to be seen among the wines, but mainly because of the fact that I could attend the ceremony at the Confraria del Cava.

Last year when I presented my first book at the Cavatast I was honoured with the title Confraria de Merit, which is an honorary title that the Cava order (the confraria), bestows on the people that they think has worked especially well in the interest of Cava. Unfortunately I could not attend the ceremony last year, so I came this year instead.

confraria 4The evening started in good Spanish time 21.30, with some cava while we waited for the ceremony to start. When all the people (about 280 of us) had taken their seats in the cellar, everything started and now the Catalan began... I really need to learn Catalan! Apparently Uppsala university (where I live) is the only university in Sweden where Catalan is actually thought, so maybe I should give it a go. :-)The president of the Confraria, our friend Toni de la Rosa y Torelló, was so kind as to switch to English when he talked about me, so I could at least understand that part. As the initiations continued, the temperature in the cellar increased and I thought to my self that it is a good thing for the barrels that there is not always that many people there to disturb their peace. After all the "secret stuff", medals and diplomas, there was time for more photos and cava! Jippiii! And then we all went upstairs to have dinner. The first course was served at 23.57, and after the five lovely dishes we took our farewells short after two in the morning.

Confraria 1

It was a LOVELY evening and I'm so happy to be able to call my self "Dama Confrare de Merit"! And I promise to do my very best to live up to it. And as soon as I get my gigantic diploma sent home to me, I'll frame it and put it on the wall.

A very big thank you to all my wonderful cava friends that made the evening unforgettable! You know who you are, and you know we lover you!

PS: The Roca brothers of "celler de Can Roca" (you know the elected best restaurant in the world 2013) was there too, and received an honorary title. Its the three men in the green capes in the first photo, if you don't recognise them. ;-)

PS2: I'll post more pictures on facebook if you are interested.

Cheers!

Some links for you! http://confrariacava.com/ http://www.cellercanroca.com/

We LOVE chocolate Simón Coll!!

chokladfabrikToday we have had a ”re-cap day”, to have some time to edit text and pictures that we have collected the last week during the producer visits. But we did have a break in the middle of the day to go to the Willy Wonka of Sant Sadurni, Maria of Simón Coll. We met Maria, the heiress of the company already yesterday at a birthday party and had a long talk.  Maria has many visions and one of them is to get more people to experience everything that Sant Sadurni has to offer, and she takes a big responsibility in sharing information when the tourist information is closed and has a lot of ideas on how to improve the "Sant Sadurni experience. She is really a fantastic entrepreneur and visionary as well as the Willy Wonka of Spain! mariayannaSimón Coll has been producing chocolate since 1840, and among their fantastic products of chocolate bars, chocolate Santas and Easter rabbits they also make the special Penedès cetanias/amatllers. This is roasted Almonds with a chocolate cover which might sound simple, but the catanias from Simón Coll are something very special and the best we have EVER had!!egglogoamatller Visiting the chocolate fatory and its visiting centre in Sant Sadurni, you can do a wonderful tour in English, which explains the history of the family, the making and origins of chocolate as well as a functional tasting of chocolate from bean to finished praline. It is very modern and interactive with a film, old chocolate machinery and the new actual test factory where you can get a very good understanding of how the chocolate is made.

After the tasting and introduction to the family and chocolate making, you can visit the shop where you can buy all kinds of different chocolates. Our favourites are of course the catanias/amatllers, but also the different chocolate that they make with Marc de Cava, that is a spirit much like the Italian grappa. The mix is absolutely wonderful!chokladkross

Next time you go to Barcelona you should not miss to go to Sant Sadurní! A visit to Chocolatier Simón Coll  and a Cava producer is a perfect day outside the big city.

You will find all the information you need at:  www.simoncoll.com

Adress: Hospital, 1 08770 Sant Sadurní d’Anoia Barcelona (Spain) Telephone: +34 93 891 01 40

Monday to Friday: 9am to 1pm, 5pm to 8pm Saturday: 9am to 2pm

Bertha; A new winery is beeing built

maxBertha is one of the producers that we have been wanting to visit for a long time, but not got around to it. But now we finally did!

mrBI first tried Bertha when I bought a bottle at our favourite cava shop in Sant Sadurní, Cal Feru. To be honest I bought it because I thought the label looked nice and that I had seen the sign outside their doors in Sant Sadurní, just very close to the restaurant CalBlay. I took the bottle to our friends Patrick and Rosó, and we were all agreed that we liked it very much. Since then Bertha has been a producer I have been wanting to visit.

We meet Pep the owner and Gil the export manager, who take us on a tour in the small winery in Sant Sadurni. But things are cooking at Bertha and soon the new winery outside town in the middle of their wine yards will be ready, and it looks GREAT! It is really exciting and will make everything so much easier says Pep. And that is understandable because the site in town is not very large, and the extra space is welcome. The plan is that the new site will be ready to move in to at Christmas, so when Andréas and me comes back in the spring we will definitely visit Bertha again to see how things have turned out.

meninmirrorWe also have the chance to try some of their cavas and one thing that is very obvious with all the cavas we try at Bertha is the mousse. It is fantastically integrated and fine like velvet. Pep explains that this is something that is essential when it comes to the style of Bertha. We love it, bacause the mousse is such an important part of cava and sometimes something that is put in the shadow of structure, acidity and aroma when discussed.

Bertha makes about 190 000 bottles of cava every year and their portfolio include many fantastic products. boxofberthaOne of their newer cavas are the two called "Lounge", one blanc in a blue bottle and one rosé in a red bottle. Very special design and something that is perfect to serve in the afternoon, as an aperitif or if you want something fresh to your seafood. Lounge has the same small bubbles significant for Bertha, and is lovely.

All in all we have a lovely time and will drink a lot of Bertha in the future, that is one thing that is for sure!

 lounge

oldjerobaum

Jaume Giró i Giró, and our friend Ramón

tunnan027In the centre of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia very close to the chocolate "factory" Simón Coll, Ramón has his cellar, and beautiful "bbq-gareden". A garden that everybody can enjoy for just a symbolic sum and a bottle of cava.We first visited Ramón in May last year, together with our friends Kajsa and Martin. You can read about it here if you want. Among other things Andreas then got to disgorge his first bottle of Cava and immediately offered to start to work at Giró i Giró as a disgorger.

But this time we were back to take pictures and ask Ramón questions since we want to present him as one of the producers in our new book. A lot of photos later we had the great pleasure to refresh our memories when it comes to the portfolio. Some of the cavas, like the Bombonetta we know well, since we brought quite a lot of them back in May when we had the car whit us. And together with our friends we have been enjoying them all through the year, but not our cellar is empty and badly needs to be refilled!

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grandalla032Ramón makes wonderful Cava, that is fresh, fruity and soft in the mousse, and even though he makes almost only reserva and gran reserva they still have a clear vitality. Almost like an older person that looks and feels very young, but where you can see the life experience shining through with all its depth and complexity that life gives you on your journey. All poetics aside, lets just say that we like them very much!

The two cavas named Grandalla are both very special, and this time we get the story behind the two. Grandalla is the local name name of the flower narcissus poeticus, that grows in Andorra, and Ramón originally tried to make these cavas to resemble the character of the narcissus. But now they have come to have their own style. Last time I tried them I named the Grandalla "silver" my favourite, but this time with he new vintages I must say that the Grandalla deluxa (gold with swarovski stones) had me captured!

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enboll031As always we had a fantastic time visiting Ramón, and we can really recommend you to contact Ramón and his team if you plan to go to Sant Sadurní or just make a short trip if you go to Barcelona. It is all very easy. Just write to them some days before, so that they are not in the middle of labelling, or disgorging or anything like that, because they are a very small winery and everyone helps with everything.

Contact details: http://www.cavagiro.com/en

Thank you so much to Ramón and the team for having us once again. It is always lovely to see you, and see you soon at Cavatast!