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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artichoces for dinner?

The big house

24 C in the pool!

Fresh eggs in the morning!

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!

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 sallad from the garden, really to die for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London weekend and finally a visit at Camino

I'm back now. Back in Sweden. Back at home with Baby E and Andréas and all is as it should be.It has been a great weekend with the girls and we have had both great food and wine, a fair deal of shopping but also great walks in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We were lucky with the weather too and had sunny warm days. The best thing though all categories was the fact that I could finally visit Camino and Copa de Cava and also meet Richard who runs them and his amazing staff.

IMG_2616We met up with Richard at Camino Blackfriars, where Copa de Cava is in the basement. Unfortunately we got a bit lost on the way there and were twenty minutes late. But Richard did not seem to mind and welcomed us with open arms. Camino is really a very nice place. Its that type of restaurant where you can feel at home and where the team really makes you feel comfortable. I just love that, when you feel right at home and welcome, and we sure did. Since it was Friday they had a DJ and the feeling was very much one of "here comes the weekend". Down at Copa de Cava there was a private party, but we tip toed down and took small part of the bar in use, since Richard wanted to treat us to some cava. The wonderful Gramona Gran Reserva made us all in an even better mood and I had the chance to ask Richard about the restaurants and all the ideas he has. It is just so nice to meet other people who are passionate about what they do and especially when it involves cava. IMG_2620IMG_2628After a visit at Copa, we went upstairs and had a wonderful dinner and more Cava before we took the subway home to the hotel while chitchatting away about all the wonderful food and bubbles we had enjoyed. Luckily for me, I'll be back in London the first weekend in July with Andréas, since we are attending a wedding, so then we will make time to visit Camino again! Until then I just want to give my warmest hugs to the team at Camino, who took so great care of us! Hope to see you all soon again!

Unfortunately I could not interview Richard this time for CavaTV, since it was alit too noisy. But I promise to try in July!

If you want to read more about Camino or Copa de cava you will find them on Twitter: @CaminoLondon @CopadeCava or Instagram CopadeCava or Camino. And you will of course find a lot of info on their website Camino.co.uk or at cava.co.uk. If you are planing a trip to London this is just a HAVE-TO-GO-TO-PLACE!

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Things are growing at Juvé y Camps

One of my friends in Penedès is one of the winemakers at Juvé y Camps, and he is so kind as to keep me posted on what is going on in the vine yards. This gives me a chance to keep up to date with how everything is going and what they think about the coming harvest. This spring has apparently been very wet and the risk for mildew has been higher than normal. But now when the summer has come we hope for good weather for the grapes so that they can grow in peace, so that we can get a good harvest after summer.

Last winter I visited Institute del Cava and some producers to learn how to prune the vines, and I had a great time an learned so much. One of the visits was at Juvé y Camps and apparently the vines I pruned still lives, so I can not have been to bad, which is nice.

The last report I got from my friend also included some spring pictures that I of course want to share with you. Straight from the winemakers camera! Enjoy!

Looking back at 2012 part two

After May and the fantastic trip we had, it was back to work and at the same time finishing up the book. During the summer we did manage to have some wonderful cava moments and many of them were out sailing.

To finish up the book was very hard work but we made it and at the end of August the book came finally from the printer. And we had a great book release in Uppsala.

We presented some of the producers that we have learned to know, and the guests got information about them and an opportunity to try some great cava available in Sweden.

During the later parts of the summer the cavabook and cava in general was seen in Swedish press.

The spanish wine day in Stockholm took place in the middle of september. I had the opportunity to host a tasting with 35 happy wine lovers. And they got the chance to try cavas from Marques de Monistrol, Juvé y Camps, Mestres and Gramona, everything very happily received by the participants. And I was so glad to be able to talk about cava, and spread the word.

Josep from Mestres came up to visit Alambic, and I hope that we will soon see some of their cavas here in sweden.

Then in October it was time for Cava tast and the presentation of the book in Sant Sadurní!

Cava tast grand opening!Last preparation before the presentation. I was so happy and moved that so many showed up and that people were so involved in my project. It was truly a fantastic experience.  

the girls liked the book!

Then we got ready for cava tast in the evening with wonderful cava and the opportunity to meet this years cava queen. A fantastic evening with our friends!

We were also so extremely lucky to be invited to stay at Raventós i Blanc, and they took so good care of us, so we wish that we could move there! We feel truly honored to have such friends. And of course we hope to be able to come back. :-)

We cooked on the BBQ outside, almost every day and could enjoy the fantastic cava the house makes. De Nit, the pale rosé made by Ravenós i Blanc is truly one of my favorites. But we managed to try most of their portfolio and I'm very glad that we do get some of their great cavas in Sweden.

 

 

 

 

One day we took a trip in to Barcelona to visit Quim in the Boqueira, and to leave him a book as promised. And I had the chance to have my favorite on the menu; caramelized foi. We just love El Quim and really long for coming back to have lunch again.

The 13th of October Andréas had his birthday and we went to Florian and Veronica at Cal ruget so have some dinner. And they had made it so nice that we could not have wished fore anything better! and they had bought Andréas a cake!

The day after Andréas had to go home and I moved in with my dear friends Rosó and Partic. And we started to visit Colomer where we had a fantastic time!

The big event after Andréas had left was the tasting Recaredo held for the anniversary of Reserva Particular. A fantastic event with old  vintages of exceptional quality.

After the amazing tasting we got equally amazing food in the winery. El Cellar de Can Roca made the food and it was amazing to say the least!

I visited Valformosa on a very sunny morning and had a wonderful tour with Angel, who showed me around. And I also had the chance to try a wide ranch of their great cavas.

 

 

 

Me and my wonderful hosts also visited Marues de Gelida and tried one of their bio cavas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I also went to se Toni at Torelló, on the way towards Gelida. And I really do not understand why I have not visited them before. I had a great time there and Toni showed me the production and told me about the family history which was extremely interesting. Next time I'll bring Andréas along.  Toni also showed me a fantastic new press that I had not seen before. A way of filling the press with gas (I don't remember which one) so the grapes has no way to oxidize. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I came home and started working again, I fond Vilarnau Cava when I was flying from a very small airport in sweden. I was very surprised but very happy! Cava is spreading!

 

 

Then The Swedish book came! And now the work is done. English and Swedish version done and printed, and now will will see what happens.

In november I also found out that I had been picked out  among all swedish wine books this year as the "best wine book in the world (Except france)" in the Gourmand cook book awards, and now I have made it to the final in February. It is me against 4 outer books. So now I cross my fingers!

At the end of the year we needed to get all our books and papers ready for the tax office and to make it a bit more fun we found a Cordon negro in the fridge! Jiipii!

 

 

 

 

And just before christmas I read in the biggest swedish daily paper that Raventós i Blanc's brut nature was recommended with 6 out of 6 points, which indicates "a bargain" in that papers terms. I was so happy for my friends at Raventós and for all cava lovers!

 

 

 

Then New years eve came and we had a great dinner with our frineds at our house with lots of great cava. A fantastic way to end 2012!

 

I have probably forgot many wonderful things that happend this year. But I have such a mess among my photos, and I do know that many are missing. But I think I got most of it.

 

Now I just want to wish you all a fantastic 2013, and I hope that it will be a great one with a nice harvest and a lot of new chances to explore new cavas and meet new producers and cava lovers!

Happy New Year!!

 

Love is the greatest thing!

Today is a special day. I'm not thinking about the fact that it actually snowed this morning even though it was not actually below zero. And I'm not thinking about the fact that it is December on Saturday, which means that the year is almost to an end. No! Today is a very special day since today it is exactly one and a half year since I married Andréas! Andréas is fantastic and I would never have changed my course in life if it had not been for him and all the suport he has given me with the book has been worth everything. He is the best and makes every day a fantastic day!!

So on this very special day I would like to share some of my favourit pictures that Andréas has taken. Enjoy!

Thank you Andréas for being who you are. You are amazing in every way!

The Spanish wine day in Stockholm

It was a great day at Grand hotel on Monday with the Spanish wine day arranged by the ICEX here in Sweden. I had the chance to present my book and also the great honour to host a Cava tasting with some great Cavas.

Sweden is more and more getting the "hang of things" and many have actually understood that all sparkling wines cant be compared. And since the interest in wine in general is so large here in Sweden people are quick to learn (when they want to). During the presentation about Cava I had the opportunity to talk a bit about the region, and what makes Cava special. And then of course share information about the houses we were tasting and talk a bit about their philosophies and focus areas.

The response was very positive and many of the participants were sad about the fact that 3 out of 5 Cavas at the tasting are not avalible in Sweden yet. But on the other hand they got a new reason for visiting Penedès!

I hope to receive some more pictures from the tasting soon and will of course post them then.

(You can see below what Cavas we tried from Gramona, Mestres, Juvé y Camps, Recaredo and Marques de Monistrol)

 

Last minute fixing

On Friday is the day when the book goes to print. As I have waited! I'm more excited than I could ever explain, as I'm sure you understand. Now I'm only waiting for my fantastic layout guy to fit the back text on the book and chose one or several pictures, and then it is all done!

By chance I have planed a Cava tasting at home in Uppsala, and as of now we will be 16 happy people, tasting Cava and enjoying some BBQ together. And now we have an other reason to celebrate!

 

We'll see if any of these pictures of me will be on the back of the book

 

 

Lay out almost done!

I'm sorry for being so absent but my mind has been elsewhere. The reason for that is the book, and now it is almost done. The layout only misses two pictures (since the once we planed were to small), and to night I'm doing the last proof reading. It will be great and very much like I imagined it.

I could not have done it alone though, because this last period has taken so much energy and last minute alteration, and without my fantastic friend Frida who has taken so many great last minute pictures, and my new friend Micke who has helped me with designing the cover, I would not have made it. Or the book would not have been as good anyway.

Here is the first lay out of the cover and some of Frida's pictures that I just love! Enjoy and stay tuned because you'll soon get more updates!

Learning about the lab, biodynamic farming and driving in the montains

It has been a busy day, with three visits. But all great, and we have learned so much! First we visited Eva at Vilarnau, who has helped me so much with the book and checking so that I have all my facts right. Today she showed us the lab and how to measure pressure in the bottles and how to count the yeast cells after the second fermentation has finished. Really interesting!

Then we tried the different cavas we had opened with the lees still in side. A great experience since it is Cava that has finished the second fermentation but without the aging. Eva also gave us some bottles with the yeast still inside to take home and age in our cellar. So now we will have to make the riddling on our own and also disgorge the bottles when the time comes. Luckily, Andréas learned how to do the disgorgment when we visited Giro i Giro this monday.

Tasting cloudy Cava

Measuring preasure

When we had said goodbye to Eva, we went to Recaredo and learned about biodynamic farming. We met the lovely horse Bru, who was working hard in the fields, while the team were planting chamomile, lavender, and some herbs that I don't really know that well. All are grown for using later in the vineyards as different treatments.

 

After this fantastic visit at Recaredo, we went to Parés Baltà, who we also have visited before. This time we brought our friends Kajsa and Martin and we all had a wonderful afternoon in the mountains and had the chance to try some wonderful wines and Cavas.

Me, Kajsa and Josep
Martin (or Peter Pan)

We all had a great day and I just want to thank all the lovely producers that always take the time to see us when we come to visit. It is always a pleasure!