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Spain 2006 – part 1, Catalonia, Catalonia, what make your big wines so hot!

I arrived in Barcelona for the first of what I hope will be many trips to the wine regions of Spain on the afternoon of March 9th. An Importer who I work with, André Tamers and his company De Maison Selections organized the trip.

This is an ITB disclaimer- we only visited wineries represented De Maison – this is not to promote his wines but simply to share my experience on this trip.

After gathering all of the troops together it was off to our private bus – very swank. The bus had room for 14 though we were only 10 so there was a bit of room to spread out. Our driver, Jose Miguel was quickly dubbed “Ice” due to the shape of his hairstyle (which oddly resembled the shape of our bus) and the meticulous grooming of his eyebrows.

In minutes we were off to our first destination, Penedès – Cava country!

After a painless 2-hour drive south we arrived at Avinyó. Based in a farmhouse that dates back to the 16th century, the Esteve Nadal family has been making still and sparkling wines for over 40 years. In addition to wine, the estate also produces traditional Catalan four pigment ceramic tiles and houses an impressive collection of antique Porrones, the traditional Catalan drinking vessel (more on these later).