There are many great wine regions in Spain, and Catalonia is one of the most famous ones. The region is known for the amazing sparkling wine called Cava which is produced using traditional methods and is a less expensive alternative to the French champagne.
The xarel·lo, macabeo, and parellada are the primary grape varieties for producing Cava. Local winemakers are also increasingly beginning to use the French variety chardonnay. However, what affects the wine’s character is above all the local climate, but also the type of habitat where the vine originates. I had the opportunity to visit one of the biggest producers of regional Cava – Castillo Perelada – whose vineyards and entire estate are located around 150 km north of Barcelona.
The vineyard produces not only sparkling wine but also some brilliant red wines based on regional grape varieties as well as a few varieties from Bordeaux. Wine has been made here since 1923 when Miguel Mateu bought the Castillo Perelada from the then Count Perelada together with the complex of buildings which had once been a Carmelite monastery.
Don Miguel was not only a passionate wine producer but also a great lover of art and culture. He created a museum in the castle, where he stored his collections of sculptures (mostly from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods), altars, textiles, furniture, paintings, coins, glass products, and ceramics which he had been collecting for years. He also enlarged the collections of the monastery library which now stores around 100,000 volumes, including manuscripts, incunabula, chronicles, and other bibliographical treasures. The monastery also hosts the Wine Museum with parts of a retained wine cellar as well as a historical collection of 750 bottles showing the history and growth of winemaking.
Visitors will also be impressed by a prestigious plot Finica Garbet located by the Mediterranean Sea north of Cap de Creus and referred to by its owners the “crown jewel”. This 12-hectar estate is made up of terraced vineyards of such grape varieties as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, syrah, garnatxa. The hilly terrain of the region features a microclimate which guarantees ideal conditions for growing the grape varieties which are used in Cava production. Grapes from this vineyard are used in the production of the prestigious Gran Claustro wine.
I especially recommend the wines available in Dr Irena Eris SPA Hotels not only for special occasions but also as an ideal aperitif for warm and sunny days of the Polish summer.
CAVA Perelada Brut Reserva
Made of three grape varieties: Macabeo (30%), Xarel·lo (45%), Parellada (25%). This Cava goes through a second fermentation in the bottle in accordance with the méthode traditionelle and stays in the cellar for 15 months. It has a pale yellow color with excellent bubbling. Due to the aging process, it developed beautiful aromas of fruit. Perfectly balanced structure and the abundance of sensory sensations create a unique wine. Goes perfectly without any additives, but can constitute a great aperitif. In Catalonia, Cava is traditionally served with the local specialty – fried sardines.
Manager of the Romantyczna Restaurant at the Dr Irena Eris SPA Hotel Wzgórza Dylewskie