Fancy being totally immersed in a centuries-old Catalan celebration just outside of Barcelona? If that sounds like an unmissable once in a lifetime experience (which it is!), why not try and get tickets to Nadal’s harvest party. This is an annual fiesta that rejoices in the gathering of the seasons grapes with ample food, wine and cava. Before the revelry begins, you will also get the chance to pick some grapes for yourself, to tour the vineyard and visit Nadal’s cave to see their many bottles ageing.
Perhaps the only downside about this unique experience is the fact that everything is undertaken in Catalan. Nevertheless, English-only speakers can still appreciate the beauty of the Nadal estate and get stuck in with the grape picking. Attendees are instructed to bring their own secateurs – but if you didn’t think to pack them for your holiday, a pair of kitchen scissors will do just fine (and can be picked up in any of Barcelona’s many bazaar shops). As the sun sets over the rows of vines, select and harvest the juiciest bunches of prime Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada to take home with you.
With the sticky part over, you will then be treated to a guided tour of Nadal’s facilities to see where the wine and cava making process takes place. Of course, the tour is in Catalan, but just to see the industrial side of their operation is intriguing all the same. What’s more, you will also be escorted below ground to their cave, where many thousands of bottles are slowly fermenting and ageing in the optimum cava-making conditions. It’s certainly well worth the short 40 minute train journey from Barcelona’s city centre.
During your tour of Nadal’s buildings, your hosts will have been busy preparing and laying an enchanting outdoor dinner in the vineyards themselves. Encounter tables laden with local cheeses, cold meats, freshly baked bread and of course, plentiful wine. Suppliers of each are carefully selected from local caterers to accompany the fabulous vintages Nadal themselves provide. There is a jovial, laid back atmosphere that transcends barriers of language and age, and you’ll find three or even four generations of locals enjoying themselves equally. Needless to say it is an al fresco party unlike anything you will find outside Catalonia, and a truly special occasion to be present for – if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket!