Barcelona has so much to offer: football, nightlife and of course, the beach, but it is just one city in the fascinating region of Catalonia. A mere 45 minute drive from the metropolis, you can find the magnificent and ancient countryside of the Penedès, one of Spain’s many wine producing regions and the homeland of cava. To lead you through this bountiful landscape is David, founder of Wine Ventures Barcelona, a lover of wine and gastronomy, and a familiar face in many of the Penedès’ best bodegas and restaurants.
Wine Ventures have many experiences to choose from, all of which will pick you up directly from your accommodation in Barcelona in the morning, and return you there at the end of the day. Whilst each tour is distinct, for instance the Bike Tour involves riding electric bikes through the hills of the Subirats vineyards, and the Premium Cava Experience shows you how to make your own bottle of cava, all of them are personal experiences and all revolve around wine.
Perhaps most emblematic of Wine Ventures is therefore their Wine Tour. During this 8-hour day trip you will have the opportunity to escape Barcelona’s busy streets and immerse yourself in the outstanding natural beauty of the Penedès landscape and Garraf mountains. The benefits of Wine Ventures’ small and intimate groups are manifold. They allow you to take the day at a leisurely, Mediterranean pace and also permit you enough time to get to know your guide David. He is an expert on the region but also highly skilled at helping people relax and feel comfortable throughout the day, with his personable and cordial manner.
Thousands of years of history have left their mark on Catalonia’s countryside and you will have the pleasure of visiting one of the oldest and best preserved castles during the Wine Tour. From this vantage point, the immense patchwork of vineyards, fields and woodland can be marvelled at, with the iconic Montserrat mountain serving as a dramatic background. According to your interests, David will teach you about Catalonia’s past, from its early Iberian settlers, through the Moorish invasions and the Reconquista, right up to modern times. Entwined with this 2,000 year narrative is the production of wine and so it’s only right that your next stop on the tour should be a bodega.
David delights in revealing the small family-owned vineyards of the Penedès to his guests and your visit to Caves Olivé Batllori is a prime example of this. Not only does this winery make superb cava and wine, it is also a beautiful site to explore with more dazzling views of the surrounding countryside. Olivé Batllori family member Marçal will teach you all about their wine production process and lead you through their underground caves where thousands of cava bottles undergo the second fermentation process. Sample three different vintages here and discover the pleasures of wine tasting beneath the Mediterranean sun.
A short drive away, the next stop is another family winery: Eudald Massana Noya. Organic and biodynamic farming are priorities for this innovative estate and winemaker Karina is more than happy to share some of the secrets behind their delicious products. To diversify your tasting practice, a rosé, a white and a red from the Eudald Massana selection will be provided for you to try and Karina will teach you how to wine taste like a pro.
After sampling six different bottles, it is definitely the right moment to head to lunch. Fortunately, David’s route is carefully planned and the restaurant is mere minutes from Eudald Massana Noya. This local spot is a typical Catalan eatery, complete with traditional cooking and authentic recipes. Naturally, you will lunch like a native with sharing tapas plates of jamón ibérico, pintxos, bacalao and pan con tomate. To accompany your meal, what else but cava – the sparkling wine intended to accompany food.
Finally replete with excellent wines, plenty of fresh air and a hearty lunch, David will return you to the Catalan capital. Doze off on the ride home, as you dream about abundant vineyards, cava and wine – what a perfect way to highlight your Spanish holiday!