ENOTOURISM – The Wine and Cava Routes.
23 Dec 2020

ENOTOURISM – The Wine and Cava Routes.

Wine and cava are part of the history of Catalonia. All the wine cellars in the territory not only produce wines or cavas, but also allow visitors to enter the culture of wine, its production and the traditions that surround the vineyards and that they share with other cultural, architectural and tourist complements that make up the proposals and tourist routes that provide new experiences in wine tourism. The cava, especially, accompanies all the celebrations and is served by the glass in the different family meetings during the Christmas celebrations. The cava is made following the traditional champenoise method. The pressed grapes are converted into must and transferred to stainless steel tanks for debourbage, which separates the solid particles. The first fermentation takes place in the tanks, which transforms the must into wine and the natural sugar of the grape into alcohol. The slower the fermentation, the easier it is for the wine to retain its fresh and fruity aromas. Ideal as an aperitif or to accompany meals, it has made a name for itself on the world wine market. Raw, dry, semi-dry or sweet, depending on the concentration of residual sugar, it is usually served in a glass to distinguish the path of the bubbles.

Although this season, restrictions mark the celebration of the holidays, in homes the tradition of accompanying the different Christmas menus with cava will continue. It will be an atypical holiday. These upcoming Christmas holidays are faced with uncertainty and marked by a series of health measures established in order to avoid contagion and crowding, especially in closed or reduced spaces. Families have had to adapt and tourist proposals have had to be reinvented. Sharing a few days with the traditional Christmas meal and an enotourist route has been one of the sector’s Christmas proposals.

The wine tourism routes offer the possibility of discovering and getting to know an area with its own personality and with a rich diversity that is articulated around the culture of wine and cava. In small groups or with the family, the outdoor activities have an attraction that complements the Christmas tradition of sharing wines and cavas on each of the menus.

The Alt Penedès Tourism Promotion Consortium’s wine and cava routes allow visitors to visit different cava producers thanks to the various routes that run through some of the region’s municipalities through their wineries, villages and monuments.

The cava production area is made up of 160 municipalities, of which the Penedès region accounts for more than 95% of the total, and the town of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia accounts for more than 75%. In 1872 the first bottles were produced, in 1972 the Regulatory Council for Sparkling Wines was set up and in 1993 the first Cava Regulatory Council was established. During the twenties of the last century, cava strengthened its position in the market, where it was consolidated internationally in the eighties. Today it is one of the most dynamic sectors, with over two hundred million bottles a year.

Take a breath and relax in the vineyards of the Penedès

In a privileged enclave between pine and oak forests, some of them centuries old, aromas of rosemary, thyme, the aniseed of fennel and the subtlety of broom or radish depending on the time of year, grow the vineyards of Heretat Can Llopart.

The estate has been in the hands of the Llopart family for 26 generations, who have transformed its fruit into the renowned sparkling wines that carry the name of the lineage. They are vineyards of autochthonous varieties (Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada) that are staggered by the terraces saving the unevenness of one of the highest areas of the Penedès; that’s why they like to call them mountain vineyards. Their cultivation is organic, and respect for each vine is almost intimate, thus allowing the most faithful expression of each enclosed area and each terrace. Looking at the winery and the surrounding vineyards, the Can Llopart farmhouse rises up like a watchtower. It was there where, in 1887, the family produced the first bottle of sparkling wine.

This place full of magic is one of the spaces chosen to make one of the unforgettable tastings organized by the winery. In this case, it is the Leopardi visit, which pays tribute to the first ancestor of the family who lived in the farmhouse decided and dedicated to the world of wine back in 385. It is Bernardus Leopardi. In this visit you can make a trip to the past through the family history and at the same time the history of how the Penedès has been through the centuries, enjoying a typical country breakfast in the porches of the main house, with views to all the terraces of the vineyards of the Estate. One of the most characteristic features of the vineyards of Llopart is its north orientation. Due to its location on the shady side of the Ordal mountains, they enjoy special microclimatic conditions. These singularities are transversal for all their wines, and it is very evident in the names of the sparkling Microcosmos Rosé Brut Nature and other varieties produced by the same winery. The experience of discovering how the vines adapt to the Ordal mountains’ Protected Natural Interest Area is made possible by the winery’s wine tourism team, which organises trekking routes that include a picnic in one of the most magical spots on the estate, in the area known as Las Flandes. Getting there is a gift for the senses. A very accessible route that combines forest and vineyard, in a spectacular mosaic of biodiversity that allows us to discover organic farming, the different native varieties of the area (and depending on the time of year, to be able to taste its grapes!), including the centenary art of building in dry stone, an art catalogued in 2018 by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Dry stone huts are common throughout the Penedès landscape (in fact, they can be found all over the European Mediterranean area, even in Cyprus) and are a symbol of the sustainable relationship between man and nature. The Can Llopart Estate has up to 23 described, with its characteristic roof planted with lilac lilies. For the more active families there is also a proposal, the Vive la Heredad visit, which allows the youngest to discover life in the countryside and taste the Most Flor de Xarel-lo with selected chocolates by Simón Coll while the adults do their wine tasting. This grape juice, made from the flagship variety of the Penedès, is the winery’s solidarity project. All the funds obtained from the sales of the Mosto Flor are destined to the  Fundació Amics Joan Petit – Nens amb càncer, which aims to research against the disease and to accompany families.

The cycle of the vineyard and the passing of the seasons mark the progress of the activity in the winery, and the proposals that are carried out are also accompanied. In March, in the middle of the vine’s awakening, it is possible to participate in a day of observation of the vine’s crying and do a forest bath tasting, a technique that immerses you in the forest with the five senses and allows you to enjoy its beneficial properties. In June, on a full moon night, a sleep activity: wine tasting at sunset, dinner in the open air and a session to observe the stars. It is the night of Glamping among vineyards, a stay in the middle of nature with tents type jaima equipped with all the comforts of a boutique hotel. In September, with all the noise of the grape harvest, in Llopart the falcons, the capes, the carriers are prepared and they go on a trip to the 19th century. The journey Vive la Vendimia of 1887 invites you to a journey in time where you can become a grape picker, tread the grapes, and taste the must!

 

All these proposals can be found on the website LLOPART/ACTIVITATS, where you can make a reservation or ask for a gift voucher to make a very special gift!


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