02 Sep 2020
Wine tourism – Wine culture. The grape harvest.
THE HARVEST HAS ALREADY BEGINNING IN VARIOUS GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS OF CATALONIA.
In Catalonia, its history is full of the aroma and taste of wine. Wine tourism allows visitors to learn more about this magical transformation of the grape. The wine culture of the “Catalonia among the vineyards“, programme takes centre stage during the grape harvest season. The harvest is one of the most important moments in the making of a good wine. It is the time when the harvest is gathered and the wines of the season are prepared.
The speed of maturation is accelerated in the early varieties and in those grown in soils with water stress, but it is expected that the grapes can be harvested at their optimum maturity despite the fact that the weather situation this spring and summer has not been entirely favourable and will not allow a harvest similar to previous years since the Covid-19 pandemic and the “Mildew” (Mildiu de la Uva) plague have affected production. Despite these drawbacks, it will not be a spectacular harvest, but one of excellent quality. This has involved less labour, which has allowed a more exhaustive control and a strict application in protocols and measures of security, hygiene and health protection.
In spite of the fact that the weather conditions this spring, very rainy and with higher than normal temperatures, have been ideal for a perfect evolution of the disease that attacks the vines and that has caused a notable decrease in the harvest. The varieties of macabeo, merlot and ull de llebre have had a higher incidence than the other grape varieties. This season’s harvest, in general, will have a decrease in the crop of between 20-40% depending on the areas and the type of grape harvested.
The harvest has always been associated with the celebration. In some areas of the territory, the harvest season is made to coincide with local festivities. Since olden times, the grape harvest has also had a ritualistic quality due to its deep roots in Mediterranean culture and its popularity among grape pickers. Although today’s process is largely mechanised, the moment of separating the grapes from the vine is still a cause for celebration, and many of the towns organise festivals during the harvest in which anyone can participate. On this occasion, due to the situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are hardly any festive events. Only a few wineries have programmed different activities, in a small group format, and applying strict hygiene and safety measures. In spite of the fact that the reservations of these programmes have been completed due to the interest of the visitors in participating in the grape harvesting activity, the participation of previous years cannot be equalled, as there is a limitation of places in all the proposals and enotourist experiences. The grape harvest has always been one of the most important moments in the production of a good wine. It is when the raw materials are collected to prepare the wines of the year. It is a great celebration in all the Wine Routes around Catalonia and Spain.
Catalonia offers the opportunity to enjoy the wine harvest to the fullest. Its wine cellars and other establishments in the wine tourism sector offer a large number of activities during the months of September and October that allow visitors to discover the entire wine production process and the techniques used to achieve a product of excellent quality. On this occasion, there are even virtual programmes that allow visitors to learn about the details of a harvest without leaving home.
Among the most famous wine regions in Catalonia, the Priorat, stands out, a mountainous area near Barcelona that typically produces rich dark red colours. Also, worth mentioning is the Terra Alta, area, a strictly western area that produces fresh red colours as it is located in a higher part of Catalonia. And we must not forget the Penedès, region, which, among other blends, produces a large quantity of cava, or the area of the Empordà, DO, which this year also has an atypical harvest.
TOURISM – Coaches – Visits – Transfers – Excursions – Circuits.
The desire to know new destinations implies a need for transport. Avant Grup, has its origin in this demand and for more than 50 years the companies that form in origin the group of transport, Autocares Canals and Bardet Autocares, initiated their activity in the transport of travellers in bus and specializing in the sector of the tourism.
In spite of the fact that their main activity is the transport logistics in great events and cruise tourism, the services for the transfer of students to the educational centres or from the employees to their companies together with the excursions in Barcelona and Catalonia, circuits around Spain and Europe, have consolidated the company as a reference in the coach tourism sector.