Catalonia is a land of wine, no wonder that there are plenty of enotourism experiences to try. I picked J.Miquel Jané cellar to go for a three-hour wine course that included a vineyard exploration, the production machines and the visit of the cellar apart of the wine tasting course.

We got there by car as it is an isolated place, a very nice area in the surroundings of Guardiola de Font Rubí a little town in Penedès. For the ones who don't know Penedès yet, it is the cathedral of Wine in Catalonia.

Penedès: the star area of Wine in Catalonia

Penedès was a famous place even in roman times, the romans introdcued the vine and the agriculture when they arrived in Catalonia. In Vilafranca del Penedès town, they have the museum of wine and it has been assured that in Penedès area there were vines already in IV century bc. and it was exported to other places such as Gàl·lia, Germània and the roman Italy,

During XVIII and XIX century in the Penedès area there was the biggest extension of vineyards in Catalonia, the most productive and the one successfully exporting internationally thanks to the Catalan champagne: cava. The two most known capitals of wine are places from el Penedès: Vilafranca del Penedès and Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. Since this area has been very famous because of its wine, it is not a surprise that they were the pioneers in the usage of new materials, tools and processes that are used now.

El Penedès area is divided in three wine zones:

  • Low Penedès: the climate is warm and mild due to the short distance to the sea. The vineyards are cultivated below 250m above sea level and there are mostly white wines.
  • Mid Penedès: The vineyards are cultivated until 500m above sea level and there is a cool climate. The main varieties cultivated are "xarel·lo" and "macabeu" that are used to produce the famous cava, the Catalan champagne.
  • High Penedès: The vineyards are cultivated until 800m above sea level and is where the star wines of "Designation of Origin (DO) Penedès" are cultivated, one of the famous grape varieties is "parellada".

Wine course in Catalonia

Wine+tasting+spain

We did our wine course in J.Miquel Jané cellar, we started in groups, and I think we were on the lucky one, as Guillem our guide was amazing, he knew everything about the place, the wine and all the processes. So thumbs up for Guillem.

We went first to the vineyard and I learnt that there are two different kinds of vineyard cultivation:

  • Between three and six branch vineyard: this is the old way, the vineyard used to grow as it wanted to, naturally, this ended up with a messy look vineyard and it was difficult to control its growth and quality of the grapes.
  • 2 branch vineyard: this is the new way to cultivate, only 2 branches in T shape. There is less wood with only two branches, more quality grapes, tiny plants but more quality. The little the plant the more can be cultivated in the same space, also this way of growing the plants make them compete among them and this competition helps grow down on the roots.

It is always good to learn new stuff, and this is what my mind kept without looking at my notes of course. After the go-around in the vineyard, we went to the factory where all the machines are kept. They explained all the process from bringing the grapes from the vineyard to the wine being served into the table.

After that, we went to the favorite part of all these tours, which is wine tasting. This was not my first wine tasting so I knew what was going to be, you need to have had a nice breakfast otherwise it will be difficult to keep up with 4 to 10 different glasses of wine.

We had the chance of tasting 5 different wines, two white, two red and one rosé.  We were taught the different steps for wine tasting, I explain them shortly below:

  • Visual examination: color, the bubbles, and  the appearance.
  • Smell examination: intensity, quality, duration, smell and features.
  • Taste examination: sweet, acid, full-body and bouquet.

The session at Miquel Jané lasted three hours, from 11 to 14h, they gave us a bottle of their Baltana Blanc de Blancs, as it was part of the package we bought with the visit and we took home a rosé too, a Cabernet Sauvignon that we couldn't resist. If you want to eat nearby I recommend you Cal Pau Xich.


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