October 26, 2018 Sant Cugat Sesgarrigues SP

Tonight we are parked at a winery called Cellar Battl Artcava.  We are little bit southwest of Barcelona.  This area is known for a sparkling wine called Cava.  

We had booked a visit to the largest producer of Cava in Spain called Codorniu, it has been in business since 1541, and is still owned by the 18th generation of the original family.  We both woke up early and even though it was only a couple of hours to the winery we left pretty early, and sure enough arrived very early for our 330 pm tour.  After looking at our options we decided to head into one of the larger towns nearby to see if we could knock out some laundry.  That did not happen, but we did find a Lidl which is Ton’s favorite grocery store here.

After spending some money in Lidl we headed back to the winery and still had some time to kill so, so we settled in and did some reading.  Finally we went in and had the light lunch we had scheduled, we met a couple from Austin who were touring Italy and Spain by car.  We swapped stories about  wine regions before beginning the tour.  

In the foreground is a very large vessel used for olive oil production in the 16th century, in the background is a wine press from the 19th century.

We have been on a lot of wine tours but this one was unique.  This is an industrial sized winery and they have the capacity to produce one million bottles in a year, though last year they “only” made 600,000 bottles.  Around 1911 they focused exclusively on Cava which is a sparkling wine.  The tour focused on their storage caves which are about 90 feet underground and according to the guide cover 13.5 km’s of tunnels.  To prove the extent of the tunnels at one point they loaded us all onto a train and drove us around the tunnels for about 10 minutes.  They are really vast.  The wine was good, but we still are not great fans of sparkling wines.

Part of the extensive cellars used to store Cava while it ages 2 to 10 years.

After the tour we moved over to Cellar Battl Artcava which is supposed to be located 5 minutes from the source of the original vineyards in Catalan, so it is the Cava (winery) closest to the origin of wine here.  

We have been in Catalan for a few days now and are beginning to get even more confused with romance languages.  The signs here are in Catalan and Spanish. Catalan unlike Basque is a romance language, but it is as different from Spanish as French or Portuguese is.  As an example wine in French is Vin, in Spanish is Vino, and in Catalan is Vi.  There has been a bit of a political uproar as the Catalan parliament voted to leave Spain last year, but driving around there is no sign that anything is happening to move that forward or to stymie it, but of course we cannot read the signs in Spanish or Catalan!

This vineyard is 2 minutes from the source of the original vineyard in Catalan.

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