WanderStory x Barcelona: Countryside, Caves & Cava

IMG_2363“Age Quod Agi”

I’m standing in an old chapel built in the early 1900’s on the property of a winery. These three Latin words are inscribed upon the arms of a post-modern representation of a crucifixion.

“What does it mean?”

“We do what we are and we are what we do.”

I smile. I pull out my notebook and write it down.

I’m wandering the Penedès DO wine region just outside of Barcelona. Known for producing Spain’s bubbly delight, Cava, the escape to wine country was a short 45 minute ride by car. Being that I work in the industry and that I was less than an hour away, I knew I had to get to the birthplace and genesis of Spain’s delightful sparkler.

“Cava” translated is Spanish for Cave which makes sense since this Sparkling wine is aged in underground caves and cellars. Made from local grape varieties in the area, the Spaniards make this sparkling wine in a very similar method to traditional French Champagne.

I had found this wine tour through Airbnb Experiences and this was my first time booking an experience.

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Spoiler Alert: Airbnb Experiences are quite awesome!

The experience came with a visit to two wineries (owned by the same family). The first stop was a visit to Pere Ventura to tour Caves & taste Cava. The second stop was to visit Can Bas, a beautiful estate with acres of old vines, old buildings & chapels and cellars with Amphorae aged wines.

For five hours, this little escape to wine country was a welcome escape from the buzz of the city. We got picked up in Barcelona by van and were transported to the winery where an English tour guide ended up giving me a personal tour of the winery.

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The tour started with a stroll through three levels of caves where bottles upon bottles of Cava were aging. Cava (which can be made from an assortment of different regional grapes) is aged and vinted Methode Champenoise. After the tour, an assortment of five sparklings (and their delicious tiny bubbles!) were downed with a full plate of cheese, sausage & crackers before noon.

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Good thing I skipped breakfast.

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After a tour of the caves and tasting a variety of Cavas, the tour then migrated to the Can Bas Winery and Estate. Upon arrival, we hopped into an open top 4×4 Jeep to tour the grounds. Weaving in between well manicured vineyard rows and old vine vineyards, we started to explore all the history that existed on the land before the estate became a winery.

Harvest has just begun in this region and you can see workers hand picking the literal fruits of their labor. Being a part of the industry, it was fun to see how wine continues to be made in other parts of the world (especially the old world). For anyone in Barcelona, a quick trip to Penedes is well worth the excursion if even for just a half day escape!

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