Exploring, Vineyard, Wineries

A Day of Wine, Food, Wine, Food, and More Wine

Monday Fun Day! Monday our friend Xavi picked us up at 8:30a.m. and took us on an adventure to the Priorat wine region (D.O. Montsant). Xavi told us that first, we would stop for breakfast in the town of Valls. When we arrived at Restaurant Ca l’ Àngel we walked into a room where a table was set for 10-12 people. The table was occupied by a group of people we were meeting. The group were other restaurant owners like Xavi and a wine distributor. As soon as we met everyone we sat down for breakfast. Now, I should tell you that Bob and I expected to stop for just a pastry and a coffee but that couldn’t have been farther from what we had.

If you are vegan or vegetarian you will want to skip the next paragraph.

When we walked into the restaurant we noticed that people were eating oysters and drinking wine. Now, a glass of cava or wine or even a beer is not unheard of for breakfast here but…oysters?! On our table, we had cava, rosé, and white wine. Then the food started arriving. First oysters (we are not fans so didn’t have any) and Cod carpaccio. Jamón and bread. Grilled octopus, roast pork breast, and Oxtail stew. Oh and then five different cheese. Ending with coffee. Bob and I figured that we must all be lining our stomachs to go wine tasting.

We piled into three cars and off we went to Montsant. Oh my! The landscape is gorgeous. Getting close to our destination we drove through a small town and turned onto the 2.6 kilometers one lane twisty road to the winery. Where we live is remote but nothing like that.

The winery Vinyes Domènech is an absolutely breathtaking vineyard. The owner, Joan Ignasi Domènech made us all feel very welcome. He gave us a tour of some of the 10 hectares (24 acres) of vines. The vineyard is terraced and has five different zones that are based on the soil type. We toured the wine cellar where they press the grapes manually in stainless steel presses modeled on the old wood presses from the past.

Then we sat down with the view of the mountains and vineyards and started tasting what would end up being ten different wines. After we had tasted quite a few the tasting stopped so that they could bring out…TAPAS! What more food! We were still full from breakfast but it would be rude not to eat so we did. Then tasted more wines. Heaven.

Below are about half of the photos that I took.  The view must be even more amazing on a clear day.

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The slate is so gorgeous.

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The vineyard is about eighty percent Grenache (Garnatxa in Catalan).

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Because the terrain is so steep and rugged they use a rototiller to turn the soil.

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The photo below shows the difference before and after rototilling. Hard work.

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As with many winemakers there are always different experiments with winemaking and the fermentation process.

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This is an absolutely luscious dessert wine that they only produce three hundred bottles per year. YUM! Yes, we bought some.

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The aftermath of the wine tasting and feast.

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A window into the cellar.

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All the wines we tasted.

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L-R: Our friend Xavi; the owner Joan; Bob and me.

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