Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spain in 3 weeks

Press junkets for wine bloggers are popular these days. Whether it's debating the merits of typicity vs oak influenced, post-modern homogeneity in the Piemonte, or reporting on wineries, abalone farms and other attractions in Paso Robles, there is most assuredly a junket for any blogger with just a little bit of hustle and some writing ability.

Now, I do not claim to be hustling or writing particularly well of late. Fortunately, however, I was approached by the US-Spain Chamber of Commerce with a junket proposal through my daytime gig as a Spanish wine buyer and will be heading to Spain - to the city of Terrassa, specifically. Throughout the week, I will be tasting and meeting with various Catalunyan producers, likely to be mainly in the Penedes D.O. The idea is that I find something I like, of some perceived commercial value, that I can sell to my customers. The good old direct importation model of selling wine. While in Terrassa I am very excited to be meeting up with Gabriella Opaz, who is one half of the husband-wife team at catavino. They have done a great job not only with their Iberian focused wine blog, but with uniting wine bloggers throughout Europe. Who knows, maybe she will teach me how to blog better.

In addition to seeking some wines that are honest, well-made and priced to move in large quantities, I will certainly be visiting a few producers of wine on a smaller, more human scale, making more natural wines. I have a few addresses I am planning to visit but would love to hear any thoughts on what may fit into this category. Oh, as a reminder small production and organic does not necessarily equate to natural.

After the week is up, I will stay several extra days to explore Rioja. With the exception of one huge, historical bodega whose wines I quite like, I will be focusing on smaller producers. Once again, any ideas are welcome.

Ideally, I will be reporting from the ground in Spain, which should hopefully provide some entertainment, with perhaps a bit of education for good measure.

Edutainment for the massses.