Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Terrassa, Spain

Here I am, at the computer of the Hotel Vapor Gran, the "Great Vapor," the very best business hotel in Terrassa, Spain. As I may have mentioned earlier, La Cambra de Terrassa is generously supporting this business wine trip junket. Today, after a heartfelt, teleprompter style (just with typed remarks on paper subbing for the screen) heavily accented reading of opening remarks from one of the Chamber´s veeps, we were off to meet with many different wine producers representing the Penedes, Terra Alta and Costers del Segre regions. Filtered, heavily sulphured, correct yet anonymous, large (make that, HUGE) production wines were poured, one after the next. There were a few great values. Though I will yet again lose wine cool points for saying so, some of my favorites were the cheapest: wines made in very large quantities from primarily garnacha (for the reds) and garnacha blanca (white) grapes. Wines fermented with selected yeasts and lightly filtered prior to bottling. For just a few euros ex-cellar they are well worth the cost. Also, the young enologist who presented these wines was very well informed about the wine´s production process. No bullshit, just honest answers and explanations. Might see these in a K&L store or website at some point.

Apart from the day´s meetings and the disappointing, lackluster performance that led to the Barça defeat at the hands of the Milanese, the clear highlight so far has been linking up with Gabriella Opaz of Catavino fame. She lives in Terrassa and told me all about it: the city´s construction boom over the last 4 years, the discovery of dinosaur bones and ensuing delay of the construction of the Metro station, and the annual jazz fest that is Spain´s best. Definitely owe a huge "gracias" to Gabriella for meeting me and adding such valuable local perspective my first night staying in Terrassa.

Tomorrow, more junket. Friday, Raventos i Blanc. Saturday, natural wines at Vega de Ribes and Mendall. Sunday, hanging out with the Peciñas in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Rioja. Then more Rioja next week. Just so you know what to expect in the days ahead, or what to skip out on if you prefer when I write about non-Spanish stuff.

Hasta pronto, queridos lectores....