Friday, May 14, 2010

LO NATURAL hits España

No time for part 4 to go up this week, it seems. But I really look forward to writing it, quite possibly more than any other post I have written to date. Let me explain why.

I drove through the Catalunyan countryside, passing through pueblo after pueblo, crossing the Ebro and finally meeting one Laureano Serres at his house and winery in El Pinell de Brai. What followed was something of an introduction to the small, but fervent group of vignerons in Spain who are a part of the growing natural wine community. By now, you know the deal: careful, passionate attention in the vineyards with minimal treatments; fermentation with native yeasts, minimal to no sulphur added, and nothing else added for that matter.

Shortly after arriving, one of Laureano's best friends, Joan Ramon Escoda, another vigneron making wines in the Conca de Barbera D.O. about 30 minutes to the north, stopped by. What followed was a very extensive tasting, discussion, and sharing of thoughts and ideas about wine the likes of which I had seldom experienced. It was a heavy experience (as it turns out, 'heavy' has been appropriated into the Spanish language, pronounced with a jota, so, 'jevi'). Anyway, as I heard about the development of this tight community of 8 vignerons geared more towards natural winemaking in Spain, I learned about how it came together, Thierry Puzelat's advisory role, and most importantly I sensed the excitement and passion of these guys. It was contagious, and maybe even planted another seed somewhere in my head that perhaps I need to be out there growing vines and making wine some day.

So, that having been said, the full report will be found in part four of JOE GO TO SPAIN next week. I look forward to sharing what is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding winery visits and tastings I have yet to experience.