#ThrowbackThursday! I had to share the trip I took to Barcelona last fall with you before I head on my upcoming trip to Trieste. Yeah, I went back! I never thought that I’d visit Barcelona two years in a row, but a friend of mine really wanted to go. So, I agreed under one circumstance. We HAD to tag on a couple of other places to the trip. ‘Bet! She said.’ We ended up going to Porto, Portugal and Ibiza as well. Now you know no matter where I travel (domestic or international) I have to do something wine-related! It’s a non-negotiable. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do what I really wanted to do wine-wise in Porto (still LOVED it there) and Ibiza really isn’t where it’s at for wine, but Barcelona come through again with one of the best wine experiences.
This time around, I booked a tour through Castlexperience Wine Tours, which I discovered from another wine blogger. They offer daily excursions to iconic cultural sites combined wine tastings at small family wineries. Since I fell in love with Cava on my last trip, we opted for the “Wine, Tapas & Cava” day trip, which was only about 70-something euros. The tour included visiting two wineries and multiple tastings.
Part I: Ca N’Estella Estate
On our first stop, we visited Ca N’Estella Estate, a family winery specializing in producing Cava. On this leg of the tour we were pretty lucky because it was just my friend and I along with our awesome tour guide Xavi. He drove us outside of Barcelona and across the Catalan countryside. It was great to get out of the city and also have the chance to talk 1:1 with a local about the history and culture of Barcelona. When we arrived at the winery, we were blown away by its beauty. Xavi took us on a tour of the property while sharing the winery’s background.
For me, I loved hearing the story of the love and passion behind the family business. The ‘Finca Ca n’Estella’ vineyard has been making wine since 1847. Its wines were first officially recognized in 1877 at the National Wine Exhibition in Barcelona. In 1959, the estate was bought by Delfi Rabetllat. A few years later, with the help of his daughter Mercè Rabetllat and his son in law Jaume Vidal, they rebuilt the winery which had been destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, so they could start producing wine again. The current manager, Anna Vidal Rabetllat, is following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather. She is supported by some of her siblings in running the daily operations. I was really inspired by Anna and how her father groomed her to become a winemaker. She cleaned up around the grounds and he even had her blind tasting at an early age. When she returned home with a degree in viticulture that wasn’t enough. Her father made her start at the bottom to get the hands-on experience she would need to one day run the business. And now she’s running things! How girl boss is that?
Anyways, after the tour we were treated to a three course tapas tasting paired with different Cavas. The intimate setting was perfect and the food was so good. I really enjoyed having authentic Catalan dishes. Can I just note, that Anna made their brut Cava to embody the essence of her late father? It initially has these strong flavors and then softens in the finish just like his hard yet soft demeanor! I thought that was so sweet. I actually bought a bottle, but I’m saving it for a special day. After we ate, we continued our tour and were able to see many of the international awards the winery had received over the years. The tour ended with us meeting Anna, which was so awesome!
Part II: Oller Del Mas Winery
On the last half of the tour, we visited Oller Del Mas Winery. Here we met up with another group. This vineyard is 100 percent organic. They don’t use any chemical substances to make their wine. We started with a tour of the vineyard and then headed instead the winery for a tasting. From there it get’s kind of blurry. Let’s just say that our group had a GREAT time. We tried a white and red wine along with various cheeses. I must admit that after a while nobody really cared to hear about the tasting notes. We just wanted wine and more it. I’ll never forget when asked what aromas we detected in one of the wines, one woman replied ‘grapes.’ Yup, our group was on 100! We chatted and laughed and made instant connections over our love for wine. It was by far my best wine experience on the entire trip!
I really enjoyed our excursion with Castexperience. I definitely recommend looking them up if you’re ever in Barcelona. Until my next trip…glasses up!