The first wine tour of the Teja's vacation was to the Penedes, and while only 3 wineries were on the agenda, it promised to be a full day. When we arrived at the bodega we were met by Silvia and led to our cars for a 2 hour off-road excursion. The Penedes region has 3 different sub-regions, and today we got the chance to explore the land in more depth. Our first stop was along the lower level of the hills, where we saw how the white wine vineyards are growing, on roads that made me glad I wasn't driving. In addition to the grapes we were introduced to some of the other natural flora of the region, including the flor de Sant. Joan (pictured), which has been used by locals for centuries (in the middle ages it was burned in houses to drive away evil spirits).
We continued our exploration of the countryside to the next level of vineyards, learning more about the care and attention that is paid to the wines, although I am suspicious that what will stand out in the memory of our group today was the cherry tree, where we were treated to fresh-off-the-tree wild cherries which were absolutely delicious! But for me, I think the highlight was our encounter with a herd of sheep (!), who were coming up the single lane road we were driving down, and passed by our cars so closely I could have reached out and touch them (I was warned not to do so). Our final stop on the off-road excursion was at the top of the mountain, where we had a great panorama of the Penedes valley.
Oh yes, let's not forget the wine. Upon returning to the winery, the tasting began, accompanied by some fresh baked bread and the wineries' own olive oil. We sampled a series of wines, although I have to admit that the Parellada monovarietal Honeywell, delicate and delicious!
Next stop a picnic lunch and more wineries!
For more information about private wine tours in Barcelona contact The Spanish Touch at 888-480-0013.