After spending most of the morning galavanting about the countryside learning about the land, the grapes, the natural flora and fauna, and tasting some truly delicious wines, we were running a little behind because we had spent a fair bit of time examining the wines and Silvia had been answering all the questions we shot at her, and with one thing and another picnic lunch at Mas Comtal was a little delayed. But we arrived and Marta gave us a brief history of the winery and then directed us to the newly installed picnic area, with amazing views over the Penedes, with vineyards stretching into the distance and into the monolith of Montserrats' jagged peaks. First up was our lunch, a traditional Catalan spread of delicious meats, a chickpea salad, some absolutely lovely tomatoes and a huge bowl of fresh cherries. The wines that accompanied were, naturally, excellent and selected for the food.
When we had all been sufficiently fed, Assun led the group through the vineyards, explaining which grapes were being grown, and why here, and how the company maintains its organic label. The tasting was with Albert Mila, the owner and an absolutely fantastic host. His passion for his wines is obvious, as is his knowledge. After sampling some of the more unique wines available, we said adeu and headed to our final destination: Rimarts Cava.
Unlike Mas Comtal and Pares Balta, Rimarts focuses exclusively on cavas, creating their top tier cavas with all the passion, dedication and tradition one could hope for. In fact, even the members of the group who were not fans of cava before visiting were overwhelmed by their obvious passion for what they do. Not to mention that the wines are, for the unsuspecting casual cava drinker often a complete surprise, as they mirror reflection of that passion and dedication in delicate aromas, full bodied flavors and none of the negative side effects many have come to expect from the "cheaper" cavas.
We finally returned to Barcelona with time the evening still free, and the lovely early summer temperatures were just what was in order for a lovely finish to a busy but truly special day.