A Wander Down Wine Lane
by Michael Douglas Bosc
Ahhh September! This is the time of year when we would normally be visiting the Cellers to see how their wine is made. But this year it has been a little difficult for me to do so. However things are back to normal now so I decided to take a look at some of my articles before once again setting off in search of more wines. So here are a few with their links - hope you enjoy this stroll.
We have visited Mas Roig http://bit.ly/1cUxVzG the little wine town near our home at their harvest time, and seen how the grapes are still picked by hand as not only are the terraces to small to get a mechanical picker on them, but some of these vines are bush style vines. Not grown in the straight upright lines you often see, but left to grow as a small bush like the Garnatxa grape. So because the grapes are hand-picked they come into the Celler in wagons lined with blue plastic so they do not lose any of their precious juice.
We have been In Batea http://bit.ly/Q3CkFm at their harvest time and seen first hand just how busy they are with the tractors bringing in the grapes and sometimes tankers taking last years wine off to places such as Lamancha, where it is used to either bulk their wine or sold on to other wine makers for blending. Yes this does happen and there is nothing wrong in doing it. Lets face facts, if the excess wine was not used in this way it would result in ‘wine lakes’ which, unless you had a big straw and a huge thirst, would be wasted.
At this time of the year both the black and white grapes are full of juice, but it is the white grape which is slightly larger than the black that is used to make
Muscatel a sweet golden wine. Although this is a sweet wine, I would not class it as a ‘pudding’ wine. It has a good body plus a fruity aroma which, so my wife informs me, makes it very more’ish and I have only seen her ‘protective’ over one other non sparkling wine and that’s the red Garnatxa from Capsanis http://bit.ly/17hHJl0 which is more like a port but with a history.
Then there was the Pedrola Celler. This ia a small family run Celler http://bit.ly/100A1r5 on the outskirts of Miravet where they make a spectacular sparkling wine in the traditional way. It might only be on a small-scale ’boutique’ style at the moment, but they have some good ideas and are quietly getting their wine out there. It is out in British market, so pay their site a visit and go find a treat.
Next is another small delight with big ideas that is doing well, the Pascona Celler in Falset http://bit.ly/199l7mJ where some really fantastic reds are to be found. This little known Celler is a well-kept secret at the moment but Toni and the boys are determined to make their mark with their wines grown in the three different types of soil that crisscross this vineyard.
And finally a little Celler tucked away in the mountains of the Monsant region http://bit.ly/17hVHmS. Here you will find a rather different wine called Castle Siurana Rancia plus again the history of a determination to bring fines wines to the world.
So with these varied and traditional cellers around I hope to be kept busy over the winter, re-visiting some and visiting others for the first time. I have not forgotten about Cava. I have given up the idea pointing my wagon in a certain direction, this time I intend to wander along the country roads and see what I find, it should be quite interesting.
(c) Michael Douglas Bosc