The Wine Festival
by Michael Douglas Bosc
This weekend was the wine fiesta at Falset. So on Saturday afternoon we drove to into Falset found a space in one of the car parks which was almost full, and made our way to the main street. This had been closed to traffic and was where the tasting stalls were usually set out, but this time there was nothing. Apart from the tables and chairs set out in the street by restaurants and bars and some of the cellers that had opened their doors for passing trade, the area was quiet, where were the people?
As we wandered on we found crowds moving up towards the castle. We had visited Falset Castle De Vi, a short while ago and knew the courtyard was large enough and relatively flat, an ideal place for the vintners to display their wines.
Each cubicle is approximately 2m x 2m with a counter giving each vineyard and co-operative an equal chance to exhibit their wines. One or two also displayed a small selection of their olive oil.
The idea is that you purchase a pouch which contain a large wine glass. This enables you to wander round the displays and taste the various wines on offer. People were wandering off with small boxes or bags with bottles of wine inside, but most were there for the sheer pleasure of tasting and drinking the wines on offer whilst noting their preferred ones for purchase later. A good social atmosphere abounded, friends meeting, laughing chatting more like a club scene but without the music, but this did not dampen their
Through all this relaxed jollity, to me, something seemed to be missing. People were going straight from the car parks to the Castle, missing the town altogether. We walked back towards the main street, looking for somewhere to have a coffee, and it was as though we had walked into a different place or time. Although the tables and chairs were in the road hardly anyone was sat at them, even the cellers who had shops in town had no visitors. This was a shame, the fair could have involved the whole town, people would have been able to sit, drink or eat and watch others enjoying the fair whilst the bars etc., would have had considerable trade. As it was unless like us people were looking for a place to sit and have a coffee, people were leaving as they arrived from car park to castle then castle to car park.
The wines were of the usual standard, for the DO Monsant and DOQ Priorat very good. Full bodied reds, deep in colour with a richness that denoted a smooth taste. Tinto’s that were a little lighter than the dark Negres, light Rose, a clear pink wine delicate but soft on the palet. The whites some a little dry, others more subtle not exactly sweet but again soft. My wife prefers white wine to red so I bow to her opinion here. The wine I particularly liked was made from the Grenache grape, something I will be looking into. Oh and yes we did take home some wine.
By: Michael Douglas Bosc