Great Cava with Indigenous Grape, Trepat by Carles Andreu

Low seated bush vines separated by fields of golden wheat follow the rolling hills within the basin of the small county of Conca de Barbara in the town of Pira, 115 km northwest of Barcelona.  As you approach Celler Carles Andreu, you feel the serenity of the crater.  Isolated from the rest of Spain, with its own unique weather conditions and soil, Conca de Barbara is the perfect setting for the Trepat grape to thrive. The oldest vineyards, planted by the grandfather of the family, are over 80 years old; the second oldest Trepat vines in Conca de Barbara.

Today, the family owns about ninety hectares of vineyards in the Conca de Barberà county, where they mainly grow the traditional grape varieties in this region (Macabeo, Parellada and Trepat).  The largest vineyard is only 6 hectares, allowing for more diversity in the vineyards.

The vineyards extend across the municipalities of Pira, Forès, Sarral, Solivella, Barberà de la Conca and Montblanc. After decades of growing grapes, in 1991, Carles Andreu established the bodega that still bears his name today. A small bodega housed in the old manor house of Cal Celdonitakes advantage of the space where wine used to be fermented many years ago, respecting the facings and architectural shapes of the house, which was built in 1796.

The Andreu family has long respected tradition, and only produces wine with 1/3 of their grapes.  The remaining 2/3 are sent to the local co-opp in order to better support the region. From the 1920’s to around 1985 there was no private production in this area.  Then, in 1985, Bernat’s father began making Cava.  In his first year, he produced 4,000 bottles.  Now, the Andreu family is responsible for the production of about 140,000 bottle.  All 250,000 kilos of Andreu family wine grapes are hand-picked.  The remaining 750,000 kilos are machine harvested and sent to the local co-opp.  And, during harvest you will be sure to find Bernat’s father (55 years young) still active in the vineyard.

The star grape, Trepat, is local to this region.  With a total of 1,000 hectares of in Conca de Barbara, Trepat accounts for about 20% of the total wine production in Conca de Barbara; not to mention, 90% of the world’s Trepat is grown here. The weather in Conca de Barbara is very supportive to the needs to Trepat.  They are not coastal, need lots of sun during the day and cool nights.  At 400 meters above sea level, this crater seems to be the nursery the Trepat grape needs in order to thrive. Although the Trepat grape has a dark skin, the sugar concentration is more similar to a white grape, and even during cold and dry years, they are still able to produce.  The sugar content in this late ripening grape is ideal for Cava (as well as a beautiful red), with good acidity and low tannin.

Although both the building and family tradition date back centuries, the Andreu family has embraced technology in order to increase the standard of their final product.  In 2002, construction began on a tunnel and two cellars.  Two years later, the project was completed, and if you’re lucky enough to get a tour, you will see the tail end of the Cava process in the dark, cool caves under the front vineyard.  This is where the family allows the Cava to take its time and age gracefully.  You cannot rush a good thing, and the family embraces this slogan.  Many of the Cavas are aged well past the required number of months for the Reserva and Gran Reserva categories, allowing consumers to enjoy a superior product. Indeed Carles Andreu has 3 Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2017 which are as follows:

Carles Andreu Reserva Barrica 2012 A very distinctive style with notes of vanilla and spice on the nose. The palate has fine bubbles & a very attractive forward fruit style with notes of preserved lemons & a long salty finish.
Cava Rosat Brut Carles Andreu 2013 A toasty style with more lees ageing evident on the nose. Tart, crisp acidity, ripe strawberry fruit, long & salty.
Cava Brut Nature Carles Andreu 2013 More notes of time spent  on lees – toasted bread, brioche, honey and roasted nuts. Complex, crisp & fresh but with a real depth of ripe peach fruit character & a long finish. Stands out from the crowd.

Source 50 Great Cavas 2017>>

Castellroig Cava & Wine Tourism Penedès (Barcelona)

In the heart of the Penedès wine region, you’ll find Castellroig.  A family, rich with historic value has spent generations perfecting wine and collecting an impressive and extensive collection of wine making and other historic tools and artifacts that would challenge most wine museums.  You begin your visit by taking a journey through time.  Walking via the path through history, you’ll find vintage ploughs, pumps, pottery, barrels, carts, and other old wine making tools.  The rust of the metal, and wear on the pottery allow you to imagine how it used to be.  After your leisurely stroll along the path through time, you come upon a serene sitting area and some beautiful views.  As you look down and out, you see cliffs of stone to your left, meticulous rows of vines below, and in the distance, row after row, plot after plot of vines.  In the far distance, you can see the mountains and gain a better understanding of the how the land and its surroundings contribute to the vines and the terroir.

Once you have filled your eyes with the beautiful views of the natural surroundings, take a stroll down the stairs and make your way under the archway of grapevines back to the main building.  Here, you will find more history, as well as the wine.  Before you jump into tasting, Castellroig offers a very educational tour of the museum’s interior.  Room after room, you will find another slice of history.  A 3,000 piece vintage key collection, old fermentation vats which were used in the 18th century to stomp grapes from above, more pottery, old 1,000 litre barrels, and more.  For decades, Marcel (the grandfather) has been collecting pieces to add to the collection, as he continues to do today.  As you make your way through the maze of rooms, you come upon an old chapel, which Castellroig has dedicated to Sabaté i Coca Gran Reserva Magnum 2006 and Robert Parker (a famous US wine critic), who rated this vintage 93 points, and put Castellroig on the international wine map.  Since then greater fame has been achieved with 3 Catellroig Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2017 namely Castellroig Brut Nature Reserva 2012 (95 pts), Sabaté I Coca Reserva Familiar 2008 (93 pts) & Castellroig Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2010 (92 pts) Lastly, you walk through a large oak barrel and as you come out the other side, you see where history meets present day technology: the fermentation room.  Now, the winery prefers to utilize large stainless steel ferment tanks and other modern technology, but you cannot forget the past.

Although the family has embraced technology, they have kept some of the traditional wine-making and viticulture techniques.  The family’s ecological perspective encourages them to avoid irrigation and to hand-harvest all grapes.  In addition, they soft press the first 60% of the juice and sell the remaining 40%, in order to ensure quality.

The family is from the Riudebitlles Valley, and has been growing grapes for four generations.  Prior to the establishment of the label in 1985, the family, similar to others in this region, sold its grapes to a larger company.  After finishing his studies in enology and agricultural engineering, Marcel completed his first vintage in 1986 using some of the grapes, normally sold to a large wine making company.  Because he chose to begin making his own wine, the company cancelled the contract to buy grapes, and Marcel was forced to produce wine using all of this family’s grapes.  The family quickly bought this cellar, made it their own, and began making quality wine with the family’s vineyards.  The vineyards date back to 1914, with the oldest vines being Xarel-lo.

To view 50 Great Cavas 2017 by Wine Pleasures please click on the image below:

Deliciously Catalunya! Wine Pleasures Wine Buying Tour

The 2017 Wine Pleasures Buying Tour programme (part of the Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop Buyer meets Cellar in Spain annual event) for Wine Importers in Spain was a great success. A whole year of planning resulted in a truly memorable buying tour for all involved.

20 wine importers from diverse markets such as Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Panama, Slovakia, Sweden, UK and the USA, extended their stay to participate in the Wine Pleasures Buying Tour programme with visits to Clos Montblanc (Conca de Barberà), Agustí Torelló (Cava), Mas Blanch i Jové (Costers del Segre), Carles Andreu (Conca de Barberà & Cava) and Can Feixes (Penedès). Emphasis was placed on boutique wines produced in unique terroirs made with indigenous grape varieties such as Macabeo, Malavasia de Sitges, Sumoll, Trepat, Parellada and Xarel.lo. Two of the Cava producers visited have Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2017

Catalunya was also enjoyed through its cuisine. Here are some of the highlights of the two day intensive programme of visits:

Next up will be the International Wine Tourism Conference in Sicily:

Next Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop will be in Italy later this year:


The Wine Pleasures team

50 Great Cavas 2017 Results by Wine Pleasures

50 Great Cavas 2017 winner gramona-iii-lustros-brut-nature-gran-reserva-2007Golden Bubbles: Wine Pleasures announces the Gold medal winning Cavas for 2017.

Gramona III Lustros Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2007 wins the competition with Gold and receives a score of 98 points has been classified as Exceptional.

3 Cavas also with Gold and classified as Exceptional each with 97 points are Capità Vidal Gran Fuchs de Vidal Cava Brut Nature, Gramona Celler Battle Brut Gran Reserva 2005 & Gramona Argent Rosé.

Still in the Gold medal category and classified as Outstanding (96 -94 pts) are the following Cavas: Valldosera Subirat Parent Brut Nature (Finca Valldosera), Grand Cuvée (Summaroca), Ramón Canals Gran Reserva Limitada 2010 & Duran 5V Gran Reserva (Canals Canals), Gramona Imperial Brut Gran Reserva (Gramona), Adernats Gran Reserva Brut Nature (Adernats), kripta Gran Añada 2006 (Agustí Torelló), Cava Gran Reserva “Cuvée Antonio Mascaró” & Cava Rosado Mascaró Brut “Rubor Aurorae” (Mascaró), Montesquius Gran Reserva 2004 Brut Nature Magnum (Montesquius), Pere Mata Reserva Familia, Pere Mata Cuvée Barcelona & Pere Mata Cupada Rosé (Mata i Coloma),  Lágrima Real 2010 (UVESTE) Cava Mas Tinell Carpe Diem 2007 (Mas Tinell), Celler Vell Gran Reserva Extra Brut 12 (Celler Vell), Essential (Juvé y Camps), Codorníu Reina María Cristina Blanc de Noirs & Jaume Codorníu Gran Reserva 2011 (Codorníu), Vallformosa Cava 150 Brut Gran Reserva (Vallformosa) & Castellroig Brut Nature Reserva (Sabaté i Coca).

61 Cavas classified as Highly Recommended were awarded Silver medals. Most of the medals were awarded to producers in the Penedès wine region (Catalonia) but several awards went to producers in Calatayud, Extremadura, La Rioja & Valencia. Some interesting retail prices too amongst the 50 Greats ranging from €5,95 to €50 Euros making Cava a luxury you can afford whenever you wish.

Those looking to splurge on long aged Cava (Cava Grand Reserva Larga Crianza) should try to get their hands on prize winners from prestigious Cava producers Agustí Torelló –  kripta Gran Añada 2006 (120 months), RRP €80 & Gramona – Celler Battle Brut Gran Reserva 2005 (120 months), RRP €50.

Mata I Coloma (Sant Sadurní) received three Golds for its Pere Mata Reserva Familia, Pere Mata Cuvée Barcelona & Pere Mata Cupada Rosé.

The 2017 edition of 50 Great Cavas takes the form of a 34 page full colour collectable digital magazine and contains all the Gold and Silver medal winners with photos and tasting notes for each. 50 Great Cavas 2017 is a useful resource for both the trade and the end wine consumer/wine traveller. Click on the banner below to view the publication:

50-great-cavas-2017

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Mas Macia since MCCC

50 Great Cavas BohigasThe family owned winery on the outskirts of Òdena (Igualada) has been thriving since the 13th Century. Now known as Mas Macia, its name has changed several times over the years while being passed from generation to generation of nephews and sons. However the value and appreciation of its heritage has not withered in the slightest which is evident by the continual use of the old cellars and the preservation of the original country house.

Fermi Bohigas 50 Great Cavas 2013The property spans over 200 hectares with the use of 35 hectares of vineyard, the family enjoys the advantages of having these vines grown close and this means a quick delivery to the cellars.

It was in the late 1920´s that the history of Cava first began at this winery. Originally it was produced and sold only in the local region but its success grew from there and as it has since been passed through the family and subject to the innovation of the winemakers along the way. It is now the key to their success, producing over 600,000 bottles a year with 90% of these being exported.

50 Great Cava roducer Fermí BohigasThe underground cellar built in 1547 still to this day functions as the place for these Cavas to undergo the fermentation period required to produce the high quality Reservas and Gran Reservas. The impressive hand built cellar with its interconnecting tunnels holding 60,000 bottles each is incredible to walk through. You can appreciate the work that must have been put into such a system, un-phased by the years, apart from some spider webs hanging from the corners and the damp puddles in the path.

50 Great Cava roducer Fermi BohigasA treat for visiting tourists is the interactive activity set up where they can not only see how a Cava was produced by the ancestors of this family but they can create their own, cork, label and all to take home as a souvenir. Another truly unique experience is the insight into typical Catalan life from another time. The house in its very design tells a story of the lifestyle lived. In the centre of the house is a large open space where animals would be herded through. The bedrooms are to the side of the first floor, where it could be kept the warmest and the third floor is used for grinding cereals. Beyond this, the house is filled with pieces of intrigue from the dowry cases of the girls of the family to the enormous dinner set with each piece individually hand crafted.

Bohigas wineryBeyond just another visit on the wine trail, Mas Macia presents the perfect setting for a holistic Catalan experience. Whether it’s a tasting of their Cava stood around a wine barrel in the front garden, or for those visiting in the summer, they can be treated to a show of traditional Catalan dances.

Bohigas have the following Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016>>

  • Bohigas Brut Reserva 2013 (Gold medal with 96 points)
  • Noa de Fermí Bohigas 2011 (Gold medal with 94 points)

50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Book available here>>

50 Great Cavas 2016 - The Book

Empordà Cava Rides the Tramontana to Reach 50 Great Cavas

EmpordàThe Empordà wine region fans out north from the town of Figueres (best known for housing the Dali Museum) in the north-eastern corner of the Girona province and is directly adjacent, to two French DOs: Banyuls and Côtes de Roussillon. To the east, it runs to meet the sea.

The climate is Mediterranean, with the influences of wet winds from the south and cold winds from the north, particularly the Tramontana, which can reach speeds of up to 120 km an hour.

Archaeologists have suggested that vines were introduced here by the Phoenicians in the 5th century BC. The Romans and later the Benedictines developed them. The first Catalan wine treatise was written here in the Sant Pere de Roda Monastery in 1130 by Father Ramón Pere de Novas.

Trobat 2With only a handful of wineries scattered around the Empordà it is difficult to find one to visit. The Catalan word for found is Trobat, so if you find Bodegas Trobat you will be able to say not only have you found a winery, but also one of the only 50 Great Cava producers in the region, namely Bodegas Trobat!

The history of Bodegas Trobat goes back to 1730 but the current winery building only dates back to 1986. Wine production started in the village of Garriguella, and today Bodegas Trobat acts as a leading winemaker and bottler of Cavas and wines in the DO Empordà. Traditional craftsmanship is combined with modern techniques in an ever evolving production of fantastic wines and Cavas from approximately 2,500 hectares of vineyards.

The majority of grapes grown here are Garnacha and Carignan for reds and rosés, as well as Macabeo for whites. These traditional varieties are complimented by new grapes which have been introduced to the vineyards such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Trobat 1A visit to Bodegas Trobat will offer guests an opportunity to view the process of bottling and aging wine and the second fermentation in the bottle for Cava as well as disgorgement by hand. The house of Bodegas Trobat is a beautiful reflection of almost three centuries of wine making! The cool cellars are luminous, with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and dark wooden door frames with crystal clear glass windows to see between rooms. Beautiful, elegant wooden shelves with rows and rows of bottles of Cava and wine line the grey brick walls.

204600 Celler Trobat Rosat BrutEach year Bodegas Trobat produces 1,000,000 bottles of still wine and 300,000 fantastic Cavas, continuing the tradition of exceptional wine that has lasted almost three hundred years. Tours are available and guests must contact the winery directly for more information.

Bodegas Trobat have the following Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016>>

  • Rosat Brut 2014 (Gold medal with 94 points)
  • Brut Nature Reserva 2011 (Silver medal with 93 points)

50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Book available here>>

50gc 2016 cover med

Cava from La Rioja’s Conde de Haro

Bodegas Muga amonst the 50 Great Cavas 2016Bodegas Muga was founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga and Aurora Caño, a husband and wife team of passionate wine lovers. They began with an underground cellar. In 1969 they moved to a 19th century town house situated in Haro, alongside some of the most prestigious wine cellars of La Rioja. It was in that same year that Isaac Muga passed away, and his two sons Manuel and Isaac Muga took over the winery. Today, the latest generation of Muga: Manu, Juan, Jorge and Isaac all play a part in what is now three generations of traditional and skillful winemaking.

Bodegas Muga amonst the 50 Great Cavas 2016Bodegas Muga is located in the heart of the Rioja Alta, at the foothills of Montes Obarenes. This region has outstanding conditions for grape growing, as it sits within the influences of the Continental, Mediterranean and Atlantic seas. These weather patterns harmonize in a way that positively affects the growing conditions for Bodegas Muga. The soil in this region is varied in terms of chemical and physical properties, which creates a special complexity in the grapes which grow here.

Bodegas Muga amonst the 50 Great Cavas 2016Bodegas Muga vines are grown on their 250 hectare estate. They also have 150 hectares which are managed by their regular supplier growers. Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuela and Graciano grape varieties are grown for reds and Viura and Malvasia for whites.

Located in the historic station quarter in Haro, the facilities are installed in an impressive two hundred year old building built of stone and oak. Oak is very important for Muga wines, and Muga is one of few Spanish wine cellars which can boast three coopers and a vat maker responsible for working the wood which lends a special elegance and delicacy to its wine. They have an impressive stock of 200 oak vats and 14,000 casks from all over the world, including French, American, Hungarian and Spanish.

Bodegas Muga amonst the 50 Great Cavas 2016With three generations of wine making experience, Muga still uses many traditional wine making methods, such as using non-invasive pumping methods. Candle light is also used to see the transparency and brightness of Cava and determine if it contains remains of sediment.

Espacio Torre Muga, a gorgeous three story structure with a stand alone tower and a beautiful, sleek and modern reception area, is where wine tourists can enjoy tastings and tours. Special care is taken to use soft and indirect lighting so that tasters may view the true colour of the wines they are enjoying.

50gc 2016 cover medBodegas Muga offers two fantastic delicate Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016>>, which are celebrated in this publication: Cava Conde de Haro Brut Vintage, comprised of 90% Viura and 10% Malvasia, and Cava Conde de Haro Rosé, which is 100% Garnacha.

50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Book available here>>

 

Cava Bertha migrates to the vineyards

Cava Bertha amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016Walk through the centre of the Capital of Cava, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, and you will see a multitude of doorways advertising the sale of Cava. Step in and you will be sure to be invited to go underground to see bottles of Cava ageing on their lees and you will most likely finish up with a glass of Cava Brut Nature. Most of these producers are small and have been for decades. Others have left behind their cramped and restrictive cellars and have built brand new modern facilities slap bang in the middle of their vineyards. Cava Bertha (formerly Josep Torres Sibil) is one such example of this migration.

Cava Bertha amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016Owner and winemaker Josep Torres Sibil started crafting Cava in 1989 and it wasn’t until 2014 that the move to the present vineyard location, just 2 kms out of Sant Sadurní was made.  Cava Bertha is clearly visible from the “Cava Highway” (the road connecting Sant Sadurní d’Anoia with Vilafranca del Penedès) but actually getting to it can be a bit of a challenge and a bit of fun at the same time. Drive one way and you have to figure out which vineyard to drive through, drive another way you have fast traffic coming at you as you make a U turn.

Bertha 3Once at the winery you are surrounded by vineyards and great views of the mountain of Montserrat and the Subirats Castle. As the winery has only just been built do not expect dark, musty, cobwebbed underground caves, quite the opposite, you will find a practical, clean and well organized work place where Cava bottles can be easily moved around throughout the whole production process.

Cava Bertha amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016The jewel in the crown at Cava Betha is the possibility of being able to sit outside on the terrace and taste Cavas in the middle of vineyards and admire the panoramic views. A windowed tasting room is available in the event of rain and/or if it is a bit chilly outside which affords the same views that you get from the terrace.

Josep clearly had wine tourism in mind when he gave his architect the brief on how he wanted his winery to be built. Several visit options can be found on the web site including  “ A Catalan Breakfast in the Vineyards”  which consists of local cured meats, cheeses, breads, olives and coca (not the Colombian kind but the sweet pastry bread kind typical in the region) all washed down with any or all of the Cava Bertha Cavas included amongst the 50 Great Cavas. The extravagance ends with a visit to the winery, that is, if you are able to get up.

A healthier alternative is the Bertha & Fit which consists of a bike ride, run or walk amongst the seven hectares of Chardonnay, Macabeo and Xarel.lo. Yoga too is available upon request.

Cava Bertha amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016Cava Bertha have the following Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016>>

  • SXXI Rosé 2009 (Gold medal with 97 points)
  • Bertha Brut 1989 (Gold medal with 96 points)
  • Bertha Lounge 2013 (Gold medal with 94 points)
  • Cardús 2009 (Silver medal with 92 points)

50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Book available here>>

From Tailors & Musicians Came Agustí Torelló to 50 Great Cavas 2016

Agustí Torelló 50 Great Cavas 2016 by Wine PleasuresA visit to Agustí Torelló Mata winery in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is an insight into the development of the Cava industry in Catalonia and one of the many prestigious Cava producers in Spain.

The winery was founded by the extraordinary Agustí Torelló, who despite being born into a family of tailors and musicians has made Cava his profession for over five decades. Working with his uncle from the age of 13 at a now neighbouring Cava producer, laid the foundations for a career in the production of quality Cava. Consequently, Agustí Torelló set up the first wine analysis centre in the region and established a promotional body, the Cava Guild, in the 1950’s. Additionally, during this time he also managed other international Cava brands all of which advanced his reputation for excellence on the international stage.

ATM 3Agustí Torelló Mata Cava reflects the unique terroir of the Penedès. The geological structure that makes up the Penedès, produces three distinctive viticultural areas each with its own wide variety of soil and micro climate. At Agustí Torelló Mata, local grape varieties are planted in the region where they can grow to their optimum in the most favourable conditions. The Macabeo variety is grown in the Penedès maritime zone, Xarel·lo in the central zone and Parellada in the upper zone of the pre coastal mountain range.

Great effort goes into the production of the winery’s Reserva and Gran Reserva vintage Cavas which are hand crafted from the winery’s own blends. Sustainable and ecological viniculture is practiced and organic treatments are used on the vines. Grape yield is limited to ensure the quality of the grape and the harvest is gathered by hand at the optimum moment of ripeness to ensure a perfect balance of aroma, sugar and acidity.

Agustí Torelló 50 Great Cavas 2016 by Wine PleasuresThe showpiece of the winery is the celebrated Kripta Cava, created in the 1970’s. It is aged for 5-6 years on its lees to produce a full bodied Cava. Undoubtedly a collector’s Cava, the amber green bottle is reminiscent of a Roman amphora and the label has been created by artist Rafael Bartolozzi.

Agustí Torelló 50 Great Cavas 2016 by Wine PleasuresThe relationship between renowned Cava production and modern art further extends to the winery itself.  Agustí Torelló Mata is home to contemporary installations and art work, dotted around the sleek, modern setting. Entering the winery, a spectacular fountain, created from the amphora-shaped Kripta bottles, greets the visitor and sets the scene for further contemporary sculptures and video installations showcasing grape growing and Cava production through the seasons.

Visits by appointment.

Agustí Torelló 50 Great Cavas 2016 by Wine PleasuresAgustí Torelló has 4 Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016:

  • Kripta 2008 with 97 points (Gold medal)
  • Gran Brut 2009 with 97 points (Gold medal)
  • Gran Reserva Barrica 2010 with 95 points (Gold medal)
  • Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2010 with 93 points (Silver medal)

50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Book available here>>

Norrel Robertson MW to Join 50 Great Cava Tasting Team

Convocatoria 50 Great CavasAs the call for Cavas for the presigious annual competition 50 Great Cavas is underway so too is the formation of the judges for the competiton.

The International Wine Tourism Conference saw Sarah Jane Evans MW head up the Grand Cava Tasting featuring 8 Cavas, 6 of which amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2016 and the decision to have a Master of Wine lead the tasting was well received by both the 200 strong audience and the producers.

“Having a Master of Wine take charge of the tasting was clearly a good decision and so with 50 Great Cavas 2017 on the horizon we thought we should continue down the MW road and get one on board for the tastings scheduled for the 2017 edition” said competition Director & panel taster Anthony Swift. “Of the 338 Masters of Wine on the planet we thought we ought to approach first the only one living and working in Spain which is Flying Scotsman – Norrel Robertson” added Swift.

Norrel Robertson MW panle judge 50 Great CavasNorrel Robertson MW has been making wine in Spain for over 12 years and is currently the only Master of Wine living and working in Spain.He owns over 10 hectares of Old Vine Garnacha, Macabeo and Syrah around the village of Villarroya De La Sierra, in the Comarca of Calatayud, Aragon. Norrel was born and raised in Scotland and, after graduating from Aberdeen University with a MA Honours degree in Politics and International Relations, has worked in the wine industry for the last 20 years, starting in sales, buying and product development. In the lat 1990´s Norrel decided to pursue a career in winemaking and decided the best way was to work and learn from the cellar up. Norrel went on to work vintages in Chianti in Italy, Portugal, Australia, France and Chile. From 1998 to 2000, Norrel embarked on the Master of Wine Course and became a Master of Wine in November 2000, winning the Robert Mondavi Award for the best overall theory performance in the exam. In 2002-2003 Norrel studied the Postgraduate Viticulture and Oenology course at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand, obtaining his postgraduate qualification with distinction. In 2003, he moved to Spain as Winemaker for International Wine Services and quickly fell in love with the old Garnacha vineyards in the area of Calatayud, Aragon and decided to start making his own wines. His company – EL ESCOCÉS VOLANTE SL (The Flying Scotsman) took off and Norrel now currently produces many award winning wines made from very specially selected vineyards at high altitude in Aragon, Spain and also has winemaking projects in 50gc 2016 cover medMurcia, Extremadura, Castilla y Leon ,Galicia, Murcia & South Africa.  

50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Book>>
50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Video>>
50 Great Cavas 2016 – The Quiz>>