Immediately upon entry, through the sliding glass doors, we were shown past the sleek and clean, modern reception area and into the main wine tasting room. The environment felt comfortable, and the Cava was instantly popped and poured into glasses that were sitting in wait of us. 5 minutes later and the Bruton Ladies Wine Club, Somerset, UK arrived who were to be our wine tasting companions for the day.
Kim and I did not know much about the winery that we would be visiting first. We only knew that Rimarts was a family owned business that had been a fine Cava producer in the region for many years. We have since learned that Cava is a sparkling wine that is produced using the traditional methodology. It is generally a white wine that is created from the Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarelo-lo grapes. And 95% of Cavas are made in the Penedes region of Catalonia, about 40 km west of Barcelona.
Our mission for the day was to taste different fine wines, view the wine making process as outsiders and to ride out bicycle to a second location were we would get another taste of the workings of a vineyard and more fine wine. Needless to say Kim and I were so happy to be given the opportunity to take part the days activities.
So back to our favorite part, the wine tasting. The first cava that we tasted was Cava Rimarts Brut Nature. It was so smooth and refreshing, unlike most sparkling wines that I have tried. The flavors were all so crisp and defined. The bubbles were not the fastest which seemed help to keep sharpness from taking over the fruity, sweet flavors.
After the first drop of Cava hit our lips things slowed down and we really got to get a good feel for the place. The wood paneled walls added warmth to the modern décor. The hosts also brightened up the place. The brothers, Ernest (winemaker) and Ricard Martínez (Marketing and sales) who run the business together clearly loved there jobs and wine that they produced. Rimarts felt very urban but was situated in a way that just outside the windows we could miles of vineyards sprawling out away from the city.
Next we headed through the loading dock and towards the cellar, where all of the actual wine making takes place. As we go through the door of the stairwell and start going down the atmosphere immediately changed. The straight modern lines of upstairs gave way to a rustic wine cellar that was full of aging wine bottles and tons of character.
Ernest told us about the process of aging the wine in the bottles and meticulously spinning that tilting them as to let the sediment settle at the top. Through his English wasn’t the best he made up for it with his enthusiastic tone and gestures. His descriptions started to shed new light on just how much this family cares for the Cava that they have been producing for generations.
We then moved on to the next room of the cellar where one of the coolest things in the whole process takes place. It’s called the disgorging, which is the act of extracting the sediment from the wine bottle. Most companies will freeze the bottles and remove the sediment along with a Cava ice cube. But that is NOT what Rimarts does. They actually use the hands on approach that has been passed on through their family for generations.
As the ladies gathered around as Ernest showed us how clear the Cava had become over its 12 month bottle storage and sediment settling stage. It was crystalline. We were told to get close and keep our eyes on the top of the Cava bottle. What we then witnessed took only a fraction of the second. He popped the cap off and instantaneously covered the spewing Cava with his thumb. The pressure from the sparkling wine sent the sediment flying and left a perfectly clear bottle. Then with a few seconds and a lot of finesse Ernest removed his thumb. The pressure had subsided and the bottle was left glistening in the backlighting. He then passed the bottle around and let us catch the fruity crisp aromas in our eager noses. The rest of the bottling process was explained and every stage was just as enlightening as the last. See all this on the video.
It was so amazing to see such care and craftsmanship going into every bottle. The company, being run by only the two brothers, has managed to bring together the classical methodology with a new world feel. And we could really taste that in the Cava. I had originally imagined the bottling facilities to be mechanized, but was so happy to find that the crisp, clean flavors had come from the process that Rimarts had been using for generations.
We then went back upstairs to the wine tasting room where we sampled one more Cava. Kim and I then had to head out a little early just so that we could be sure to make it to the next vineyard. We left a room full of ladies from the Bruton Wine Club prasingin highly the quality of the cavas with Wine Pleasures GM posting tasting notes on social media sites such as adegga and vinogusto.
Rimarts fits so much into such a small package and all of it is great! We could not have been happier as we settled into our saddles and peddled on to the next place. We didn’t think that our day could get much better, but we were wrong!
Kyle Vines, guest blogger for Wine Pleasures