CAN BAS Domini Vinicola Winery – Catalunya wine country
Wine country is only 45 minutes away from Barcelona. Exploring city life in Barcelona is exhilarating, but a short getaway outside can be just as adventuresome, especially for wine lovers.
Can Bas is located in the Penedès region where our wine tour begins at one of the oldest areas of Spain. Can you believe there are that many wineries? There are 270 wineries in the Penedès region.
The grounds and landscaping were gorgeous. The architecture is typical of a country home where the owners live.
The vineyard has a view stretching out to the “saw-toothed” looking Montserrat Mountains in the distance. The Sun, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, surely have a great influence in winemaking.
DRIVE IN THE VINEYARDS
It was enjoyable driving leisurely through a family-run (aren’t they all) vineyard in a Defender, and getting out to pinch a few grapes left from the September harvest, with permission, of course!
Could these grapes have been left for gleaners? After we tasted the sweet grapes, I thought that this “leftover” harvest could be for the gleaners since there was an unbelievable amount still on the vine. In times of old it was legally enforced to feed the poor with leftover’s.
On the drive through the vineyards, our guide explained how they train the vines to grow in a certain direction. Hard to imagine that vines here have been cultivated in this area over 2,000 years, and they consider their mission as a privilege and a responsibility. This large house on the property dates back from the 14th century and is in need of renovation.
The tour consisted of stopping at a Romanesque church from the 10th century on the vineyard estate. There are 3 wineries here: Pere Ventura Cava, Mervm Priorati and Can Bas.
AUTHENTIC TERROIR WINES
At Can Bas, they think of themselves as tending to the grapes, rather than being producers. That is wonderful to hear; almost as if they are custodians of the past, mere tenants, and handing it down to future generations. This is a top-notch winery with its Denominación de Origen category.
The expert guide, or viticulturist, explains sustainable cultivation methods and their importance to our ecosystem. Her enthusiasm was infectious and you could feel the history of this wine domain as our guide was passionate about every detail. That’s why their slogan is, “Can Bas is Can Bas” … like no other!
GUIDED TOUR OF WINERY
Leaving the beautiful sunny day down into the damp, dark, and serene underground; it appears mysterious, and it has the appearance of a gallery of wine than your average wine cellar.
The barrels actually make the wine softer and smoother, not stronger as most of us think. They not only use oak wood, but also acacia. The oak and acacia wood accounts for the aromas and tannins during the fermentation process. It’s extremely important to keep the right temperature and humidity of the cellar under control as it directly affects how much wine will evaporate from inside the barrel.
Interesting fact at that this winery that they don’t produce the same wine every year. Each bottle reflects the character of the environment conditions that year. This bottle is aging and shows the sidiments.
One thing I learned was they treat their wine cellar as if it was a laboratory, spotless too! They have a meticulous way for details as if their wine was sacred..
Earthen jars are an old traditional method of storing wine for fermentation.
They really have to overcome so many obstacles in making wine, chiefly, the weather for the grapes, then the science of it all in a barrel, tank and bottle. If there is no rain, the yield is lower. The quality of this grape will determine the quality of the wine more than anything else.
The Cava (sparkling wine) was delicious and very high-end. I don’t think I could recognize the difference in a blind tasting test between French Champagne and Spanish Cava. The real proof is — Can Bas has a gold medal for their Cava. They use the same techniques as the French for making Champagne.
It’s difficult to settle on what bottle of wine to buy when you are at a tasting – they are all sensational. Usually, I buy just one… and it will have to be in a checked bag. So I must choose carefully.
We sampled some select wines and I settled on La Capella, (2013) a blend of Cabernet (70%) and Syrah (30%), both my favorites as a full bodied wine. La Capella is aged 12 months, and has wonderful aromas. This wine comes from a very old vineyard planted decades ago.
Spanish wine ranks 3rd in the world of production and it’s amazing what they produce considering what they have to work; temps can get very high, nearly drought conditions.
Move over French and Italian wine makers! After visiting Barcelona, wine from Spain has top billing. After all, they have an ancient history of winemaking and they have the largest vineyard surface area in the world. Looks like it’s an exporting/marketing issue.
Spain needs to get the big break that they deserve. They could just beat out French wine.
It was a fascinating experience to observe this culture that enjoys good food and good wine!