This year's Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is over, but memories still linger: particularly those of the wines I poured for my Friday seminar on the wines of Catalan Spain. Catalunya (or Catalonia, if you prefer the Castilian spelling) is an extraordinary region, home to most of Spain’s Cava production, as well as the sought-after reds of the Priorat.
But it has far greater diversity than people often realize. For the seminar I touched down in six of the region’s ten D.O.s (Denominación de Origen; though technically Priorat is a D.O.Ca., a higher designation shared only with Rioja). Vineyards here grow in a range of climates, from warmly Mediterranean (for instance in the lower parts of Pènedes) to windy and dry (the western reaches of Terra Alta, say); soils vary too: alluvial clays in Conca de Barberà, broken schist in Priorat, lime-rich loam in Mallorca (technically the Balearic islands aren’t part of Catalonia, but historically they were, so I included Mallorca; what the heck).
- Spanish Food & Wine (A Crash Course)
- Spain Isn't Drinking Its Wine, So You Should
- Can Cava Rival Champagne?
Any of these wines would be well worth tracking down; or, find them all and put on your own Catalan wine seminar.