August 24, 2011 0

Summer Wine Trip – Part 2

By in The Butler Wine-Show, Wine travel

We often speak about growing wine tourism in the UK (Sussex especially) and Lord knows the Californians can teach us a thing or two.

Portugal is a great place to vineyard visit and Spain is beautiful too. Cameraman and I found ourselves up in North East Spain at Castell D’Encus – a vineyard designed and built by Raul Bobet.

Raul has close links to mass producer Torres, but this is his pet project. Organic in everything but name he really is battling the elements 850m above sea level in an isolated climate which he hopes will guard him against climate change. He’s learning new tricks for making wine after 20 years playing with Torres’ toys.

Here he found 12 stone fermenters left monks living in the mountains as far back a the 13th Century. These vats are hewn into the rocks, creating stone containers where the wine can be crushed and fermented, left to elements and the “flavour” of the rock.

Its barking mad, but it works. The wines are unique and a real testament to one man’s pursuit of perfection.

I would have enjoyed them more had Cameraman not got me legless on cheap Terry brandy at the hotel the night before.

I do get invited places. This often annoys cameraman who assumes that when on a wine tasting abroad I am face down in a knicker full of grape, eating rare ham and running up a tab at the bordello.

He’s right of course, but luckily the trip Carte Blanche wines invited him on was 850m above sea level, and so carrying camera, tripod, sound kit etc. up and down the hills took its toll.

He also hadn’t catered on people being there trying to do their job – journalists and wine importers asking questions and behaving professionally.

He therefore drank 20 euros worth (a bottle) of Terry brandy and spent much of day 2 crying in a locked toilet cubicle.

But I’ll let him tell you…

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