Two years ago at the Hinsdale Wine Shop, we tasted some fantastic Spanish wines and met the winemaker, Pepe Raventos of Raventos i Blanc. We told Pepe back then that we hoped to relocate to Spain in about two years, when I retired. He signed one of the bottles we bought that night, “See you in two years!”
It took a little more than two years, but today we saw Pepe again when we spent a few hours touring his family’s estate, about a 40-minute train ride west of Barcelona in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. Pepe is the 22nd generation of his family to run this winery. His ancestors started out in 1497. That’s not a typo. Over 500 years in the same family. Here we are with Pepe. The bust behind us is of Pepe’s grandfather.
We saw some vines that are about 70 years old, as well as some new plantings, and we met the two mules that help out on the property. Our guide was Anna, a young English woman on Pepe’s staff who is highly knowledgeable about wines. She’s off next week to Hungary to promote Raventos wines in that country.
Anna treated us to some sparking wine as we looked over the vineyards with Montserrat in the background, but nearly shrouded in clouds. It was a bit chilly for this time of year.
Pepe is moving his family’s business into a more organic style called biodynamic. It’s almost as if he’s guiding his family’s business into the future by going back to techniques from its storied past. Please take a look at their website, http://www.raventos.com, to learn about biodynamics and their fabulous sparkling wine, or cava in Spain. I think you will be impressed with the materials on the website, especially the video. Definitely watch the video.
We know Pepe thanks to Sean Chaudry at Hinsdale Wine Shop. If you want to purchase some of their very fine wines, head for Hinsdale and tell Sean you’re friends of Mike and Leslie Rogers. I’m sure he’ll sell you some of Pepe’s good stuff.
Two more days in Barcelona, then the vacation is over and we head for Alicante. There, we begin six weeks living in an apartment just off the central plaza (in Castilian Spanish, that’s pronounced, “plah-tha”) and only two blocks from the beach. We’ll be going to the markets like locals, walking around the plaza like locals, and visiting other places along the Costa Brava that could become our new home.
The vagabonding begins in earnest on Oct. 24!