Regardless of the duration of your stay in Barcelona, be it just a weekend or a whole year, you will undoubtedly be offered a glass of cava. The sparkling wine is one of Spain’s biggest exports and arguably Barcelona’s most famous drink. In fact, 95% of all cava is produced in the Penedès region of Catalonia. The drink, made from either white or black (rose) grapes, is often mistaken as being a cheaper alternative to Champagne or Prosecco. However, the three sparkling wines do not necessarily differ in quality at all, and differ only in where they are made – and I can tell you that around Barcelona, cava is definitely not regarded as inferior!
A new experience
In what might be one of the most interesting opportunities in the whole of Barcelona, ArtCava a small family run business in the Penedés wine region, offers cava enthusiasts the chance to make their very own bottle. The company organises tours of their vineyard and winery and offer customers the chance to taste the cava they make on site. Visitors will also have the opportunity to witness the process of making cava and a chance to create their very own signature cava blend!
An ancient tradition
The business, which is run by three partners, opened its doors in 2004. Since this time it has gained popularity and received a plethora of great reviews. The tour takes place in the vineyard and old winery building which is almost 300 years old. Whilst the building has been updated and modernised, the owners have made sure to keep its rustic charm. The tour guides ensure that you are given a real glimpse into this historic cava making processes that have been practised for generations. In fact, the partners believe that archaeological excavations indicate that wine was being made on the land under their vineyard over 2,500 years ago!
A relaxing day away from the crowds
The tour at Artcava costs €42 per person, which includes the tour of the vineyard, cava tasting and your own cava making experience. For an extra €24 you can eat a traditional Penedès lunch for an additional €28 served in a truly magnificent setting. The tour is an authentic Catalonian experience, and due to its location and relative unknownness is a far cry and welcome break from the busy tourist heavy city centre. In fact the partners of the business claim on the website that they aim to provide a type of “slow travel” for visitors. In fact, the tour guides inform all visitors that they will be unable to give you an accurate time of when the tour will finish!
This unpretentious and humble business offers a stylish and rare opportunity to witness and partake in the making of this quintessentially Catalan product, and to witness a beautiful and often neglected part or Spain.
If you have a passion for the sparkling Catalonian drink or simply want to learn more, then the ArtCava tour is definitely for you.