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Located in the Emporda DO Wine Region of Spain, as the name implies, the site of this winery, Terra Remota (Remote Land)  is isolated and secluded, feeling even more so since the devastating fires that destroyed much of this region recently- leaving a path of charcoaled lifelessness in its wake.

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Thankfully Terra Remota, in the Emporda DO Wine Region of Spain, was, for the most part, unharmed with only a small plot of vines damaged but learning more about the history behind the Spanish winery it is terrifying to think not only about the possible destruction of the building but also of everything it stands for.

The land here, in the Emporda Wine Region, symbolizes more than just wine production, for the family it stands for identity.  Terra Remota winery is owned by Marc and Emma Bournazeau.  Emma’s grandfather was a man from Catalonia that, after the Spanish Civil war, escaped to France to live in Perpignan. For the family, Terra Remota represents a return from exile and to the land of origin, reclaiming the lost identity of a family.

Terra Remota Winery

The first thing you notice when driving up to Terra Remota is the extraordinary raw concrete “bodega”, which is designed by the Spanish architects Pépe Cortés & Nacho Ferrer and is made up of “Three shoeboxes” nestled into the hillside with the intention of integrating the building into the surrounding landscape- respect for the natural environment is a reoccurring theme here at Terra Remota. The three levels of the structure reflect the three stages the grapes go through from sorting at the top level to bottling, ageing and tasting on the bottom floor, respecting the principle of gravity.

Terra Remota Winery

Every process inside this building is designed to treat the grapes with utmost respect and care.  The key principle at this winery is to avoid excessive manipulation of the original quality of the grape- convinced that the better the raw material the less need for interference.

The idea is that each wine is different and must be treated as such.   The wines “Caminante”, (white) “Caminito” (rosé) and  “Camino” (red), named in homage to Machado’s poem, are the product of respect, and perseverance from the team.

Emporda Wines

Many of guests have thoroughly enjoyed a visit and relaxing picnic in the vineyards at this great Emporda winery!  Join us on a Private Food, Wine and Culinary Tour including the Emporda DO Wine Region of Spain and you too could be visiting this wonderful winery for a private tour and exclusive wine tasting!

grape harvest and stomping tour in Spain

Grape stomping fun:  Kick off your shoes and get ready for an unforgettable experience

The idyllic perception of a winery visit is a tour of a vineyard followed by a tasting of their respective wines.  Everyone knows this; so, at Gourmand Breaks as we are always on the lookout for a bit of extra special, we added some hands on action and some good food and “voila” a Harvest, Stomping Winery Day was born – enjoy this innovative experience in early Fall on one of our Private Wine Tours

What is it?  

Grape-stomping, also known as pigeage, a French winemaking term for the traditional stomping of the grapes, is part of a method of maceration used in traditional winemaking.  Rather than using a wine press or other mechanized method, grapes are crushed by foot in opPurple feeten vats to release their juices and begin fermentation.  However, to make certain types of wine, grapes are put through a crusher and then poured into open fermentation tanks.
Once fermentation begins, the grape skins are pushed to the surface by carbon dioxide gases released in the fermentation process.  The grapes and stems are mashed together, releasing not only the juice from the grapes, but also the phenols and tannins that provide color and acidity. This layer of skins and other solids is known as the cap. As the skins are the source of the tannins, the cap needs to be mixed through the liquid each day, or “punched,” which traditionally is done by stomping through the vat.  Pigeage, literally means “punching down the cap,” and describes the pushing down of the grape skins that float to the surface of the fermentation vats, forming the “cap.”

A little bit of history:

Grape stomping probably goes back to the very beginnings of winemaking.  Historical evidence shows that grapes were stomped at least as far back as Rome in 200 BC. One of the earliest existing visual representations of the practice appears on a Roman sarcophagus which depicts a group of demigods harvesting and stomping grapes at a rural Roman festival.

For centuries grapes were picked by hand and grape stomping was the universal method used to extract the juice to make wine. In America, most grape stomping by human feet was legislated out of existence by the end of the twentieth century, the concern for public health outweighing tradition. Most other countries eventually banned grape stomping too, but there are still places where you can stomp grapes.

What you can expect: A day in pictures

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Fantastic vineyard settings provide the perfect setting for a private harvesting and stomping tour

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Harvesting the grapes.
The berry bunches grow at the bottom of the vine, dry ones are discarded and green ones are left to ripen

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As the harvester transfers overflowing buckets into the vat, the next step is the stomp

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A hop, a skip or a jump…….a stomping we will go.

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Everything from the vat gets transferred into the Wine Press

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The lower the the press churns the more liquid flows

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The grape juice then transfers into the fermentation tanks where it will continue on its journey to become wine

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Depending on the intention of the winemaker the wine may be fermented in oak barrels

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After an exciting day at the vineyard and after gaining a deeper understanding of the process now a chance to sit back and truly appreciate an example of the finished products. Cheers!

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A group of ladies who recently enjoyed one of our stomptastic private harvest tours

 

For more information on this or any of our private wine tours please do not hesitate to contact us !

This innovative experience can be included in our longer private tours such as the Wine Connoisseur Tour of Spain or The Best of Spain & France Grand Private Wine Tour

Please note that grape harvesting, and subsequently stomping, is only available during the appropriate grape harvesting season of each vineyard.  In Spain the focus will be in the months of September/October.

 

 

Winery tour in Emporda Spain

 

Earlier this year we had a wonderful time with a super lady from New Zealand who not only has her own company, http://www.epicuretrading.co.nz  but is also a Travel Writer and wished to write an article about our tours.  We were of course delighted to assist and met Catherine Bell when she arrived in Girona by Spain’s very fast AVE train from Barcelona – as Catherine writes in her article,

“I soon found myself on a train hurtling towards Girona.   As I watch the digital speedometer at the front of the carriage reach 243 kmh, I recall, while trying hard not to feel nervous, that the last time I took this train north from Barcelona it was a two hour journey.   This one however, will take just 37 minutes, thanks to the new fast AVE train, a boon for commuters and tourists alike.   It’s just made for day trips to towns outside of Barcelona.   The Dali museum in Figueres is now a quick one hour away and Girona where I am heading, a mere hop skip and a jump.”

Joining us for our day with Catherine was one of our Officially Licensed Guides, Carlos, who Catherine says in her article is, “charming and ridiculously handsome” (which is very true!) and who very frequently guides our clients around in Catalonia and thrills them with his knowledge (apart from his obvious charm).

First off we took Catherine to a super little hotel, which also adds to its delights a very modern and fascinating organic winery.   After a guided walk through the winery environs and a further wander around the rest of the hotel facilities, including the goats cheese, pate, sausage and olive oil making facilities, we were off to continue showing Catherine more of our fabulous Emporda region with a visit to Pals,

“Moving on towards the coast we spend time wandering the cobbled streets of Pals, a rather perfectly restored medieval villages which in summer boasts some great eateries……..If  the door to the church is unlocked it is worth poking your nose inside – parts of it date back to the 10th century…..”

We all stopped for a delicious lunch of local produce, served of course with a great Empordan wine from the Peralada winery not too far away.   Afterwards we really needed a walk to shake off some of the calories we had gained from the super lunch and moved on to Calella de Palafrugell for a wander along the front,

“….set around a series of little beaches and ringed with simple beachside homes and small hotels, many of which have their own underground access to the beach.   In summer, I imagine it is a multicoloured enclave of beach umbrellas and bikinis – but right now it’s a pretty but rather sleepy little hollow with old fishing boats pulled up on the sand and a few locals taking their afternoon stroll.”

Of course our day together included many other sites, but we finished off in Girona, prior to Catherine taking her train back to Barcelona,

“Back in Girona we have time to explore the town’s exquisite cathedral and to wander the well preserved Jewish Quarter and museum.   Crossing the river on one of the many foot bridges allows a view of the cathedral at dusk that I will always remember……”

Enjoy the full article written by Catherine Bell for the New Zealand Sunday Star & Times “Escape” magazine http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/uk-europe/8647689/Riches-of-Catalonia

Wets your appetite?   Then join us for A Taste of Catalonia Day Tour or The Best Day Tour in Catalonia .  We’ll be happy to send you information about these tours and any other long or short tours on our website, www.gourmandbreaks.com.

 

It is certain that wines with funny or odd names exist in all corners of Spanish wine geography.   In Catalonia we have Finca Malaveina (Bad Neighbour) from Castell de Perelada in Emporda.   A Bodes em Convides (You Invite me to a Wedding) in Penedes, or Cap de Ruc (Head of a Donkey) from Celler Ranadelles de Cornudella de Montsant.  A donkey is also the protagonista of La Senda del Burro (the path of a donkey) of Viñedos Propios Pajares in Leon.   There is a saying that, “he who goes to a winery and does not drink wine arrives as a donkey and leaves as a donkey”.

“Thanks to our friends, we finally managed to do the bottling and now you can enjoy our most acid creation”;   this is the surprising presentation card of a young wine from La Rioja of Spanish Winery,  Gonzalo Gonzalo, which is sold at around 5 Euros a bottle and on which label you can see a pig with feathers.

Wine labels are the surprise situation for many different animals, for example, El Pero Verde (The Green Dog) a very successful verdejo from Spanish wine region, DO Rueda, fruit of the collaboration of Bodegas Angel Lorenzao Cachazo and Catalan Wine Merchant, Quim Vila from the famous Vila Viniteca.   In collaboration with Bodegas Viscarra, Quim Vila also promoted the wine Venta Las Vacas (Villa of the Cows), DO Ribera del Duero.  But clearly the prize goes to Cojón de Gato (Cats Balls)and Teta de Vaca  (Cow’s Tit).   We don’t even want to mention a brand of Alpujarras in Almeria, Tetas de la Sacristana (Tits of the Priest’s Housekeeper)!

Clearly if we go around the world we will find names which are repulsive to some extent, such as French Frog’s Piss or Le Vin de Merde (The wine of shit) On the label of this last one you can read Le pire cache le meilleur (the best is hidden in the worst)

They are many bizarre names of wines to suit each taste –  The Australian Beach, The Fat Bastard from Languedoc-Russillon, the Californian Mad Housewife, or the Nappa Valley Cleavage Creek.   Clearly those of a superstitious nature should abstain from tasting the Chilena Gato Negro (Black Cat) or Casillero del Diablo (Coffin of the Devil)

Let us at Gourmand Breaks customize a unique wine tour for you and your friends which includes a route of the Spanish wineries mentioned in this article !

As the name implies, the site of Spanish Winery, Terra Remota ( Remote Land)  is isolated and secluded, feeling even more so since the devastating fires that destroyed much of this region recently- leaving a path of charcoaled lifelessness in its wake. Read more

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Spanish winery, Gonzalez Byass, has doubled it´s production for the re-launch of its Tio Pepe En Rama – rama means ‘raw’ – and the product is an is an ultra-fresh and young fino sherry made from unfiltered and unclarified Tio Pepe taken from the cask in spring when the flor is at its thickest.

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If you are the type that likes a bit of fear in your life and want to enjoy Halloween like never before, be brave and enjoy, with Gourmand Breaks, a unique and unforgettable tour of Spanish winery Bodegas Protos in Peñafiel.

 

Protos’ warehouse will become a mansion of terror on the evenings of the 30th and 31st of October and the 1st of November.   Normally a good tour of the Spanish wineries facilities is highly recommendable, but these particular tours will be additionally really chilling!

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