Walking through the grocery store, you might see the word "natural" on a huge variety of items. But what does it mean in reference to wine? Natural wine is a sweeping trend in Spain at the moment. As our education through Spanish wine continues, this is one section that we can't skip over. We've discussed and tasted several regions, wine making methods from stainless steel to amphora, sparkling wines, and even Asturian cider. In March, we are diving into Spain's natural wine movement.
Natural wine is a new world for a lot of us. I will acknowledge that they have a bad reputation in some circles. We're here to break down that barrier. After all, natural wines have always been there – they're the foundation that modern wine was built on today. And, they are making a resurgence for good reason – they're intricate, interesting, and delicious. We love natural wines as well as the other styles mentioned above. There's room for everyone at the Cúrate table.
Enter, Alvaro with Selections de la Viña! My friend and partner in crime. He's bringing the best of Spain's natural wines to the US right now, and he's the guide for this journey. Alvaro chose three beautiful and highly regarded examples of natural wines for this month's shipment.
We'll begin with Cauzón, a tempranillo wine by winemaker Ramon Saavedra. Ramon believes that his terruño – his land – "speaks for itself," without much of what we think of as winemaking required. Next is MicroBio, and aromatic 100% Verdejo with a hazy sunrise color in the glass. Winemaker Ismael Gozalo has been named "El Mago de las Verdejos," or, Wizard of the Verdejos, after the way his process resembles pure sorcery! This is a winemaker that exceeds all expectations even when we think we've seen it all!
Lastly is the beautiful, golden Toledo Pampaneo Ancestral; made with a grape that we normally see in Spanish brandy, the Airén grape. The result here is an herbaceous, bubbly sparkling white.
Prepare to taste wine rooted in tradition. Grapes are handpicked, native yeasts are used alongside natural fermentation. You won't find any additives here. These wines are intact and alive! Alvaro calls them "Viños Vivos!"
Meet Josep of La Vinyeta. Two of the wines in our October shipment are from Empordà - my hometown. It was a pleasure to meet and get to know Josep and Marta a few years ago. It's amazing and exciting to watch their winery grow. La Vinyeta is a small vineyard and olive farm located in the heart of the Empordà, in Mollet de Peralada. It is a young, family company that is the fruit of effort and ambition. The origin of this project dates back to 2002,when two old Carignan and Grenache vineyards —aged between 55 and 80 years were purchased. From that moment on, more and more vines were planted, up to the present 30 hectares. The project was consolidated in 2006 with the construction of the winery and the production of the first wines. In 2009, La Vinyeta became one of the first wineries to adopt Integrated Production, an environmentally friendly cultivation system.
Josep! We're so happy to feature your wines!
Welcome everyone! Felix here.
I was born in the town of Roses, Spain - on the Costa Brava - just northeast of Barcelona. If you've been, you love it. The beaches of the Mediterranean Sea lie on one side, and on the other, the Spanish wine DO of Empordà. Salty breezes and mild weather make this top destination for wine and seafood lovers, and a perfect place to take a vacation and submerse yourself in the culture.
The Costa Brava is named for its rugged and rocky terrain. It's part of Catalonia, so natives speak Catalan as a primary language rather than Castillian Spanish - if you're reading a wine label from this region and the language looks unfamiliar, that could be why! The coastline is breathtakingly beautiful, and the tourism economy of the seaside towns and villages supports restaurants and wineries alike. Roses is the site of the former elBulli by Ferran Adrià - well recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world at the time. It's a place close to our hearts, because Katie and I spent a couple of seasons there together - it made a tremendous impact on us and helped define the path we're on now! We try to get back there every year to make sure it still feels like home for us and the kids - and it does.
Where better to start our very own Cúrate Spanish Wine Club other than in Catalonia, with a focus on Empordà - my home wine region.
Although not the most well known of Spain's wine regions, Empordà is very special and diverse (I might be partial!). Classically known for easy drinking rose that can be enjoyed alongside the incredible seafood and beautiful beaches, Empordà is attracting a host of young and exciting winemakers. My good friend, Marta Plana (The Winetones) knows the region and the wines like the back of her hand, and is one of our favorite importers to work with. For our first shipment, we'll pull from Marta's portfolio - we can't wait to share them with you!
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