No trip to wine country is complete without a trip to the wineries. Catalunya is apparently a prominent wine producing area with some very old vines. We got to visit 3 different places that were totally different. Bodega Jean Leon was a very small winery with much of its work done my hand. Apparently he was an emigrant who made his fortune in Beverly Hills with his restaurant, La Scala. Lots of very famous people ate there -the menu on the wall showed meals for $5.00 – a trifle now but a fortune in the 1960’s but probably $100 for a meal now! Our next stop was Miguel Torres Winery, a larger winery with an extensive operation. They took us on a tour in a car complete with headphones in our own language. The highlight of the trip was set up like a Disneyland ride…the music playing, the lights low, the doors slowly opening on their own…a crescendo…a crash of cymbals…and the story of the winery began. Not quite the effect Disney has but…they get an A for effort.
The final winery produces a very fine “sparkling wine” called cava. Apparently France decided no one can have anything called champagne unless it comes for the champagne region from France, hence the different names we now see (and the higher price tags for champagne). I used to think sparkling wine was something inferior but really…it’s just champagne under an alias. You do have to check out the cool car. It is their famous sparkling wine… “Cordon Negro”…must cause quite a stir when they drive it around.