Watching Mold Grow – Penedès

Fun travel advice, Penedes wine country, Spain.

By Nancy Todd

Celia, Tomeo, Fatima, and I, craving bugs, flowers, and leaving  the cement of Barcelona behind, took off for the Penedès wine region, right outside of Barcelona.  Meandering through Penedès  for green may have been an underlying excuse to taste wine.   With over 270 wineries, we knew we would find the perfect one to visit.

Foregoing the big dogs like Freixenet and Torres that produce millions of bottles a year, we started the hunt for a small bodega.  Tomeo and Fatima, like good scouts, had a GPS which  tumbled us through back lanes to the Joan Bundo Pons Caves.  I have no idea how we got there.  The GPS towed us into the driveway of a rose bordered country home.  No sign.   No people about.  We started to back out of the driveway, and Joan appeared.

This business, family owned, produces 10,000 bottles of cava a year.  The family doesn’t sell to stores because they sell out each season by word of mouth.  We  headed  around  to the back of the house and went down three flights of stairs into a dark, damp cellar.  Large wooden barrels were lined up on one side of a room.  The other side had orderly rows of green bottles with metal caps, mold richly growing on all the bottles.

At this point,  the wine was  fermenting into bubbly cava (champagne) and was thick and murky. The bottles were lined up at an angle on cement racks and turned everyday for 28 days. For some cavas, the process take two years.  Of course, we sampled the cavas and all walked out with bottles of brut nature, which means cava with no sugar and lots of other things I didn’t understand.   I dont’t like champagne, and don’t drink it except  for a sip at a well meant toast, but I have now become a fan.  I can’t believe I only bought two bottles.  I will be back for more.

Joan is going organic.  The law states the plants and soil must remain chemical free for five years and his vines are now at the three year stage.  Half the fun was getting there.  You know the other half.

Joan Bundo Pons Caves

Cami de la Font Del LLeo, (no number)

Phone:  93 890 21 57  Mobil:  649 16 52 87

cavesbundo@hotmail.com

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