Sunday, 14 November 2010

alcohol fumes and cultural immersion

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most photos by Albert

Here we are in semi-sunny Catalonia! Not Barcelona precisely, because I was whisked out of town on Sunday to do one of those things I've always wanted to do... go to a winery. I come from one of those families where no Friday night is complete without a bottle of wine, and no New Years Eve is complete without about six, so to see the process in such a great wine-producing region was just dreamy! It did require a bit of effort, being entirely in Catalan, and with the entire Catalan half of my boyfriend's family. I was gratified to discover that my Catalan understanding hasn't deteriorated too much in the past two years, though I still can't speak it. ***For the uninitiated, Catalan is a language spoken in Barcelona and the surrounding province/country/state/autonomous community/I'm not even getting into that. It's a romance language, like French, Spanish and Italian and has similarities to all of them but it isn't a dialect of Spanish, it's a language. Therefore, though I speak Spanish, Catalan is a fair effort to understand and yeah, I haven't managed to speak it with too much success yet. Maybe one day!***

Anyway, the winery was super-fun, and since we took way too many pictures as usual, I'll split this post. Winery pictures today, outfit (and probably more winery) pictures tomorrow.

The winery, by the way, was Vallformosa, near the village of Vilafranca, about an hour from Barcelona, judging by my carsickness levels when we arrived!

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Cava, Catalan sparkling wine

So, do any of the rest of you have some things that you simply must experience?

27 comments:

Marta said...

Hi! I've never been to Vallformosa, it looks nice and, if they're not very big, I guess the visit is really friendly. CodornĂ­u, Freixenet and Jean Leon wineries are very famous, a bit more touristy than the small ones, but they have good wines! Have a good holidays!

Terri said...

I clicked on your title apprehensively, thinking this is Emily and surely there won't be drunken pictures. What a lovely surprise and what a big, beautiful winery it is. Are you a connoiseur, since it sounds like you grew up sampling the grape?

Also, I'm curious, does it make your head hurt to speak in another language? Or maybe a better way to ask is--is it mentally exhausting?

CoCoon said...

Oooh this looks like a proper adventure. This is one of the very nice things about living in Europe, the spontaneous getaways to amazing places like this. I think we have a few of those up our sleeve this winter. Nice shots.

www.iheartcocoon.com

A said...

Awesome pictures as usual. I learned something new today.

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

These photos from inside the winery are beautiful. The lighting, especially, in the fourth photo is stunning. Learning and seeing up close how something is made is always a treat.

Since you have such a vested interest in Catalan, I'm sure that with time it'll be easy to pick up! Being a romance language should certainly help :) Side note: Do you ever look at language trees? Seeing what came from where and what's related to what is so neat!

A few things that I must experience are taking a road trip along the old Oregon Trail and kayaking under the majesty of the Rocky Mountains (preferably in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Banff National Park in Alberta).

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

P.S. Oh, and our dog is almost always blissed out. She's one happy girl!

Tinfoils Tiaras said...

What beautiful photos! I must experience taking a helicopter ride above the Grand Canyon and surfing (or attempting!) in Hawaii!

**Enter Tinfoils Tiaras First Giveaway to win one of three fashion books!**

SMASH said...

Gahhh! I bet the wine tasted so good. You know, I've never been wine tasting (even though there are lots of opportunities in California to do so...) and i'm thinkin I need to go.

xx
MILK TEETHS

Michal said...

Those photos are awesome!! I really would like to tour a winery. I toured a bunch when I was 16 w/my parents in Napa Valley, but of course It's not as much fun when you can't try the wine!

As far as things I must experince, one of my life goals is to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Rio said...

How cool for you! I live fairly close to Napa Valley, but I've never toured a winery before. These pictures are beautiful too; the inside shots are especially lovely and remind me of Poe's The Cask of Amontillado! Also, I love the way Catalan sounds :).

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

@Michal: Yes!! That's one of my really big must-have experiences! Before they close it!

milly said...

Fun! :-) and lovely photos :) lucky you going to Barcelona! I went for the first time this summer and had a great time! (No wine tasting for me though...)

I've done wine tasting a few times in Australia..
1 such time...my family had hired a camper-van and were driving from Perth to Melbourne.. dad woke me up at about 8.30am (we had arrived too late the night before and were heading off that morning) - wine first thing ~ an interesting experience!!

1 of the best ways to do it is with a meal... three courses, with the winery/s recommendations with each course -YUM!

Would have loved to wine taste in California, but we were too young when we went!!

Finally - my friend works at a vineyard here in the UK, which made for a pretty fun tasting session! (they make their own cider too, just to add to the mix!)

I too really want to to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu....

Here's to dreams coming true!

Stevia said...

Winery!
Oh, Emily, come and take me with you!!

<3
http://escapesweetest.blogspot.com/

Krystal said...

how FUN!! And cool pictures. I adore wineries :)

Shanna Maren said...

It looks like so much fun! I wish I could travel now :)

Abi said...

A few years back, I took a course about the Spanish culture. Learning about Madrid, Barcelona, Catalonia and its history. Wine making was one of the main things, so it's great to see these places through your lens!

There are too many things I would love to experience. Taking a road trip through the US, and getting lost travelling around Europe. Hiking in India, Driving the dirt roads in Australia. So. Many. Things. Hehehe

SG said...

Wine tasting tour is always an interesting experience. We never get tired of it. We are fortunate to live in Northern California (Napa Valley and Livermore). We are a few minutes from Livermore.

Anthea said...

This place looks stunning!!

Erin Cathleen said...

Ahh, Barcelona. I'm dying to go. These pictures are beautiful! The winery does look especially fun.

sm said...

beautiful
pics

Amber Blue Bird said...

wow that winery looks stunning, I have only been to a winery once but i had so much fun. Would definitely love to visit one in Barcelona!

CAITLIN said...

i am a complete wino, but the only winery i've ever really visited was in tuscany (okay, if you're going to visit one...) at the beginning of our bike tour. i'd really love to go wine tasting somewhere like this though--and i've always wanted to do napa valley, even though my wine connoisseur boyfriend says it's "so over."

however, wineries for me are like art galleries... i feel like i'm totally not qualified to even visit, because of the pretension that surrounds them. still... one day!

one thing i would really like to do is take a motorcycle camping trip cross-country :)

ModerneFusion said...

Wow, the winery looks amazing, and much kudos to the photographer :) Really enjoying your blog and keep up us posted!

Felicity said...

These pics are awesome! I'm following you. : )
-Felicity

http://felicitylingle.blogspot.com

Ashley said...

I was at a winery recently as well!!!

I MUST go to Italy. I must experience that!

Raquel said...

This seems a very interesting experience! I would like to go to a winery as well, but I and wine don't get along very well, I like very few, and they usually make me sleepy lol.

As what experiences I must do, I'd like to go to every country in Europe (or at least a great part of them)! Like starting with the ones closer to were I am and then go to the East ;)

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Sounds like a good wishlist Raquel! And yes, it makes us all sleepy I think. I slept all the way home in the car...