After the Scala Dei Cellar in the cute little village of Escaladei, we headed for Gratallops to get back on schedule.
And in case you were wondering, Gratallops is that way.
Just about the time we were nearing Gratallops and wondering aloud if this cellar would be as hard to find as the last one (the one we never found), we stumbled across this gorgeous building with a sign that said...Buil & Gine!! We both shouted the name out loud in unison and did a little car dance because lo and behold it was the next winery on our list. AND we were actually back on schedule! It's the little things.
Yet another gorgeous wall. This one is a lot like the wall near Brian's school and knowing now how much slate is in the area, I'm guessing that's what both walls are made of. Rocks like this literally litter the ground in this area of the world, but I'm guessing back home creating something like this would probably cost a pretty penny.
Buil & Gine was a complete 180 from Scala Dei. Where Scala Dei felt old and sacred, this felt hip and modern. I thought it was such a nice contrast!
Aside from wine, the shop also had an assortment of jellies, nuts, olives and oils. They serve you a little plate of munchies with your tasting, and we had the BEST almonds we've ever tasted. We bought some for a friend but completely spaced on buying some for ourselves.
All the furniture in the place was white with the bold red contrast on the walls. During our tasting we learned that the white tables were used so you could turn your glass sideways and look through the wine to examine the color. We learned a new Spanish word "granate" which means maroon. Some of the stronger wines carried the "granate" color while others were purer "rojo".
This was our delightful Catalan friend who walked us through our tasting. I must say that one of the things we loved best about this area was the people. Barcelona is very much a metropolitan, quintessential "big" city, and the people tend to reflect that, just like in the States. But when you get out into the smaller towns and villages, the people are so friendly and conversational. This spunky young woman was more than happy to attempt most of our tasting in English, but also taught us some Spanish along the way. I just can't say enough about how fun she made our experience.
Buil & Gine has a really wide selection of wines. We tasted three reds, one white and one rose. Surprisingly we LOVED the white wine. Neither Brian or I really drink white wine at all so we were shocked that it was the one that stood out to us among the rest. The nose on it was really sweet and fruity. I likened it to an apple jolly rancher; Brian felt it more like a banana laffy taffy. Ha! A very sophisticated analysis, right? Convenience store candy. :)
Much like Scala Dei, we learned again how important it is to the winemakers to preserve their landscape and reflect that in the integrity of the wine. I adore their mission statement above. Harmony and balance is something I seek in life, so why not go for it in my wine too?
The beautiful ladies of Buil & Gine. When we arrived the woman on the left was giving a tour to a Spanish couple. We didn't end up taking a tour of their winemaking area but were impressed enough with our tasting. I have since found this winery on Facebook and wish we would have tried their restaurant upstairs. The views look beautiful, and I'm sure the food was probably delicious. We opted instead to head into Gratallops (since the winery was on the road just leading into the village) and explore there.
Back into the little Ford Ka! I thought the driving would totally stress me out, but it was like getting right back on a bicycle. I felt kind of like a rock star, this being my first standard transmission in years and right out of the gate having to maneuver all those hills and mountains!
We left the winery with a bottle of white wine for us, a jar of tomato jelly for Brian (which I have probably already eaten half of - goes GREAT with bread, olive oil and brie cheese), and a gift set of olive oil, olives and almonds for a friend. We could have bought so much more! It's actually the winemaker's wife who manages the side of the business producing the olives, nuts and other specialty items. The line is called Priorat Natur and their website is
. Check them out for sure!
Off to Gratallops for the next winery on the list and a little menu del dia....