When we decided to have our destination wedding in Barcelona, we wanted to organize something unique for our guests.  We both love wine and good food and decided to go cava tasting in Penedes.  Our local friends recommended we visit the Cellar of Jaume Giró i Giró, a small artisanal cava maker located in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, a small wine producing village in the iconic Penedes region of Catalunya.  A fifty-five minute drive from Barcelona (it also has its own train stop), Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is not only very accessible from Barcelona but it offers a beautiful escape.  After a few days discovering Barcelona, the sight of rolling vineyards automatically made us feel relaxed and at home.

Cava tasting in Penedes
Garden at Cava Giro i Giro
When we arrived at Cava Giró, we were welcomed by the owner, Ramón Giró, a third generation winemaker.  His grandfather, Ramón Giró i Mata started the business in 1926 and tradition has continued since.  Ramón personally took us on a tour of his whole cellar and gave us a warm introduction.  Although Ramón speaks English, Gloria, one of our guests volunteered as a translator because the narrative of the tour had so much more passion in Spanish (which was felt even with those who did not understand the language).
Wine Tasting at Jaume Giro i Giro
He began the tour of the property with talking us through his organic garden across the street from the cellar.  There, they grow vegetables which are used for food and compost. The garden also has a lovely seating area which can be used for parties (I am already fantasizing about a vow renewal!) and family events.  He shared with us how the place is popular in the summer as he allows guests to bring their own food and have barbecues in this space.
Cava tasting in Penedes
Ramon Giro i Giro
The day was warm and sunny which created a contrast as we followed to the second part of our tour, the cellar.  In the cool and dark space, we got a step by step process on how the cava is made.  The scent of fermented grapes accompanied us as we walked by the thousand bottles of cava, in different stages of production.  Mounted on the wall was the first bottle the third generation Giró made: a cava from 1983, a reminder that this is truly his passion, something you can feel as he enthusiastically speaks about the production years.  He went on great detail about the latest vintages and how much of the production is still made by hand, contrary to the mass production from larger houses.
Cava tasting in Penedes
Cellar Giro i Giro
We returned back to the surface and admired the garden of the cellar: bright yellow lemons grow against the walls, beautiful art hangs from the office space (which Ramón also volunteers for art exhibits), and the sun shines through the small windows of the receiving hall.  After a very thorough and passionate tour, we were ready for the best part: degustación, (the tasting).  We sat on the cellar’s second terrace, adjacent to the welcome hall.  The sun shone on us and grapevines hung above us as natural garlands.  There we sampled three cavas:  Bombonetta Gran Reserva, Rosat del Cal Rei, and Selecte Gran Reserva Brut Nature.  The Selecte Gran Reserva was the winner among us, which many people took home as souvenirs.  It’s a Brut from 2007 which I plan to pair with a tuna tartare for a special occasion.
Cava tasting in Penedes
Entrance of the Cellar
 Given we were a group of twenty, we rented a coach to get to Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. After a little research, we discovered it was half the price of a guided tour and provided us the autonomy to see what we wanted at our own pace.  Our original plan was to visit this house and a larger cellar on the same day but we were completely taken by the process of artisanal cava making and spent the whole day there sampling all the different varieties.  I’ve been to Veuve Clicquot in Rheims and Moet et Chandon in Epernay and although amazing experiences, having a personal tour from the wine maker himself cannot be compared. Have you been cava tasting in Penedes? What is your favorite cellar?
Photos by Carlis of Spicy Candy DC
Thanks to Photojournalist Italo Morales for recommending this lovely cellar.
Thanks to Ramon Giro i Giro for the amazing tour!

post signature