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Thursday, 8 April 2010

Intense Three Days of Vinous Activities - Day 3

Sunday 28th. Next morning I slept in ‘late’, ie till 9 o’clock and was totally refreshed. I’m usually up by 7 every morning so it was lovely. We had a nice leisurely breakfast, went out to walk the dog, had a coffee on a pavement café next to the Sagrada Familia, then back to the flat to pick up the wine samples and head off to the ‘Salón de Vinos Naturales’. Aargh! Then I realized that the clocks had gone forward 1 hour during the night, so I arrived later than planned, ie at 12 o’clock new ‘real’ time.

View of the Sagrada Familia

I was so exited because for the first time I was going to meet face-to-face a whole bunch of fellow producers of natural/organic/whatever wine from Spain, who I’d been in contact with for a year or more over the internet, via blogs, forums, twitter, etc. Amongst others there were:

Cloister of the Convent Sant Agustí

- Laureano Serres (founder and current president of the PVN (Association of Natural Wine Producers), and the man who encouraged me to make the effort to come to this event in Barcelona)
- Samuel Cano (from Cuenca, maker of ‘Patio’ wines)
- Lorenzo Valenzuela (Barranco Oscuro, Granada)
- Ramón Saavedra (Bodega Cauzón, Granada)
- J. Miguel Márquez (Bodega Marenas, Córdoba)
- Jordi Sanfeliú (Tárrega)

At the fair (1)

At the fair (2)

At the fair (3) - Samuel Cano pouring his 'Patio'

And a few others, who I forgot to take their cards from! Very unprofessional of me! There were some non-producers there too, ie people related to and interested in natural, organic wines:

- Malena Fábregas (Obsevatorio del Vino)
- David González Martin (Adictos a la Lujuria)
- Joan A. Fradua (Aldespy)

At the fair (4)

And again a few others who I also forgot to take cards from! I also spoke to some members of the general wine-loving public (who didn’t have cards for me to forget to ask for!) and we promised to meet again. There was a significant French (and to a lesser extent Italian) presence at the fair; in fact I suspect there were more French producers than Spanish ones. The French also have a natural wine association: AVN. There was even a Chinese producer (Jing Jing Yuan): I was intrigued but didn’t have time to chat with him, and find out if he had come all the way from China or if he lived nearby! In fact I didn’t get to meet any of the foreign producers as I was so busy with the Spaniards. I had to leave at 4 o’clock to catch the AVE back to Madrid. AGAIN I missed a great dinner organized by the producers that evening. I really must organize my timing better next time so I don’t miss all these lovely meals, where no doubt is the best part of the day and where we producers talk about all the things we producers are supposed to talk about!!!

At the fair (5)

I didn’t have a table/stand to myself as a producer, this year, because I was too late to apply but I did take samples with me (2 young whites, 2 young reds and 2 Crianzas) which I opened and shared out. I think I tried almost every wine, and even spat some of them out! What can I say? I’m not an experiences wine-taster or wine-writer; I liked most of them, a very few I didn’t like at all, and one or two I liked a lot. Unfortunately I can’t remember which ones they were! – again, very unprofessional of me!

Well, that was my first experience at a wine fair, and I loved it, loved it, loved it! And I can’t wait for the next one I’m going to go to, as soon as possible! I can’t believe that I’ve been making wine for 6 years and never done this before. I think I’ve just made contact with Planet Earth, ie other people who are doing the same thing as me (more or less) and who understand where I’m at, coming from and going to!

There could be a lot of topics for discussions or for more specific posts here, ie What is this ‘natural wine’ thing all about anyway? I’m sure that there are people out there who don’t know. I myself don’t know, and I make the stuff!!! Or How is it different from organic wine? Or IS it different from organic wine? And the organic certification issue: at one point during the afternoon, I was taking part in overhearing a conversation between a wine importer and a producer that went like this: Importer asks: “Why is this labelled as table wine?” and “Where’s the eco symbol?”. Producer answers: “I don’t give a d*** abour DO’s, symbols or anything!” Wow, heavy stuff! I’d thought that thought secretly to myself before, but would I dare to go down that route? At the moment I’m not certified organic, because my production is so small that it’s not worth my while. But I would like to certify next year, if and when I can up my production to a certain critical level. But who knows? Maybe both routes are possible?.

And lastly, some insider news/gossip which hasn’t been officially released yet! I’m so happy and on such a roll right now that it’s making me even happier to think that you all read this here first! And the news is… that another similar event is being planned for Madrid in June. The details are still pending, but possibly it might be in the centre of town (in Lavapiés district) with all the usual Spanish and French suspects producers invited.


  1. Hi Fabio,

    you seemed to have a great time in Barcelona and at the fair. We, me got a bit drunk from all the good wines, though I didn't like the aged french whites so much. 15 months crianza didn't go down easy on me. But I really liked the Viña Enebro from Bullas. Perfectly round and refined.

    Too bad we missed each other that day.
    Next time hopefully! Good luck and we speak soon.


  2. Yes, what bad luck to miss each other like that. Next time!


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