Farmers on strike? What's the deal with the fizzy stuff?

We give barely a thought to the people working to produce those rows of bottles on the supermarket shelves. On Sept 5th, however, Catalan social media, TV reports and newspapers filled with images of angry farmers dumping crate after crate of newly harvested grapes against the front door of the Consell Regulador de Cava.

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Mas Comtal: ancient stones, innovative wines.

Celler Mas Comtal is so old as a settlement that it’s its own place. There is no village, just a dot on the map, labelled “Mas Comtal”. Turning off the main road to Barcelona you pass a small industrial estate and head out into the vineyards, down a sunken lane, until suddenly, there it is, all alone.

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Wine? I thought that was just grape juice!

Rubén and I get this reaction a lot once we start talking about what makes our wines different from the average offering on the supermarket shelf. The thing is, that wine should be “just grape juice” but to produce wines at such low prices, all sorts of things have to happen to make those cheaply bought in grapes into a consistent product. It’s no different to any other food.

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Comalats: the accidental winery

“It was a potential catastrophe:” Eva explained on our first visit. Her father had 12 hectares of grapes just ready for harvest and suddenly the buyer had pulled out. What were the family to do? Jaume Bonet had only planted the vineyards with the then fashionable Cabernet Sauvignon on advice that this was the way forward - to sell on an international variety to a larger producer. In the past the family had made wine from indigenous grapes for home consumption or to sell on draught, just like every other Catalan farming family.

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