Have you ever had a day in your life where you felt like you were in a movie? A day that seemed like a fairytale and you were the main character? While tasting Spanish wines and walking through the most picturesque vineyard I had ever seen, I felt that way. It was in the heart of the Pyrenees. We spent a mellow afternoon eating fresh organic local foods under an outdoor canopy while taking in the incredible view of the valley below from this 11th century winery.
Wine Romanticized in the Movies
We've all seen movie moments like this. Meg Ryan's French Kiss with Kevin Kline made Europe look like a dream. Remember the end of the movie where they walked through their vineyard hand in hand while the big crane shot showed off the countryside? Or what about A Good Year with Russel Crowe. Hollywood depicted a lazy life in Provence where everyone drank wine, lived a simple and happy life in old French villas and enjoyed their meals outdoors while overlooking vineyards and glorious rolling hills.
Our Movie Moment
Here we were in Catalunya, Spain we walke through our very own romantic movie. That thought actually went through my head as we took a tour of Castell d'Encus. “I'm re-enacting a Hollywood film right now! This is my movie.”
Castell d'Encus – Boutique Spanish Wines
We spent the afternoon at Castell d'Encus in the Spanish Pyranees. Raül Bobet owner of Castell d'Encus was our host for the day. A connoisseur in the true sense of the word.
Listening to him speak about his life's ambition to own a vineyard was inspiring. He always knew that he would work in the business. He told us how he how he helped his father make his own wine and had been drinking wine since he was a child. Wine was as common as milk on the table when he was growing up and he found it curious to see the obsession that the West had with wine when he went to school abroad.
Local food and wine producers joined our party at the estate of Raül Bobet, where we enjoyed our a lazy afternoon taking in the incredible surrounding view. The day was perfect.
This 12 century Spanish winery is unique indeed. Its strategic location high on a hill made for a safe lookout for Monks to keep watch for invaders. These Monks weren't ordinary Monks. They were Sentries guarding Spain and ready for battle. But they were also skilled winemakers and took care of this vineyard.
They hollowed out cisterns in the stone ground to hold the wine where it fermented over time. To this day, the process is still used.
I don't know a lot about wine, but it isn't often that one sees wine fermentation taking place right in the earth. I felt foolish when I asked if the wine is still produced this way today. “Of course. It is these cisterns which make the wine taste so good!”
Local Spanish Businesses
The cheese was out of this world and the tomatoes were so fresh. Whenever we go back to Canada after traveling abroad, we are always so disappointed with the taste of tomatoes. In Europe they are just so fresh and tasty!
Like most of our time in Spain, we ate until we could eat no more and drank until we had a healthy glow on our cheeks.
Spain has a different way of living from anywhere we have been. With three hour lunches and late night dinners, I do wonder how any work gets done in the country. But who cares, they're living a life filled with happiness and joy and that includes being able to drink a lot of Spanish Wine and eat a lot of decadent treats.
Besides, clearly they are getting a lot done and truly succeeding in finding the healthy balance in life. This wine is out of this world delicious and the businesses are thriving while keeping traditional values alive.
I often wonder if we spend too much time worrying about the little things in the West. We don't spend afternoons outside enjoying long walks and even longer meals, we don't have a sense of community where neighbours stop by to enjoy each other's company and we don't spend lazy afternoons sitting high on a hill appreciating the finer things in life. I think we can learn a lot from life in Catalunya and I'm definitely going to adopt their way of living when we finally decide to settle down somewhere out there.
This afternoon was sponsored by Catalunya Experience showing us everything that this great province in Spain has to offer.