Friday, 11 July 2014

Walking and wine tasting – Costa Barcelona style



I was really looking forward to visiting the Alta Alella, the closest winery to Barcelona and only a couple kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, for a walking and wine tasting afternoon as I knew my senses were going to explode. 

Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets and his wife Cristina Guillen, acquired the nineteenth-century estate, Can Genis over 20 years ago and in Alta Alella they have created a modern cellar with eco credentials to be proud of. Its organic wines are such high quality and have received such great acclaim that they appear on the lists of some of the world’s best restaurants such as Heston Blumentahl’s Fat Duck.

When I arrived at the cellar for the “Tast’N’Walk”, I was handed a couple of poles, which I was told, give two real benefits to normal walking. By using the poles you are using the upper body muscles as well as your legs and you are walking faster than normal as the poles help to support you. So you are working harder than you would when you walk normally, but the poles make if feel easier.    




The vineyards of Alta Alella,




What is great about this sport is that you can do it anywhere and it does not need any expensive equipment.  Of course, the technique only works if you do it properly and you have to be taught by professional instructors.

Alta Alella and Bendhora, a small family business, have teamed up to provide an amazing and unique experience. Walking around the estate, based in the Serralada de Marina National Park, I had to admit the poles were really useful going up and down the slopes. Along the way there were stops to learn about and see some of the wine processes. The highlight was enjoying one of the speciality white wines overlooking the sea with the skyline of Barcelona in the background.



Alta Alella wines



Afterwards we were whisked to the tasting boutique to be rewarded with some more rather special wines and some scrumptious canapés. They were so good that I could have made a meal out of them. 

While the spotlight may shine on cava in this region – the long-aged Alta Alella Opus Evolutium with elegant bubbles is rather delicious – I also discovered some remarkable reds. 

One of Alta Alella’s specialities is Dolç Mataró, a sweet organic red wine, predominately made from the local grape variety mataró. Think plums, dried figs with a hint of cherry tomatoes. It tasted deliciously creamy yet had a perfect combination of acidity and sweetness.

A wonderful location, excellent wines, good food and a lovely friendly staff makes a visit to this winery is a must if you are in the vicinity.

By Daralyn Danns

Getting there

Vueling airlines offers direct flights from London Gatwick to El Prat airport, Barcelona, For the best fares and more information visit www.vueling.com 

Hotels

Hotel Solvi Passeig Ribes Roges 1 Vilanova i la Geltrú  Barcelona

Hostal Cal Pla (www.hostalcalpla.com) Avinguda Catalunya 56 (Sant Llorenç Savall)

Hotel Porta d’Alella (www.hotelportadalella.es)  Av Sant Mateu, 5-9 Alella

Tourist information

Barcelona is much more (www.barcelonaismuchmore.com) and (www.barcelonaesmoltmes.cat/en/costabarcelona)

Barcelona Province Council (promocio@diba.cat) Tel: 00 34 93 402 22 60

For more information about wine tours and other activities at Alta Alella, visit www.altaalella.cat


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