WINERY PROFILE: CELLER CAN BATLLE
What? You have never heard of Artcava? Well, maybe we are not one of the best-known wineries in the world, nor do we hire an internationally famous architect to design an amazing modernist building. Our cava has never won awards and most people have never heard of us. We like to say that we are the best kept secret of the Penedès region. Then you're probably wondering what Artcava is. We are a small and charming winery located in one of the most important wine regions of Europe, the Penedès (just 40 minutes from Barcelona). We produce a modest 15,000 bottles of quality handmade cava each year with our own hands, without adding anything, without chemical products, without funny businesses, just love.
Who are we and how did we start?
We are three partners here at Artcava: Eric, the winemaker and wine taster; Ignasi, the one who looks after the commercial side of things (someone has to do it), both are in their thirties; and Ramón, the enthusiast, a little more than the early thirties (we call it Gran Reserva). We opened the doors of Artcava in 2004. One night chatting about a bottle of champagne we came up with the idea. Well, everything starts with an idea, but in our case, with a lot of work and determination, our idea has become a wonderful reality.
Ignasi's family had been growing grapes and making wine since 1730, but the old winery had been abandoned for the past 50 years and was falling into a state of disrepair. That was when we decided to bring to life its old walls. We started to restore the place with taking care, that it would not lose its rustic charm. Our intention was not to build a super-modern high-tech winery, but to recognize and respect the past. We wanted to merge the past with the present.
And when we say past, we really mean the past. We know from archaeological excavations that the Iberians made wine in the same place where Artcava is today. You may wonder who the Iberians were, so let's say they were settlers in Catalonia before the Romans arrived here about 2,500 years ago. So, considering that wine has been produced in this region during the last 2,500 years, we have had more than enough time to perfect our art.
Here at Artcava we do everything possible to avoid the mass tourism that attracts many of the largest wineries. We are not interested in producing a memorized visit to the bus with the bus full of visitors. We prefer to apply the philosophy of "slow travel" and we take pride in our personal, informal and friendly way. If you come to visit us, you will find that we are young, enthusiastic and completely in love with our work (so much so that we can hardly call it work). We can guarantee that one of the three of us always does the tours and workshops personally. Whether you come to a practical demonstration on how to make the cava, make your own bottle of cava, or do a food workshop to learn sumptuous local specialties, or simply sit under the millenary olive tree with a cold glass of bubbly, we promise you that he will leave with a warm heart, a smile on your face and even some new friends (and as an additional benefit, the chances of waking up with a hangover are scarce, since our cava is free of chemicals).
In Artcava never exists a rush. Visits and workshops take as much time as they need. We can never give you a precise moment when it will end. Most likely, you do not even feel the time pass. If you're not in a hurry, neither we are. We do not like anything more than to meet people from all over the world and share our traditions with them. It took 2,500 years to develop the knowledge we now have of wine and cava making, which is why we have learned to respect the slow passage of time.
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