05-06-2017 ~ 1 Comment

The first “Tastets de Gratallops” village wine tasting

When it comes to the wine-producing villages of DOQ Priorat, Gratallops is by far the most dominant. With about 22 cellars located within the village boundaries, they have have over 25% of the registered cellars within the appellation. Also tossed into this is the fact that the original “Clos” wineries started in this village back in 1989 and makes it something of Ground Zero for the renewal of Modern Priorat.

This is why it’s been unfortunate that to date there hasn’t been a village wine tasting with the exception of Tast amb Llops that’s put on by the hotel, Cal Llop during the Fira del Vi. At 50€ a person, it’s something of a different affair though and is put on during the annual celebration of wine in both DOQ Priorat and DO Montsant when there is a tsunami of other events happening.

Thus it has been quite crucial for Gratallops to have an event like Tasta Porrera. For Porrera, it’s helped that there has been an active cellar association in the village for some time. In Gratallops, there hasn’t been that either, which to a large degree has held back annual events. I’ve been told in the past that the reason for this is the number of “personalities” which made it tricky to set up. Such is life in villages.

So we now see the birth of Tastets de Gratallops (little tastes of Gratallops) that happened this past Saturday. With 20 cellars in attendance it did indeed serve its purpose to be a proper village tasting, taking place in the church square in the center of the village. When asking the organizers why they chose the first weekend in June, they said that it was a generally quiet moment in the cellars and was before Sant Joan which essentially marks the beginning of summer in Spain and the end to getting people (meaning attendees) to do anything until after harvest in October.

They were a bit cursed to have much-needed rains decide to dump that morning which apparently delayed setting things up and so it started at 18h instead of the slated 17h, which is when I’d shown up. Despite this, people filled in quite quickly and moved through the tasting with gusto. One of the organizers told me that they’d had some 300 people reserve leading up to the day and when I left at 19:30h, I’d say a good 200 had already shown up. More probably came after as people like to get a little drink in before heading to dinner so it was undoubtedly quite full by the end.

I’m to understand that the proceeds from this (which at 20€ a person was considerably higher than other events) are going to be used to start up a cellar association properly, which will be a very good thing given that this event was put on by the village council. I was admittedly a little surprised that many wineries had older vintages only at the tasting which, while enjoyable to taste, was something of a surprise. They said it’s because they’d already sent off orders of the newest vintages and had to pull bottles from their archives. Hopefully next year can see some of the newer wines.

But for a first event, it went off well overall and I wholeheartedly welcome it to the annual calendar of events that allow people a little glimpse into the wonderful world of Priorat wines.