Many of us often wonder what is put into what we consume, right? After a spending a day with wine and olive oil producers in their respective lands in the Penedés Region, we saw how much more is added to what Barcelona is fed: dedication, perseverance, and intrinsic motivation. This was even reflected in our guides for the day, Albert of the winery and vineyards, and Antonio who was the producer of olive oil. While they did not have to join us and share all they know with us, they chose to, which makes all the difference in our experiences.
The amount of effort needed in producing wine at Eudald Massana is the equivalent of how much wine is actually produced in the Penedés Region. I learned so much between the history of the estate, which Franco had decided surrounding country houses belonged to the wealthy families in addition to the land they already owned, and how vineyards can live for more than 100 years. One of the ways of prolonging this is through the use of grafts. The grafts are made through making two notches in separate plants and then connecting them together. This prevents bugs from eating the roots and destroying them.
The next stop on our excursion was where the best olive oil in the world is produced. There are two methods of olive oil production, the traditional way using original machines, and the the newer way with more electronic and industrialized machines. Both get the job done, but produce different results. The old machine produces 700 kilos of olive oil per hour, which has a less bitter and more sweet taste. The newer machine produces 3000 kilos of olive oil per hour and has a more fruity taste to it. What was interesting to know is olive oil is the opposite of wine; it is bad to age the oil because you lose properties, where as with wine and its aging, the fermentation leads to more vitamins and minerals from the sediment.
Overall, the experience I had was enlightening. It was wonderful to see the overlapping components of wine and olive oil production. It is not just the technical and agricultural aspects, but the people who are doing the work. Albert and Antonio do not have to produce the quality they do, but they choose to; The intrinsic motivation they have to give to Barcelona enormous, and this in turn allows the people of Barcelona to benefit in their physical health, and they can have a huge increase in mood. Family and friends aren’t only brought together in the production of wine and olive oil, but in it’s consumption as well be it a family meal or friends gathering to celebrate.