The day started with an hour long bus ride to the Penedes region where we visited a winery, Eudald Massana, in the morning, lunch at La Posada de Sant Pere, an olive mill, Ca La Madrona, in the afternoon. Albert was our tour guide and translator for the day. Watching Albert talk about wine with such passion and pride was very moving to see. He carried over that passion translating for us when we were at the olive mill. Before taking this tour I have never really took the time to think about the process and work that goes into our food making process. I feel that as an American, I make things to immediately consume them. We do not appreciate and forget that what we do for a living can be an art form. Listening to Albert and Antonio (owner of the olive mill) speak about their jobs were romantic to hear. They kept about 60% of their products to sell locally instead of distributing it all globally. Even during tough times, they make it through without any complaints and stay true to who they are and to their culture. Albert told us about the infestation of the caterpillars from the grape vines from America in the 19th century. This infestation is still going on today but they innovated a graft with the branches with the American resistant on the bottom and the Spanish branch on top. As Albert animatedly showed us how they graft and the history of it, he never once showed any negative attitude towards the devastation. In addition, the vineyard and olive mill are both self-sustaining and because of that they are at mercy of the weather. The crops have not been plentiful over the last couple years because it has been so dry. Due to the dryness, we were not able to purchase a lot of olive oil after our tour because Antonio needs to be able to sell to the locals. I was truly moved by the way he wants to take care of his neighbors and be able to supply them with olive oil. I was impressed at how Antonio and Albert keep their products and business in Catalonia, and have kept it intimate even though they have been pressured to globalize their businesses.

 

Albert showing us how he grafts the branches to stop the Caterpillar infestation.

The finished product of what it looks like when the grafting is complete.

 

These are the two bottles of wine we were able to try after our tour.

Albert and Bertha ( CEA Guide) our the wine we tasted.

 

The top left side of the shelf is the organic olive oil and the bottom 3 shelves are non-organic olive oil.

We were able to taste both organic (right side) and non-organic (left side) olive oil after our tour of the olive mill.