Let me tell you, there is nothing like consuming a product from it’s source.  And when I say “source” I do not mean a factory, I mean fresh from the farm it was grown on.  The first excursion of the program took me to the winery Eudald Massana and the olive oil cellar Ca La Madrona.

Eudald Massana is a family owned winery in the wine region of Penedès, Spain.  From the seed to the grape they produce their own cava and wines to sell.  From the beginning of the tour I was learning new things. For instance, I had no idea that there was such a thing as cava (Spanish sparkling wine). It is a staple in Catalonia.  Seeing and learning about the fresh process of growing grapes and eventually producing them into wine was astounding.  In America I am so used to food being produced for profit, quantity not quality. Albert Massana, our tour guide, told us that his family winery cares more about a quality product than delivering to the masses. The hard work, dedication, and passion that went into making the wine and cava at this winery was greatly appreciated as I tasted the various products.

Sediment buildup from the cava aging over many years. At Eudald Massana winery in Penedès, Barcelona.

Bottles of wine aging since 1996. At Eudald Massana winery in Penedès, Barcelona.

 

Next we headed off to the olive oil cellar Ca La Madrona also in Penedès.  Similar to the winery, it is family owned and makes its products fresh.  We learned about the process of olive oil production through the new and old methods. They currently use the new method of machines to make organic and non-organic olive oil.  Although the old method of stone milling the olives into oil is no longer used we were still able to learn about the process and see it in action! It was amazing to see history in action.  In the end we tasted olive oil produced through the old and new methods.  They tasted noticeably different, but were both so good!

One of the machines used in the process of making olive oil via the new method. At Ca La Madrona.

The rotating stone mills used to crush the olives via the old method of olive oil making. At Ca La Madrona.

Tasting fresh olive oil produced at Ca La Madrona! The oil pictured here is organic.

 

The intimacy that goes into fresh food production here in Barcelona shows how health is valued. Both family owned farms that we visited respect quality, fresh products over quick and cheap ones.  The dedication to providing for their community is a sight rarely seen in America. I feel privileged to have experienced knowing exactly what is going into and nourishing my body.  An experience some people may never have.

Wine and cava tasting at Eudald Massana winery in Penedès, Barcelona.