While vacationing in California, my parents dragged me to join them on several wine tasting tours where we learned about the history, production and different types of wine. Too young to sip on the delicacies that the vineyards offered, I felt like my experience was a waste of knowledge if I couldn’t participate. I gave up on the tours, having no further interest in learning about the extensive production of wine, I camped out in the car instead. In my mind, I believed that this experience was just another touristy attraction that couples do on vacation.
Going into the wine and oil excursion with an open mind and willingness to learn something new made my experience an eyeopening one. We started our day at the Eudald Massana Noya vineyard, where our tour guide and farmer, Albert, introduced us to the history of wine and its significance to Spain. I’ve never heard of Cava until that day. I learned that it is a sparkling wine from Catalonia and is an important part of Catalan and Spanish family tradition. Albert walked us through the process of making wine, starting from a vine tree and harvesting the grapes, to the fermentation and the bottling process. Listening and watching Albert explain the details and rich history of wine, I saw his passion for doing what he loves.
Finishing the wine tour with a tasting of cava and moscat, we visited the olive oil production site in Ca La Madrona. Albert introduced us to Antonio who showed us an intimate view of how he produces olive oil. To this day, both the old and the new methods of producing olive oil are used. Antonio explained that the new production of olive oil gives a more sweet taste versus the old method which creates a less bitter taste. Although he does not prefer one method over another, he does agree that the most updated processing is more efficient. In one hour, up to 3,000 kilos of olives are processed.
This excursion reminded me of the summer days I would spend with my family driving out to Michigan to buy fresh vegetables, eggs and the opportunity to pick our own fruit. We have three farms that we specifically visit on the weekends and have seen how the farmers grow their food. Similarly to the wine and oil, we buy these products because they are organic and locally grown. I can taste the difference of quality of these goods from the farmlands compared to grocery bought products. The wine and olive oil excursion made me realize how important the quality of food is in a desired lifestyle of staying healthy.