One of the more interesting stories in Catalunya Wine is a tale of two brothers who work side-by-side, day-by-day in DO Tarragona. That winery is Mas Vicenç, and I had the opportunity to chat with their owner/enotourism manager/resident sommelier, Xavi Ferré, who works with his brother Vincenç to create wines which have garnered regional, national and international recognition. Xavi studied to become a professional sommelier, with additional studies in viticulture and enology at Universitat Rovira I Virgili, plus went abroad to Liverpool for a year to study international business at John Moores University. Xavi also speaks four languages, and I’m sure has other hidden talents we’ll read about in the next few questions:
Why did the family make the decision to start making their own wines, after decades of involvement with the local cooperative? We wanted to give a better value to our day-to-day job and take advantage of the passion and knowledge of my brother! Even though he was 21 years old, he had already spent one year in Chateneuf du Pape beside the excellent winemaker Michiel Tardieu and, at that moment, he had a lot of responsibility in a winery in Vilella Alta (Bodegas Mas Alta, DOQ Priorat). He was in charge of the daily work in the vineyards and the winery, following the instructions of Tardieu, who was living in France. His experience was the key of the family decision, for sure. However, it was also important the fact of having old vineyards, different varieties, the unique location with complex soils, altitude and wind…. plus the experience of 4 generations working for the production of quality grapes.
What is the one thing you love to share with your visitors, about the winery? We love sharing our family project with a smile. We are a humble family who love what we do and that’s it. If you are happy, you share happiness, don’t you think so (ed. Tim agrees and thinks so, too)? So that’s what the visitors feel when they come.
You have two rooms for group visits, plus a professional kitchen. What types of events can you host? We are specialized in “enterprise events.” We collaborate with restaurants from the region to compliment our experiences. Some of the companies or associations want to come for a meeting, enjoy a wine tasting, and/or a meal plus some of them just some with the aim of spending a good time together. We always try to adapt to the groups and we give our best to make an unforgettable experience for them.
Tell me about walk and wine – how did you become involved with Nordic Walking? The activity “Walk&Wine” was created with the aim of explaining the curiosities of the different kind of vineyards that we have and also to share the cultural heritage of our region. Apart from this, we wanted to involve the nordic walking for its health benefits. We believe that it is a nice union: Health, culture, gastronomy and wine!
What’s your favourite, red, white or rosé? It depends on the moment and company! Now is winter time, so I bet for our red wine Arlequí, with a nice book and a calm atmosphere in front of the fire….
If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone famous who would it be and why? I would love to share a bottle of wine with all the current Catalan politicians who are in jail for their ideology. They deserve to be free with their families! [more on what is happening in Catalunya in relation to independence and government reaction can be found HERE]
What is your favourite wine from outside of this region? The oak aged whites from Borgougne..typical response I guess, but they are just amazing.
Are there plans for any new varietals in the near future? Malvasia! We Love its aromas..let’s see how it works in our region.
Where is your favourite place to enjoy a glass of wine? Definitively the terrace of Mas Vicenç. No question.