Lazenne specializes in wine travel products to enable travellers to transport their wine. It has developed a great stocking dealer programme in both Italy and France. Owners Bénédict Rigollot and Paul Budny came to Catalunya to expand their programme into Spain. It was a great experience discovering more about their wine travel airplane carrier, and see their impressions of Catalan wineries through their eyes. Watch the video above to discover more about their products, their company history, and some fun times at Catalan wineries!
To finish off 2015 we decided to take a road trip to Catalonia, Spain. It combined business and pleasure. The idea was to check out Barcelona and the Catalan wine regions, meet the key players in the wine and tourism industry, as well as the local wine geeks. We had already met a few of them virtually through the wonderful world of social media, including the man (aka Timmer) who steers the sails of the ship that is CatalunyaWine.com. This said, Capitan T organised a good chunk of the stay for us, and followed us a like a hawk with his iPhone camera filming what felt like our every move.
There’s something about the easygoing spirit and friendliness of the Catalans, combined with the Mediterranean sun-drenched climate, that makes it unbelievably easy to enjoy yourself in this extraordinary part of the world. We visited many wineries, participated in many a wine tasting, and had plenty of memorable gastronomic experiences. In between “work” we played tourists exploring the city of Barcelona as well as greater Catalonia, from its frontier with France in the west, across to the Priorat region in the east.
Capitan T has being nagging me for a while now (ed. literally 2 months, but they gave Champagne to take out the sting of tardiness) to jot down some highlights of our experience in Catalonia to accompany this wonderful (hint: mildly embarrassing) video above.
Here’s a list of some of these highlights, without any particular order of importance:
- Pretending to be a TV host, while exploring the extraordinary Abadal Winery. See this other wonderful (hint: also mildly embarrassing) video where I get a tour of Abadal.
- Listening to Virgil Simmons sing jazz during the commercial breaks while doing an interview on English Radio RKB106.9FM. The man can really sing.
- Jogging on the beach of Tarragona. Ah, how I already miss the Mediterranean life.
- Learning about, and sampling Jamon at the Jamon Experience Museum in Barcelona. Those are some special Black Iberian pigs.
- Seeing everything Gaudi
- Doing a Taste of Spain wine tasting with Fintan Kerr of Wine Cuentista. This is a great wine tasting class in the heart of Barcelona. Fintan’s home-made empenadas paired too well with Clos Figueras wine – a deadly combination!
- Playing archeologist while walking through the ruins of the Monastery of Scala Dei just below the Montsant mountain range. The monastery’s name translates to “Ladder to God” and its obvious why when you see it.
- Hiking to the spectacular Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery and castle. Etched in the rocks, overlooking the sea this is an absolute must-see if you are in the region.
- Exploring the world of Dali in his Dalí Theatre-Museum in the town of Figueres. The crazy genius’ fun house is truly something!
- Participating in a series of Andrew’s Lunches in Barcelona (see @andrewslunches on Twitter). This is a great concept. Taking place once a week, it’s a fun way to discover a new restaurant, meet some locals, and discuss an interesting topic.
- Winding through the steep hills and valleys of the Priorat wine region. Do those vines really grown there?!
- Feeling the local elemental forces on your face, as if competing with each other for dominance – the powerful Tramuntana wind, and the powerful rays of the sun, often combined with the distant smell of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Tasting local and international wines at Monvinic. We had a great lunch there and their selection of wines (Catalan, Spanish, and international) is unbelievable.
Enough said! I can’t wait to head back for more visits. We do have “clients” to visit, after all.