If you ask our kids what they did on their summer vacation, they may speak of the searing heat in the back seat of a car on a trip from Barcelona to visit a winery deep in the sun-baked Penedès region of Spain. And of the delight upon arrival of being led by the winery’s owner high in the hills to a shaded forest. Of following a small creek down hills to a cliff where local boys dove off rocks and plunged into deep natural pools. Of finally finding a basin accessible by wading where they swam in deliciously cool water and quenched their thirst from a mountain spring.
The occasion of our trip to Penedès was to peek in on a direct import wine we are excited to welcome back. Four years ago during a trip to visit small wineries, we tasted the results of the hot Catalan sun on old cabernet, parellada and xarello vines. Reds erupting with ripe cherry and blackberry notes and whites fragrant with litchi fruit and apricots drizzled in floral honey. Because the wines were not yet available in New York, we negotiated a price without the additional markup of a distributor. When our estimated six month supply sold out within a month and we called to order more, the jig was up. A distributor had snapped the wines up and wanted his cut. Uncertain how to credibly explain to our customers a 30% increase in the price of the wine after just a month on the shelves, we reluctantly let the wines go.
So when one of the grandsons of the founder (and one of two brothers who now run the winery) paid us a visit in New York recently with samples of a label not yet available in New York, we were excited. The label had been his father’s labor of love appropriately named after his favorite romantic poet – Pierre Ronsard. Tasting the wines, we found the same delightful aromas and flavors we remembered from years ago. And, once again, we were able to bring the wines in direct, making them an excellent value. This time we’ve added their cava, rich with aromas of orange peel and notes of apple and white peach on the palate. Expected arrival date for the Ronsard white, red, rosé and cava is early fall.