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Monday, March 19, 2012

Winery Tour and Calçotada Meal

My Girlfriend and Me in Florence
by Luke Suder

Buenos dias a todos! As usual, I have been incredibly busy with both school and traveling. Last weekend I went to Florence, Italy to visit my girlfriend who is studying there. Florence is not the easiest city to get to, because the airport there is very small and I had to fly to Pisa first and then take a bus to Florence which takes a bit over an hour. The bus was easy and more importantly it was cheap! Florence is a beautiful city in the heart of Tuscany, a region in Italy known for its Chianti, a type of wine. I loved the food in Florence; I had the best pizza of my life there! Luckily I’m going back in about a week and staying for five days, so I get to enjoy the food again very soon. My next trip is London this weekend, and I will update you on how it went in my next blog!

The Winery
We recently went on a day trip to a local cava winery with lunch afterwards. Cava, I found out, is champagne, but since it isn’t made in the Champagne region in France, it’s not technically allowed to be called champagne. We departed at around 11 in the morning, and arrived at the winery at close to noon. We were met there by a super nice woman who began the tour shortly thereafter. She explained to us that she and her two brothers were inspired by their father, a big wine and cava connoisseur, to open their own winery. She told us the three of them do all of the tasks at the vineyard themselves (planting, harvesting, bottling, etc). Needless to say we were impressed! We were given a detailed description of the entire process that I found to be interesting and insightful – I never knew just how much work was required to make cava! At the end of the tour we sampled some cava and were given some delicious tapas.
The Group Eating Lunch

Trying to eat Calçots
Next we drove down the road to a restaurant called Calçotada which served us Calçots – a type of long onion that is only available at the end of February and in March. They cook them on the grill, and you peel the leaves off, dip the meaty interior in a sauce, and then eat it! They provide you with a bib because eating Calçots without spilling is no easy feat. They were good – not my favorite thing in the world but they are part of the culture here so giving them a try was a must. Overall, I had a fantastic day and it was my favorite day trip so far!

Take care,
Luke Suder


GSE Spring 2012 - Barcelona, Spain
Autonomous University of Barcelona