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España Wine and Vines

I don’t know where this week has gone! I have been in Spain for a week and a half and if feels like just yesterday that I arrived. I have learned so much, met a million people, and am learning to adapt to the crazy Spanish schedule. 

Welcome to Casa Sicilia!  This is where I will be working for the next 3 months of summer.  It is a gorgeous winery in the small town of Novleda, Spain.  The farm was started in 1707 and currently has 80 hectares of  a mix of wine and table grapes.  They grow a mixture of  Spanish varieties including Macabeo, Muscatel, Tempranillo, and Monastrel as well as more traditional varieties, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah.   Sebastian is the wine maker and winery director, and is originally from France.  I am very grateful to have him as a boss, he has a great passion for what he does and has an incredible knowledge of viticulture and wine making.  He and his family are the best hosts I could ever ask for. The only downside is that it is pretty difficult to learn Spanish from people who speak with a French accent!

Casa Sicilia  is named after the house that was built in 1707 in the center of the farm.  Since then it has been renovated. On the first floor is a restaurant, tasting room, and wine shop.  Attached is a large ballroom for hosting weddings and other events.  I live on the second floor of the house.  I won’t lie, it was pretty scary that first night but (knock on wood) I haven’t seen any ghosts yet.

Casa Sicilia ~ Built in 1707

Guest Entrance

I work mainly in the bodega (winery), but also in the campo (vineyards) and a little in the tienda (store).  Earlier this week I worked with Pascual, the Spanish enology intern, recording the floration  stages of all of the vineyard parcels. Right now most have very few flowers left and the berries are developing.  In the winery we have been busy mixing depositos (tanks) to create the coupage for the red wine.  Here in Spain almost all of the wines are a blend of different varieties to make vino tintos and vino blanco.  Yesterday we did a tasting of 13 different barrels the check their maturation and flavor.  I learned that the barrel has a huge effect on the taste of the wine.  There are barrels with the same wine but with different toasts and from various parts of France and they each tasted different.  Some of my other jobs have been labeling bottles and moving wires in the vineyard.  (Thank you mom and dad; who would have guessed that all of those days moving wires would have come in handy, I can keep up with any Española trabajadoro.)  I have been very busy, but also had  some time for sight seeing with Sebastian and his family. I learned a lot in the winery and will post more throughout the summer about all of the happenings in Casa Sicilia and España!


Making the “coupage”



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