Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Wine with a View 2foodtrippers

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava

In Spain, Toronto, Videos, Wine and Beverage by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch21 Comments

We fell in love with Catalan wine in Costa Brava. Watch our VIDEO to see what it’s like to taste wine at the Perafita winery in Cadaqués. Then, read about our lunch by the sea in downtown Cadaqués and our visit to Casa Dali.

We fell in love with Catalan wine in Costa Brava. Watch our VIDEO to see what it's like to taste wine at the Perafita winery in Cadaqués. Then, read about our lunch by the sea in downtown Cadaqués and our visit to Casa Dali.

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava

Catalan wine is cheap, wonderful and readily available. During our time in Girona, we found ourselves buying a bottle each day at our local market – good bottles that cost us well under €10. The region may be most famous for the sparkling Cava produced in Penedès and the big, age-worthy reds of Priorat, but these wines are just the beginning. In fact, we were drawn to wines made with grapes grown along the warm Mediterranean coast like Garnatxa (more commonly known as Grenache) and Xarello. The more wine we drank (and it was a lot), the more we wondered about the Catalan wine making process. Our questions were answered when we drove to Cadaqués for a private tasting at the Perafita winery located atop a hill at Celler Martín Faixó.

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava Video

Watch our Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava video to see what it’s like to taste wine in Cadaqués. 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more meals and conversation with the 2foodtrippers.

Catalan Wine Tasting at Perafita Winery

There’s no better place to taste Catalan wine than in the Northern Catalan wine region of Empordá, less than an hour from the Southern French border. The strong northern winds, known as Tramuntana, may drive the residents just a little bit crazy but these same winds also moderate the hot Mediterranean climate cooling the grapes after hot summer days. Primary grapes of the region include Garnatxa and Carignan though other more standard varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot also grow well here.

Upon our arrival at the Perafita winery, winemaker/oenologist Alberto Diaz immediately greeted us and proceeded to give us a tour of the organic winery owned by the Martin Faixó family. Diaz explained that the winery has 13 hectares of vines growing local Picapoll and Garnatxa grapes as well as varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Muscat. The winery uses traditional methods similar to those used by monks back in the middle ages and makes the wine in a 14th century farmhouse that was once used to guard the monastery on the opposite hill. Operating on family land in its current iteration since 2000, the winery released its first bottles in 2007 and keeps production limited to 35,000 bottles yearly.

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava 2foodtrippers.View of the Perafita Vineyard from within the Empordá Winery

View of the Perafita Vineyard from within the Empordá Winery. The Winery was built in a former guardhouse that watched over the opposite hill (ahead.)

Best of the Best

The winemaking process at Perafita starts with hand picking the grapes, pressing them and fermenting them along with their skins. Diaz said that the winery uses only 60% of the remains. Emphasizing quality over quantity, Diaz said that the winery sells off the remains that don’t meet the winery’s high standards. This can end up being up to 40% of the product.

“No quality, no good wines,” Diaz said.

It’s one thing to learn about the Catalan wine process but another to taste the finished product. Our wine tasting commenced at a table overlooking the scenic vineyard filled hills. We tasted a wide selection starting with a Rosé made with Merlot and Garnatxa grapes and ending with a 100% Garnatxa dessert wine. We also tasted the Cadac made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnatxa grapes and the late harvest Mistela made with 100% Moscatell. We ended our tasting with a fortified wine, similar to ruby port, made with 100% Granatxa.

Though we hate to pick favorites, our favorite was the well-balanced 2009 Perafita (not mentioned above). Cellared for seven years, this wine could even go longer. Did we mention that we enjoyed olives with our tasting? They grow those at the winery too.

Pro Tip:  Make an advance reservation for your tour and plan to arrive by car. Tastings are by appointment only, and the winery is not accessible via public transportation.

Perafita Winery is located at Carretera de Cadaques s/n, 17488 Cadaqués, Province of Girona, Spain.

Where to Eat in Cadaqués – Enoteca MF

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava 2foodtrippers. We could have kept drinking wine all day long. However, we switched to craft for lunch while dining at a seaside restaurant also owned by the Martin Faixó family.

We could have kept drinking wine all day long. However, we switched to craft beer for lunch while dining at Enoteca MF, a seaside restaurant also owned by the Martin Faixó family.

Though the olives at the winery were tasty, we needed more food. And that’s exactly what we found at Enoteca MF. Also owned by the Martin Faixó family and just a ten minute drive from the Perafita winery, Enoteca MF is a seaside tapas bar located in Cadaqués just meters from the Mediterranean sea. With a front row view of local fishing boats and a mixture of locals and tourists, this spot may well be the best place to dine in Cadaqués.

But what about the food? Enoteca MF serves a daily selection of local fare, much of it freshly caught and prepared to order. Our bread service included the obligatory Catalan favorite Pan con Tomate featuring tomatoes and garlic that we sliced and spread on our own. A daily chalkboard listed offerings like fresh anchovies and botifarra sausage served with local rovellon mushrooms.

As if running a restaurant and winery weren’t enough, the Martin-Faixo family also runs a successful fishing operation. Yes, that means we were privileged to munch on tuna tataki caught that morning. We also enjoyed preserved tuna conserva cleverly served in a metal can along with house made Catalan style anchovies or ‘anxoves.

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava 2foodtrippers. Lunch at Enoteca MF features some of the freshest fish we've ever eaten.

Lunch at Enoteca MF features some of the freshest fish we ate in Costa Brava. The enoteca also served amazing hot dishes like botifarra sausage and braised veal cheek.

Not surprisingly, Enoteca MF exclusively serves wine from the Perafita winery. After the wine tasting, we knew which wines we liked best but instead opted for MF’s own craft beer (Yes, they brew beer too.) On this sunny late autumn day, drinking beer seemed like the right thing to do . We ended our meal with glasses of Muscat, savoring every last drop.

Tasting Tip: Although their pork and meat options may be enticing, you must order seafood at Enoteca MF. This restaurant serves some of the finest, freshest seafood in the area.

Enoteca MF is located at Plaja D’es Poal – Es Poal Beach, 17488 Cadaqués, Girona, Spain.

What to Do in Cadaqués – Visit Dali’s House in Portlligat

Since a visit to Cadaqués would be incomplete without a visit to Casa Dali, eccentric realist Salavador Dali’s seaside estate, we climbed the winding lane behind Enoteca MF for a visit right after lunch. Quirky, like its owner and resident of over 50 years, this visit ended up being a highlight of our day.

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava 2foodtrippers. Every corner of Casa Dali is covered with art except for the windows looking out to the sea.

Every corner of Casa Dali is covered with art except for the windows looking out to the sea.

When Dali and his wife Gala built the house on a site formerly occupied by seven fishing huts, they designed the grand beachfront property in their own unique style, or should we say styles. The interior is fascinating for its funky decor featuring the artist’s work and family photographs, but the home’s labyrinthine design is the real star. We loved the art installations (especially the eggs) and the pool area with its lip-shaped bench, pop art (think Andy Warhol) and stellar view of the sea so much that we lingered to gaze at the bay until dusk.

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava 2foodtrippers. Art is not limited to the inside of Casa Dali. Here is a small sampling of the funkily decorated pool area.

Art is not limited to the inside of Casa Dali. Here is a small sampling of the colorfully decorated pool area.

Pro Tip: Since a limited number of guests can enter Dali’s House at Portlligat at any one time, advance reservations at Dali’s House in Portlligat are an absolute must. You can buy tickets here

Dali’s House in Portlligat is located at Platja Portlligat, s/n, 17488 Cadaqués, Girona, Spain.

Where to Sleep in Cadaqués

Catalan Wine Tasting in Costa Brava 2foodtrippers. We were sad to leave this stunning view in Cadaqués.

We were sad to leave this stunning view in Cadaqués.

Although we did not sleep in Cadaqués, we highly recommend an overnight stay in this seaside town. As we drove along the mountain curves in the dark, we wished we were instead enjoying a cocktail with a view of the sea. Check here to explore the best hotel rates in Cadaqués.

We thank Patronat de Turisme Costa Brava Girona for supporting our visit to Costa Brava. We also thank Celler Martín Faixó, MF Enoteca and Casa-Museu Salvador Dalí for their generous hospitality.


Comments

  1. I am a huge Dali fan! I’m so jealous you guys went to his house! I’m FOR SURE making this a priority!

    1. Author

      Costa Brava would be a great stop on your round the world trip! You can visit the Dali Museum too.

  2. You already know how much I love the wine in that area too. We had some really fantastic visits to a few of the wineries in the Emporda region, almost stopped by Martin Faixo too if we could have worked out the timing better. It’s a beautiful area and to sit out there drinking wine and enjoying the surrounding vineyards is like a little slice of heaven.

    1. Author

      Hopefully we’ll be back in Costa Brava drinking wine together again. Good times!

    1. Author

      Costa Brava would be a good place for you to learn about wine. You could try the different varietals and see what you like best.

  3. I wish I was more into wine. Your pictures look fantastic. Dali’s House was something I definately wanted to see last time I was in Spain. Which city is close to Dali’s House? Is it Barcelona?

    1. Author

      Dali’s house is in Cadaqués which is near Girona. We definitely recommend that you visit Girona when you return to Spain. It’s a short ride from Barcelona by car or train. We love it there.

  4. You had me at wine tasting! Your photos definitely show that you’ve had a fantastic time. We’ve done a few tastings in the past but still trying to learn and be a full on wino.

    1. Author

      When it comes to wine, we’re always up to learning more. And, yes, we had a fantastic time.

  5. I love wine tasting and I love Spain – so Girona sounds like the perfect spot to visit! My folks live near Murcia and I try and spend some time there each year, so it’s nice to add a new destination to the list for each visit. Thanks for the heads up!

    1. Author

      Girona would make a great base for a wine tasting trip in Costa Brava. You will love the experience.

    1. Author

      Hopefully you will travel to Costa Brava and experience the wine in person.

  6. Love the wine in Costa Brava! I didn’t get to visit Cadaqués, but I’ve heard great things and you’re making me want to return. Did you have a chance to try drinking wine from the porron, the glass pitcher that you hold up way above your head and pour in to your mouth? I didn’t do it because I was afraid of spilling all over my face, and of course regret I didn’t try it when I had the chance!
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    1. Author

      You definitely need to return to Costa Brava so that you can visit Cadaqués and drink wine out of a porron! As for us, we drank out of a porron in Palamos, an experience that we’ll be sharing in an upcoming video. Spoiler alert – laughter ensues.

  7. I would love to visit as I am a big fan of wine and I don’t think i have tasted Catalan wine yet. Visiting wineries is among my favorite things and I would love to visit the Dali house too. 10 euros is a great price for a good bottle of wine. Can’t blame you for buying one everyday.

    1. Author

      Even better – they were all less than 10 euros. Now you really can’t blame us!

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