Tour de Farm, Part One

World Class Wines, as wine contributor to TOUR DE FARM,  is very pleased to share selections that come from our portfolio of family producers for the first Tour de Farm dinner of 2009.  We picked these growers because they embrace the philosophy of naturally made, hand-crafted wines from vineyards that proudly leave a legacy for the generations that follow.  As more Americans are drinking wine it is important to support the efforts made by family producers from around the world in the interest of conserving the kinds of vineyard practices and winemaking that makes these people proud to put their names on the label.

CAVA- Juve y Camps “Reserva de La Familia”, PENEDES, SPAIN  NV

One of the greatest parts of being in Barcelona is what many would call the “CAVA HOUR”.  In Spain, it’s that just after work, not quite tapas time, when you need a little ray of sparkling sunshine in your life.  The Xampaneria, a bar specializing in CAVA, overflows with people onto the sidewalks and streets around 7 pm.  Ask any Catalonian who the most respected and famous producer of Cava is in Spain and you are sure to get the answer “JUVE Y CAMPS”.  Cava is made in the same method as Champagne, the wine is fermented a second time in the bottle except the grape varieties are indigenous: Parallada, Macabeo and Xarrel-lo, the essentials to classical Cava.  The Reserva de La Familia Cava  is aged for 3 years on the yeast, giving a nutty aroma that mixes with apples and lemons, boisterous and lively bubbles and an assertive acidity that wakes you up and refreshes you.  Perfect for a summer day! Reserva de La La Familia is very appropriately named as it has been the everyday favorite of the  Juvé Raventos family for three generations.

LUSTAU “Jarana” FINO SHERRY

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood wines of the world, FINO is to be thought of, managed, stored, chilled, and consumed as one would a fresh white wine.   It gets its character from aging in wooden barrels, under a blanket of yeast that protects it from oxygen, while being refreshed with younger white wine over a period of about 3 years.  It is DRY and carries the flowers and fruits of white wine, but has the added complexity of the environment around it as the yeasty protection flavours the wine with its character of minerals, yeasts, iodine, and sometimes even a salty note of the sea.  It is one of the few wines that can go gracefully with spicy meats, piquant olives or spicy ham.  No wonder it is so traditionally consumed with tapas.  Lustau, owned by the Cabellero family is a testament to high quality Sherry.  They take no shortcuts and are renowned as one of the great Sherry houses.

KURT ANGERER Gruner Veltliner  “Freisenrock”, KAMPTAL, AUSTRIA  2007

The wine growing estate of Kurt Angerer is a family business and has a tradition of 150 years.  Located in the Kamptal region the vines have south and southwestern exposure protecting them from the rough north winds.  Due to Kurt Angerer’s lack of compromise and commitment to high quality, both in the vineyards as well as during vinification the wines are considered some of the best in Kamptal.  Angerer feels strongly attached to tradition and his vineyard “terroir” which is evident in the names he has chosen for his different wines: Freisenrock refers to the loam this Gruner Veltliner is planted in.   He is also organic in his practices. Rooted in the soils of the Kamptal yet a man of the world, Kurt has found his own style which is being validated by the international awards and achievements he is now receiving.  The Freisenrock, has pineapple and papaya with a little bitter lemon peel that mingles with a minerally note.  Dense but never heavy as its weight is lifted up by a snappy acidity.

LIVELI “Orion” Primativo, PUGLIA, ITALY

The Falvo family has long reputation as a great wine making family in Montepulciano Italy.  10 years ago they purchased this estate in Puglia because it offered a history of great vineyards and old vines.  They overhauled the winery, and set up organic practices in the vineyards, many of which are high- density plantings in the “spoke and wheel” manner of the ancient Romans.  The Primativo, also known to us as ZINFANDEL, is an example of the innovative changes they have made at Liveli.  It is redolent of black cherries, Moroccan spices and herbs, high-toned for a full bodied red, the freshness is amazing considering the warm climate of Puglia.  So juicy, it’s easy to match with any food.

GRAHAMS 10 year TAWNY PORT

It is a tradition for the Symington family to take their Tawny port chilled in the summertime, a necessity in the searing heat that bounces back and forth off the slate slopes that flank the Douro river.  So often we think of Port being sipped by the fireside on a snowy Minnesota evening.  It’s quite a different image to think of patios that overlook orange trees blossoming on rocky terraces above the river, and the clink of ice in a glass, the smell of lemons being sliced, the salty taste of fried almonds followed by the strong and sweet taste of a chilled white or tawny port.   A very summery Portuguese moment indeed!