By Melba Allen
Gramona is a fifth generation family institution for making the famous Cava, which is the Spanish sparkling wine rivaling Champagne from France. Wine-making has been a family business for over 125 years. With some 250 hectares planted and located near Barcelona in the Penedes region of Spain, the wines of Gramona I know well. Especially since my husband and Jaume Gramona studied Enology together at the University of Dijon and are close friends.
Tall, tanned with curly blond hair, Jaume who we call Jack, loves sailing and is quite sportive. He is also a passionate wine-maker. With his piercingly intense gaze, he gives you the impression that he can charm the grapes into giving their best. After his studies in France, Jack went home to practice what he learned. By doing so, he greatly improved the quality of the family’s Cava. While changing the quality of the Cava, Jack also created other wines that I like very much. My favorite of his dry wines is the Gessami. This is a blend of Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat grapes. A delightful dry, medium-bodied white wine that is aromatic not only on the nose (by its aromas), but also on the palate( in the mouth). It is quite refreshing and pleasant and you can just about drink it with almost everything.
As for the Cava, he makes 10 very different Cava’s. Each with a personality different from the last. The house brand, Reserva brut, is well made and crisp. It has a nice grapefruit-like tartness that helps to prepare your palate for the meal that you’ve been waiting for. Then there is the Imperial, Allegro, III Lustros, Suite, Postre, Cellar Battle, Argent , Rosé Pinot Noir, and Argent Rosé. III Lustros is a full-bodied Cava with lots of character and flavor. This is another one of my favorites that if I could drink it every day, I would!
There are at least 15 grape varieties used for making the different wines of Gramona and of course many are of Spanish origins like the Xarel-Lo and the Macebeo. But there are also the Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat the Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot, just to name a few. The land on which the grapes are planted are also scrupulously tended with regards to the environment.
Although Jack is an energetic overseer of the vines and the wines before and during production, his cousin Xavier, is just as active making sure that the wines are in every Market around the world. So, if ever get a chance to visit Barcelona, go and visit them in the nearby city Sant Sadurní d’Anoia only 30 minutes or so to the south of Barcelona. Tell them Melba from France sent you!