December 26, 2014

Visiting Cava Country – Museum of Wine Cultures of Catalonia

By In Articles, Photographs, Visiting Cava Country
Across the Jaume I Square from the gothic Church of Santa Maria in Vilafranca del Penedes, housed in converted Royal Palace buildings sits the Vinseum – Museu de les Cultures del Vi de Catalunya. Its a marvellous space combining original features from the 12th and 13th centuries with modern architectural flourishes. And inside? an eclectic collection of all things wine related – from a collection of lovely wine grape prints to a recreation of a 1920’s bar. I rather enjoyed the wander; a lovely contrast to visiting wineries. A tour guide helps in explaining some of the more obscure exhibits – such as a photo that intrigued me of, what transpired to be, vineyard workers protesting at job losses in the 1920’s or part of the 1915 painted mural that decorated the cellar of the Galeries Laietanes.

The Vinseum has been Nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award 2015; a high accolade in museum circles. Plans to open up the neighbouring building for more exhibition space and underway. If visiting Vilafranca del Penedes it maybe advantageous to order the Vinseum’s Menu (€40). This is a passport of sorts that allows a visit to Vinseum to be combined with a three course meal in a selection of local restaurants and discounts to various wineries and their tours/tastings (Bodegues Pinord, Caves Bolet, Caves Nadal, Eudald Massana, Grimau de Pujades, Mascaró, Mas Bertran, Mas Can Colomé, Mas Rodó, Oriol Rossell, Pere Ventura, Torres, Vallformosa i Vilarnau).

No visit to anwhere associated with wine can possibly be complete with out a little tasting. The Vinseum has a delightful wine bar cum tasting area with a rotating selection of wines available. Our visits ended with a tasting of cavas – this was afterall a cava tour – from Mascaro. I loved the elegance of the Mascaro Brut Nature ‘Pure’ (a worthy gold medal winner in the 50 Great Cavas awards) and the full-bodied Cava Grand Reserve Brut Nature Cuvée Antonio Moscaro, a wine designed to accompany food. In the UK you can find all wines and spirits from Mascaro on Amazon

Visiting Cava Country – Museum of Wine Cultures of Catalonia

Vinseum Museum of Wine Cultures of Catalonia
Plaça Jaume I, 5
08720 Vilafranca

Vilafranca’s new VINSEUM has been designed for visitors to experience and experiment with wine and the culture surrounding it. VINSEUM reveals the character of the Penedès, an area that for centuries has based its economy on winemaking. This relationship with wine has left its mark on the town’s history, its culture and its traditions.
VINSEUM is not only a wine museum, it offers a variety of cultural activities and is suitable for visitors of all ages.

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