2010 A Busy Year! 2011- What To Look Forward To!

Poster for the 2010 Cava Fair.

2010 turned out to be a busy and exciting year for wine lovers in the Valencian Community. Right from the moment the doors opened on the wine and food fair in the dry river bed of the Turia in the heart of Valencia last April the year moved quickly through a series of public and private tastings, wine fairs, food fairs and other events organised by PROAVA, the three D.O.´s and others culminating in the Alicante Gastronomy Fair, the Cava Fair and Las Añadas de Utiel Requena all covered in posts on this site.

Sebastien Hernández from Enológica Oleana in Sinarcas


  One of the newer Bodegas emerging through that fair was enológica oleana, the Sinarcas bodega where Sebastián Hernández makes wines with a sense of humour. Outside the cava area his bobal rosado espumoso was a revelation. This is a bodega to visit in 2011.

This blog makes no apology for promoting the excellent wines from across the Valencian Community and plans to carry on throughout the coming year. The past twelve months have only confirmed how good the wines made here are and how the bodegas need all the help they can get in a difficult wine market to promote their products.
Other stars from that fair included Bodegas Los Pinos from Fontanars and Bodegas Porsellanes although we cannot forget the generous tasting provided by Mari Carmen at Finca Collado to the Vilamarxant wine club, a bodega we subsequently visited and where I was lucky enough to be invited to the harvest later in the summer.
And other new Bodegas and stars emerged throughout the year.  Two of the most memorable wines were 100% Bobals from Utiel-Requena, the first Olivastro from Viñedos Carres and the young Bobal from Dominio de la Vega, both of which I subsequently visited and had the opportunity to discuss the wines with Jose Luis and Daniel Espinoso respectively. Olivastro went on to win an award and Daniel was named Winemaker of the year.
As the year closed more wines from across the Community than ever before had secured high points ratings in the Guia Penin, many into the 90´s out of 100, testifying how improvement is a key driving factor here.
What should we be looking forward to in 2011? Well, not just more of the same but continuing improvement, innovation, better promotion both formal and informal, better worldwide sales and more new wines to whet the appetite!

From a visit and tasting at Vera De Estenas.

  Arguably one of the most important bodies charged with promoting wine from the Community apart from the relevant controlling bodies is PROAVA the Government funded body whose poster for the excellent cava fair is above. It is to be hoped that they will be organising another Sweet wine fair this year after the success of last February´s event. Will the Mostra in Valencia in April continue to grow as it has done over the last few years despite the crisis?
The DO events will be worth looking forward to especially Ferevin, in August in Requena. This has become the signature event for many but this year seemed smaller perhaps reflecting the serious problems faced in the area although emerging bodegas are producing excellent wines and  those established only in the last 10 years go from strength to strength. Over production here needs to be tackled with a change of approach to paying for quality of product rather than by the kilo for quantity.
And there needs to be serious thought given to whether the DO´s should all merge to trade on the `Wines from Valencia´ name. This seems somewhat drastic and an unnecessary loss of identity for Alicante and Utiel-Requena both enjoying growing exports in the emerging Chinese and Japanese markets. There may be some argument however for the Vins de Terra de Castellon IG to go this way as it it may well be too small to promote itself sufficiently.

Vino-Valencia at Work!

Amongst the other organisations promoting wine seriously is Vino-Valencia. Monthly events have taken place for just over a year and the organisation goes from strength to strength holding monthly tastings under the direction of Dora Birindelli ( pictured right ). New innovations are planned for 2011 and some outstanding new wines and bodegas will be collaborating together with prestigious established bodegas. Three wines together with three tapas provided by Va-Vive catering, new collaborators, will continue to be the format for just 10€. But the last few weeks have seen bodegas and others businesses clamouring to get on board with this modern events management organisation who will arrange the launch event for new businesses e.g. together with sponsorship from bodegas which  understand the synergy which exists.

Las Añadas de España will hopefully carry on with its excellent almuerzos in the New Year together with the tastings organised occasionally to showcase wines on offer in this landmark delicatessen and fine wine shop. As hopefully will smaller shops such as VinsKM who broke onto the scene this year.
And we can look forward to the traditional Gastronomy fairs such as those held in l´Alcúdia, Villena and Utiel e.g. not forgetting the Feria de Embutidos which kicks off the year with the   sausage fair in Requena between 4-6 March!

Poster for the 2011 Sausage fair.

Which wines should we look out for in 2011? Unashamedly I believe there are some crackers out there waiting release onto the market.
New Years Resolution no 1 is not to buy cava from Cataluña! The cavas produced here in the Community are outstanding. Personal recommendations, anything from Vera de Estenas, Dominio de la Vega, Sybarus from Torroja, Chozas Carrascal, Castell del Sorrells, Pago de Tharsys, Daniel Belda ,Vinya Natur, Arraez, Hispano-Suizas or Sebiran  to name just a few will satisfy! 
The new  style Bobals from Olivastro and Dominio de la Vega are just 2-3 months from release.
Probably the summer will see unrivalled success for Rosados…..I have already tasted Rosat from Belda, Coviñas the big coop in Requena has already been awarded its first prize for the best 2010 Rosado from Bobal, ( having also won best wine with the 2009 !)  Finca Collado has a limited supply of a Rosado from Merlot ( the first year it will have been produced ) . I expect Torroja to produce another excellent Rosado as well.
Finca Collado will also be releasing a monovarietal 2008 Merlot Tinto which is outstanding!
And I am looking forward to release of the new Carabibas from Sierra de Cabreras as well as the 2010 Chardonnay fermented in barrel, Vinessens, and the 2009 Tinto Seins from the same bodega!
Ricardos blog will continue to visit bodegas across the community, search out new wines and report regularly on what is happening in Valencia.
And we expect there will be an increase in Enotourism in Utiel-Requena  as the Government thoughtfully provided a stop right in the middle of the DO for the new Fast Train AVE! Hopefully the new Rutavino in Moixent and the Val D´Albaida will also take off.
No for me 2011 promises to be a very exciting year and I can´t wait to get stuck in!
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