On one of our visits to Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma we had a fabulous tour guide who had just returned from a trip to Spain to visit Freixenet S.A., the sister company of Gloria Ferrer. She marveled at the sheer size of the wine caves and told us how charming the surrounding village was. We decided if we ever visited Spain, Freixenet was on our “must do” list.
About six months later, we had the opportunity to visit Barcelona. We discovered that Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, the Catalonian municipality famous for the Spanish sparkling wine called “Cava, was only a 40 minute train ride west of Barcelona and an easy day-trip. 95% of all Cava is produced in the Pendes area of Catalonia and the village of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is home to both Freixenet and Codorniu.
The train station is conveniently located across the street from Freixenet. I made a reservation via an email that I obtained on their website and we were able to join an English tour group. Wine-tasting in Europe is not as commonplace as it is in the states. It tends to be an organized event at larger wineries and you often have to have an advance reservation.
The Freixenet tour is one of the best tours I’ve experienced; beautiful interiors, lovely flowers and greenery and antique Freixenet-themed cars and motorbikes – perfect for a few photographs.
The tour begins with a short film of the Freixenet story in a small theater. Then we were led to an elevator to descend the multiple stories down into the old cellars for more details. There are several stop-off points with DVD presentations and tour-guide explanations. The cellars also serve as a museum with many antique tools and machines displayed that are used in making Cava. Our tour guide was entertaining, knowledgeable and very passionate about Cava. Freixenet produces more than 90 million bottles a year.
The cellars (caves) are spectacular! They are vast and store 150 million bottles of Cava – very impressive. The last part of the tour takes you from the old cellars to the modern cellars via an electric train. The cellars are so large and cover multiple levels so this is the most efficient way to get around. There are also several beautiful works of art on display both in the cellars and throughout the buildings.
To finish it off the tour we enjoyed a complimentary glass of delicious Cava in a very modern tasting room with a very nice view. Further drinks and snacks are available to purchase. Freixenet is known for their Carta Nevada and Cordon Negro.