Ep 5: ‘Behind the Bodega Door’ | Cava Guilera | D.O Penedes

Show notes:

(00:27) Overview: Cava. More than a sparkling beverage and how a small bodega is adapting to change.

(01:00) The region: Why (most) white grapes love the region

(02:00) The bodega: How Pere’s grandmother changed the family’s story and the bodega’s USP

(04:20) What’s happening in the market: Who drinks their cava overseas

(04:50) Marketing: Making Penedes a household name

(06:10) Enotourism: Slow cava, slow visits (chill out between the vines)

(07:43) Tasting notes: Guilera Agosarat Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2005 and Guilera Musivari Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2007

(10:35) How the grapes are grown: An early hand harvest 30s from the bodega

(11:10) Processing: Cava. A local success story

(11:35) Ageing: Pre-financial crisis cava!

(12:40) Question of the day: What’s your favourite cava food pairing?


Place (and other) names:

Bodega location: Lavern Subirats

Grape names: Xarel.lo, Macabeo, Parellada


For more, visit:






YOUTUBE: Canal Cava Guilera​


To buy the wine:

Contact: martaguilera@cavaguilera.com


Bodega: Cava Guilera

Location: Lavern Subirats

Hosts: Pere and Marta Guilera

Date visited: 13 September 2017


Ep 4: ‘Behind the Bodega Door’ | Bodegas Nekeas | D.O Navarra

Show notes:

(0:30) Introduction: Natural diversification by knowing the land and its grapes

(0:58) The region: Navarra, a Spain in miniature.

(1:40) The bodega: A secluded bodega with lots going on

(2:02) The 8 families of Añorbe

(2:48) Marketing: Staying close to the market

(3:20) Enotourism offering: An equally diverse visitor base to complement Pamplona tourism

(4:23) Marketing: The reason the bodega focuses on exporting

(5:30) Tasting notes: An approachable Chardonnay

(5:58) How the grapes are grown: Lab checks and in field knowledge

(6:35) Processing: Why the bodega relies upon long maceration

(7:47) Ageing: 1,000 sleeping barrels

(8:12) Question of the day: What do you think of Rioja’s dominance of the domestic Spanish wine market and what can other bodegas do to differentiate themselves?


Place (and other) names mentioned:

Bardenas Reales de Navarra (Navarran desert where Game of Thrones was filmed)



For more, visit:





To buy the wine:

In addition to Spain, Nekeas wines can be found in France, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, the United States, Canada, Peru, China, Japan, Taiwan.


Meet the bodega:

Bodegas Nekeas attends the Prowein fairs in Germany and China. In addition, they participate in events in the United States, Canada and Europe with the D.O Navarra.


Bodega: Nekeas

Location: Añorbe, Navarra

Hosts: Virginia Irisarri (Responsible for Enotourism) and the President Francisco (Paco) San Martín

Date visited: 29 September 2017

Ep 3: ‘Behind the Bodega Door’ | Bodegas Bhilar | D.O Rioja

Show notes:

(0:25) Intro: A bodega transmitting their unique location through its wines

(1:39) The region: Welcome to the Basque Country and its valleys

(2:20) The bodega: From Hawaii to the North of Spain (via France)

(5:18) What’s happening in the market: To orange wine or not to orange wine?

(6:00) Marketing: Why 90% of their wine leaves Spain!

(7:40) Enotourism offering: (not) the Bhilar Hilton

(10:17) Marketing: The three levels of wine from Bodegas Bhilar

(11:22) Tasting notes: Lagrimas de Graciano (2016), Bhilar (2015), Phincas 2013

(15:48) How the grapes are grown: Horses and grapes, a match made in heaven

(19:10) Processing: Minimal intervention natural wine?

(21:40) Ageing: Thoughtful integration of flavours.

(22:17) Question of the Day: What does and doesn’t go into a ‘natural wine’?


Place names:

Village name: Elvillar (castellano) or Bilar (Basque)


For more, visit:





www.strugglingvines.com (to buy Melanie’s book)


To buy the wine:

Internationally, Bodegas Bhilar work with small importers in UK, USA, Northern Europe, Sydney and Asia.

In Spain, their national distributor is Alma Vinos Unicos. They also work with distributors in San Sebastian (Goñi Ardoteka), Galicia (Delectos Compostela) and Barcelona (Sentits Barcelona).


Meet the bodega:

Bodegas Bhilar do not plan to attend any trade shows next year, but if you are close to Elvillar please make contact.


Bodega: Bodegas Bhilar

Location: Elvillar

Hosts: Melanie Hickman and David Sampedro Gil

Date visited: 1 October 2017

Ep 2: ‘Behind the Bodega Door’ | Bodegas Sumarroca | D.O Penedès

Show notes:

(0:40) The region: The holy trinity: Xarel.lo, Macabeo, Parellada grapes

(2:35) The bodega and family: A tale of 3 fincas

(6:28) Trends and Marketing: The rise of higher end cava

(8:12) Enotourism: A different side of Cataluñan tourism

(10:10) Tasting notes: Núria Claverol brut nature 2011, Núria Claverol Rosé

(11:55) How the grapes are grown:

(13:22) Processing: How cava is made

(16:50) Ageing: Secondary fermentation in bottle and ageing

(19:30) Geek out: Developing disease resistant grapes


Local place names:

Penedès: Wine region

Sant sadurni d’anoia: capital of cava

For more, visit:







To buy: