September truly is the most wonderful time in Spain. It’s still summer, but not incendiary which will come as blessed relief after the unrelenting heat wave this year has brought, the crowds have dispersed and festival season is beginning. You’ll find witches in Cervera, oysters in L’Ametlla de Mar, craft beer in Sant Joan de Mediona, and the end of harvest wine festivals all over, though our particular favourite is the Festa de la Verema in Alella on the 9th, 10th and 11th of September.
“Now in its 42 year it is a great opportunity to visit one of the Maresme Coast’s most beautiful towns. The food and wine fair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings has always been the highlight, offering wine tastings, champagnes and culinary specialties of the area. But its just part of the three days of festivities. There are also fireworks, art exhibitions, children’s activities, live music and much more.”
— Tom Maidment, Partner Lucas Fox
Outside of the show grounds visitors can sample taster menus in each of the town’s restaurants paired with wines from each of the town’s vineyards. It’s a great way to get to know the region in culinary terms and and one of the prettiest towns outside of Barcelona, where shady plaças are demarcated by smart, stone townhouses and handsome modernisme manors, while sturdy masias – many of them with traditional restaurants – are hidden among the pines and vineyards that stretch all the way down to the sea.
As Catalunya’s smallest D.O. (Denominación de Origen), Alella is also, to our minds, one of the best for crisp, refreshing white wines with lots of fruit up front balanced by a streak of saline minerality and a lip-smacking acidity. That’s thanks to the local grape Pansa Blanca, which flourishes with the land and the sea right up close.
This year the event will begin with a proclamation by Anna Sahun at the Harvest festival opening ceremony, followed by treading grapes, gastronomy wine tasting and culinary specialties of the area. Later they will be putting together guided tours at many of the wineries throughout Saturday finishing with various activities, tastings and food pairings at 8pm. Sunday kicks off with a hearty breakfast botifarrada (sausage fest) at 9am, followed by more tastings, a final correfoc because, lets face it, who doesn’t love a correfoc and to cap it off a round of havaneres (sea shanties) with obligatory ron cremat (flambéed rum). This is definitely one to make an annual tradition.
For further details see www.alella.cat/festaverema