As mentioned in my previous post, Day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat; I have decided to take quick day trips from Barcelona to scratch my travel itch. With COVID still very present here in Europe, I haven’t felt comfortable doing much traveling. After getting a taste with my trip to Montserrat, I planned another day trip from Barcelona to the Penedes wine region in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, to visit the Freixenet Winery. The Freixenet Winery boasts as the largest producer of Cava in Spain. Cava can be compared to Prosecco, however not as fruity, but also not as dry as Champagne. Cava has quickly become my go-to drink here in Barcelona, it is inexpensive, delicious and sold everywhere!
How to get to Freixenet
Freixenet is a quick 30 min bus ride. It is important to note that you are not able to use the Barcelona transportation ticket on this bus (E18 HILLSA). Cost is 4.50 euros each way. The pick-up spot for the E18 bus is on Carrer de Urgell and Carrer de Paris. The closest metro station is Hospital Clinic. The drop off point is the San Sadurni Rodalies Station and Freixenet is just a quick two-minute walk around the corner.
Visiting the winery
The winery encourages visitors to pre buy tickets on their website so as to reserve your spot in your desired tour time. The tour is about 1 hour and 30 minutes long, with an adult ticket costing 15 euros each. In addition to the tour, the ticket includes a tasting of two of their more popular Cava. You have the option of choosing from 3 different languages for your tour: English, Castellano or Catalan. The winery opens at 9:30am time and closes at 3pm. The tour starts promptly at 11:30am which is perfect if you are not an early morning person like myself. In addition, they offer a variety of other activities that you may purchase.
Walking through the gates of the winery you are greeted with a beautiful vintage aesthetic, from the old cars parked in the front to the classic ‘winery’ look of the front of the building. Entering the building you walk into a sort of museum with memorabilia of the winery. The tour starts on time and I chose the English tour.
Your tour guide starts by giving some history of the families that started the winery in 1861. You then proceed to the caves where the bottles are kept. The caves are about 1820 meters underground which provides a perfect low temperature for the Cava. The rocks above the caves cause them to be soundproof which helps maintain the wine. There are several levels of the caves. Different levels will have different types of Cava or different ages. The tour guide gives great detail in explaining the process of making and bottling the wine. The tour ends with a video which gives some more details about the winery, such as their commitment to the environment.
I should mention that you are not able to tour the facility where the vats of Cava are processed or the actual vineyard.
Once the tour is complete, you are led out to the front of the building where there are cute tables and chairs with umbrellas set up for you to enjoy your two Cava tastings. You have a choice of a sweet Cava and a Brut. I personally enjoyed the Brut, which is drier. You are also served crispy breadsticks and crackers, however, there is a small snack menu which includes sandwiches, salads and cheese platters; and of course you can order more Cava, which you will,…believe me! Although it was quite hot in Barcelona (I visited in August), it was slightly cooler at the winery which made it an enjoyable experience sitting outside. The staff were friendly and eager to answer any questions, and quick with the refills.
As with my trip to Montserrat, there was no tourist crowd at the winery due to COVID. Freixenet Winery is such a short trip out of the heart of Barcelona and for 15 euros per ticket, makes it quite an affordable, easy, quick getaway for a few hours. The scenery on the bus ride to the winery is also a breathtaking one, with green lushness all around. I definitely recommend a visit to Freixenet where you get to experience a different aspect of a Catalan tradition here in Spain.
Have you been to Freixenet? How was your experience? Drop me a line in the comments. If you have any suggestions for quick day trips out of Barcelona be sure to share.
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