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Bodega Coca i Fitó, located in the town of El Masroig (Tarragona) is a venture which, despite its youth, has managed to release a range of wines on the market which makes the most of the wealth and tradition of the wine regions of Montsant and Terra Alta, their unique climates and the composition of their soils. With a work philosophy targeted at expressing the terroir, Coca i Fitó wines enjoy recognition from prestigious international publications such as US magazines The Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast and have been highlighted for their diversity, and ability to combine complexity and terroir with easy-to-understand and affordable wines. The driving force behind the venture are brothers, Toni and Miquel Coca, who, in 2006 after a long career in the wine industry, decided to launch this adventure with the aim of increasing awareness about the quality of the region’s vineyards. Toni Coca, the bodega’s technical director carried out his studies at the ‘Jaime Ciurana’ School of Oenology in Falset and at the University of Tarragona. Since 1986 he has worked as technical advisor to various bodegas under DOs Penedès, Montsant and Priorat, among others. In contrast, Miquel Coca trained in the gastronomy and hospitality sectors, before dedicating himself to the world of wine via top-of-the-range wine sales on international markets. Bodega Coca i Fitó’s recently inaugurated facilities are located in the town of El Masroig, in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia) under DO Montsant. Although the bodega boasts eight hectares of its own vineyards, ranging in age from 15 to 80 years, spread around the municipalities of the Falstet Valley: Marça, Capçanes, Guiamets, Pradell de la Teixeta, and La Serra d´Almos, the bodega’s commitment to expressing the region’s terroir obliges it to carry out a constant search and selection of the best vineyards in the area, and has even led it to make a white wine under DO Terra Alta. The region’s climate, with its scarce rainfall and extreme temperature differences between summer and winter, together with the predominantly granite and chalk soils, which are generally poor in organic material, give the region’s wines a characteristic minerality and concentration. In addition, Coca i Fitó carries out an exhaustive and independent selection and handling process at every wine estate in order to preserve the unique properties offered by the individual terroirs to the full. This special handling is also employed in the winemaking process, where the bodega is at pains to avoid altering the raw material as much as possible, so that the resulting wine is capable of expressing every single nuance of its origins.

Wines from Spain

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Freixenet has launched a new mainstream Spanish wine brand aimed at attracting more women to the Spanish wine category. Mia is billed as being a “wine made for women by a woman” in what Freixenet’s UK head of marketing, Suzanne O’Hara is heralding as the “biggest still wine launch of the year”.

It is the personal project of Freixenet winemaker, Gloria Collell, and consists of a red and white wine with a retail price of £7.99. But it has been specifically made to appeal to the female Freixenet buyer and tap in to the crucial mainstream female wine buying public that is said to account for eight out of 10 bottles of wines purchased in the UK.

The specially created wine label, which includes a bright, attractive, Gaudi style design around the Mia name, is the first wine in the Freixenet stable to include the personal details of the winemaker.

“This is a very personal project for me. Hence the name ‘Mia’ which means ‘mine’ in Spanish,” Collell told Harper Wine & Spirit. “I also wanted to use real Spanish grape varieties and help educate women about Spanish wines.”

The red wine, Signature Blend No 1, comes from Tempranillo grapes from Castilla and the white, Signature Blend No 2, uses a blend of Cava grape varieties from Cataluyna.

The Freixenet name is also clearly prominent on the front of the label to reassure and attract female consumers familiar with Freixenet’s sparkling wines.

Mia will be made available to Freixenet’s export markets and will be under screwcap for the UK market.

O’Hara said Mia had been carefully researched to ensure it appealed to its key audience and a £1m marketing campaign will include above the line activity including major press campaigns in the key female consumer press.

The wine is been sold in to the trade from and its £7.99 retail tag is expected to go out with an attractive promotional offer to encourage initial purchase and trial.

Written by Richard Siddle
Harpers wine&Spirit

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After declaring last month that the famous 3-Michelin star restaurant owned by the star Chef Adrià Ferran will be closed for two years from 2012, he announced at a Press Conference that a no-profit El Bulli Foundation will be created to promote contemporary culinary arts and to encourage new ideas.
At a press conference held on February 23 during the Gastronomy Forum in Santiago de Compostela, capital of the Spanish region of Galicia, Ferran said that this foundation will offer scholarships for up to 25 chefs and front office professionals. These carefully selected recipients of the scholarship will work with the creative team of the restaurant as “a breeding ground for new ideas and for new talents to go together, hand in hand, even further.” 

The dining room of the restaurant will continue in its present shape and set up but a new audio-visual lounge and library will be added as part of his long-term aim to compile an exhaustive and detailed encyclopedia of the contemporary cuisine. The restaurant will continue to welcome a certain number of customers each year to taste the kitchen’s creations, according to Adrià. .

In addition to the avant-garde cuisine for which El Bulli is famous, the foundation will also branch into more traditional cuisine, as well as cocktails and even breakfasts.

Each year the foundation will publish its findings via a series of books, audio-visual productions, on the net, chef conferences and in gastronomy schools, according to a media report.

In the 21 years since Ferran Adrià became head chef at the restaurant in Roses on the Costa Brava, his rise to success has run parallel with the explosion in fine dining and the attendant phenomenon of gastro-tourism. During the past two decades, a golden age for the restaurant business, Adrià has become the most significant player in the culinary world, loved and respected by customers, cooks and critics. He has been credited to have invented the molecular gastronomy, a term which he does not recognise and instead likes to call his cooking Avant Garde and deconstructive.

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