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Capità Vidal
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Capitá VidalSummary: Capità Vidal is a small second generation producer started by Captain Enrique Vidal who sailed around the world. The focus is on producing cavas that reflect the vineyards each year.

During our visit to Capità Vidal we enjoyed learning about a couple who started the winery in the 1980s. Capità Vidal offers a captivating visit in a large Catalan farmhouse. The winery is even more special for those interested in sailing and cava. Helena Yglesias, Vidal’s stepdaughter, spoke about the captain and her mother, “They enjoyed enjoyed sailing and cava.” Today Capità Vidal is focused on continuing limited production and using environmentally friendly practices in the vineyard and winery. They believe in working with new technology and old traditional knowledge.

Capità VidalHistory

Helena easily related the story of the winery to us. Her stepfather, Captain Enrique Vidal has a long storied life involving solo sailing around the world. He married Tati Fuchs who was a navigator and was accomplished at champion skate sailing. A wall map in the second floor tasting room shows the intensive routes that Captain Vidal sailed over the years. His voyages took him from the southern part of England, past western Europe, western Africa and ended in South Africa. Other voyages were along the east coast of South America. These expeditions and love of cava prompted Captain Vidal to start the winery in 1985. The nautical theme is evident in the second floor tasting room, even in the cellar (pictured).

Winery and Vineyards

Helena is the winemaker at Capità Vidal and she explains that the brand for the winery is Fuchs de Vidal. Fuchs is her mother’s name and Vidal is her stepfather’s name. Helena noted that her parents had the winery while she was attending university. When it was time for her to decide what to study at the university, she was not sure what to choose. However, she was interested in taking winemaking classes. She found the classes interesting and decided to major in enology.

Capità VidalToday Capità Vidal has 10 hectares (25 acres) of local grape varieties including Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel.lo. The winery also sources Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Garnacha from other growers.

For Helena the essence of the grape is respected during cava and winemaking. Helena believes that because the winery is small, they do not have to do the same style cava and wine each year. The cavas can reflect the grapes harvested in that year.

Capità VidalHelena took us on a quick tour of the winery facility. Bottling equipment is on the ground floor along with cases of wines. Four meters (13 feet) below the ground, are the cellars. Bottles of cava are stored, aging in a horizontal position. Several cement riddling racks were filled with bottles at various angles. All riddling is done by hand. On the ground level, most bottles are disgorged by machine except for special bottles and larger-size bottles that do not fit the machine. Those bottles are hand disgorged.

Capità Vidal is housed in a two-story, white building adorned with arched brick frame windows. Inside, brick arches add to the character of the building and provide a wonderful ambiance for wine tourists. From inside the views of the vineyards through the arched windows are delightful. A tasting room is available on the first floor while a more lavish event room with a tasting counter is available on the second floor. This is also a memento room showcasing many tributes to sailing.

Capità VidalVisitors will want to take note of the vintage ornate, glass thief on the wall. Tables, chairs and views of the vineyards make this a wonderful venue for tasting Capità Vidal cavas.

Cava Tasting

Capità VidalWe tasted the Unic Brut Nature, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Macabeo and Parellada. The wine was aged for a minimum of 15 months. This light yellow cava had a steady stream of beads forming a mousse. The aroma offered apple and pear notes. The cava had a lively mouthfeel with notes of apple and citrus on the finish.

The 2010 Gran Fuchs Vidal Brut Nature Reserva was blended with Macabeo, Xarel.Io and Parellada and aged for 39 months, The cava had a light yellow color with beads forming a mousse on the surface. The aroma had notes of apple, floral and mineral. The taste offered apple, peach blossoms and mineral with a pleasant mouthfeel. There was a fruity finish and long aftertaste.

The 2011 Brut Nature Gran Reserva was a blend of 30% Macabeo, 50% Xarel.lo and 20% Parellada. The cava was aged for 36 months. It had a light yellow color with active bubbles forming a mousse on the surface. Mineral and green apple were on the aroma while the taste had green apple, mineral and a hint of freshly baked bread. The finish had green apple and chalk notes.

Capita Vidal exports cava to the United States, Belgium, Japan, Finland and Poland.
Visitors can spend a day at the winery. The winery also schedules special events. Weekend wine enthusiasts do not need appointments; however, visitors during the week should contact the winery in advance. Large groups should make an appointment.

Capità Vidal
Ctra. C-15, Vilafranca-Igualada km. 21
08733 El Pla del Penedés
(Barcelona), Spain
+34-93-898 86 30

 

Article written June 2015


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