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Cuscó Berga
by
Kathy Sullivan

Cuscó BergaSummary: Cuscó Berga is a family owned and operated winery located in the small, quaint village of Les Gunyoles d’Avinyonet in the Penedès wine region of Catalonia, Spain. From the balcony visitors have extensive views of the countryside.

We met the three Cuscó brothers Jordi and his older twin brothers Joan and Lluis who produce Cuscó Berga cavas. They are enthusiastic and dedicated to following their family winemaking traditions. They are also dedicated to their vineyards.

Cuscó BergaWinery

After entering the front doors of the white building we discovered a large room with several different areas. Just inside the door, there is a small tasting counter where visitors can purchase wine. Along one side of the room a mini-museum has various vintage tools that have been used in vineyards and winemaking. Across from the tasting counter one can view a large display of cava tops. Cava tops are also available for purchase. A large area of the room is available for events. Outside the the back of the winery, a long balcony offers views of the bucolic landscape.

Cuscó BergaVineyard Tour

Boarding two all-terrain vehicles our group was whisked off to the vineyards. The Cuscó Berga vineyards are located about a 20-minute drive from the winery. The vineyards are located in the Garraf area where the soil is rocky with limestone, sand and clay. The vineyards include the grape varieties: Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parellada, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Some of the vines are 40 years old. Our first stop was at a vineyard planted long ago but not tended and pruned as needed. The grapes still hung to the vines and we were encouraged to taste a grape or two. The grapes were very sweet. The winemaker pulled out a refractrometer and read the sugar level of the grapes. He handed the refractrometer to Terry who discovered that the sugar level was recorded in Baume rather than Brix. The grapes will not be harvested. Soon these grapevines will be pulled out and the vineyard replanted with more grapevines.

We moved on to another vineyard where the owners showed us the proper pruning technique. Pruning cannot take place until the vines turn yellow. However, pruniing is usually done in late winter, sometime in February or March.

Cuscó BergaOur last stop in the vineyards was an unexpected adventure. As we drove through the dusk, a touch of coolness was in the air. In the distance we saw a pile of stones. Upon closer inspection, we saw that the stone pile was in the shape of a round/oval with an opening on one side. This stone hut was built by the brothers' grandfather. The purpose was to shield vineyard workers from severe weather. One of our guides went inside and five minutes later we were told to enter the stone hut.

Cuscó BergaIn the semi-darkness we gathered around a light while two bottles of Cuscó Berga cavas were opened. With the light flickering and the warmth generated by close body heat, we all felt the camaraderie of an evening with talk, cava and friends. We tasted the Brut Nature Reserva Eco, a blend of Macabeu, Xarel-lo and Parellada. The cava offered some tropical fruit notes and persistent bubbles. Too soon it was time to return to the winery where we experienced a delightful home cooked Catalan dinner.

Cuscó Berga Cavas

Cusco BergaThroughout the evening we enjoyed several of Cuscó Berga cavas. We enjoyed a delightful pasta-style dinner (Fideuada, similar to paella but thin noodles are used instead of rice) preceded by nibbles of potato chips, nuts and olives. Dessert was a wonderful dish of chocolate-covered balls topped with whip cream.

The Cava Brut Rosé was produced with 100 percent of the Trepat grape variety. This sparkling wine had 11% alcohol and was a red color with a pink hue. The cava offered notes of light red berry fruit and was crisp. Cuscó Berga suggests serving this cava as an appetizer or with rice, smoked salmon or grilled prawns.

Cuscó BergaBrut Nature Traditio Reserva Cava DO was produced with a blend of Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada. This yellow cava offered white peach and citrus notes. The finish was crisp. The 11.5% alcohol wine retails for 7.75€. Suggested food pairings included salmon canapés and smoked eel.

The Brut Gran Reserva was a blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. The sparkling wine was yellow with 11.5% alcohol. This crisp wine had notes of mineral and white peach. The wine retails for 5.85€. Suggested food pairings included seafood, sushi, caviar and cheese.

Cuscó Berga encourages tourists to visit their winery facility in Les Gunyoles d’Avinyonet. When you visit you will be warmly welcomed.

Cuscó Berga
c/Esplugues, 7
08793 Les Gunyoles (Avinyonet)
Alt Penedes, Barcelona, Spain

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Article written October 2014



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