Vinari Awards: looking to the sky and to Purgatori
Purgatori 2017 from DO Costers del Segre is proclaimed Best Catalan Wine of the Year at a gala of the Vinari Awards, where the sector warns of the effects of climate change.
Last night’s ceremony was held in Vilafranca del Penedès the Autumn Gala of the Vinari 2021 Awards, sponsored by 11Onze, and where the best Catalan wines of the year are revealed. The tasting that took place in September at the Celler de Rubí attracted 200 finalists, and now it was time to find out the results at a gala hosted by the writer Màrius Serra, with entertainment provided by Mag Lari.
The scrupulous Covid measures hid the smiles behind the masks, but you could see them. The wine sector was in the mood to celebrate and, what’s more, if your winery was invited despite the capacity restrictions, it was because you had won an award. Whoever did not win the Grand Gold award in each category was guaranteed a gold or silver medal, so no one would leave empty-handed.
The gala crowned Purgatori 2017, by Familia Torres, as the Best Catalan Wine of the Year. This wine is a blend of Carignan, red Grenache, and Syrah, made with grapes from the Mas de l’Aranyó estate. This plot is known as the “estate of the banished” because monks from the abbey of Montserrat were sent here to do penance in order to work the land and produce food. It was the second prize of the night for Purgatori, which had also won the award for the best wine in its category (Grand Gold Reserve Red Wines).
The Best Catalan Sparkling Wine of 2021 is Carles Andreu Brut Nature 2017 by Celler Carles Andreu (DO Cava), made from Macabeo and Parellada grapes from Conca de Barberà and aged for 48 months. Natalia Cugueró, representing 11Onze, presented the Vinari Grand Gold awards for sparkling wines aged between 30 and 60 months to Carles Andreu Brut Nature 2017 and Indomable 2014 from Bodega Mas Candí.
Climate change warnings
But the gala also served to recall more bitter moments, such as the one experienced in Conca de Barberà in 2019 with the overflowing of the Francolí River. The flood devastated the René Masdéu winery, which was rebuilt thanks to the solidarity of neighbours and customers. One of the most surprising facts was the sales success of the wines recovered from the flood, which they called “mud wines”. Mariona Rendé explained that “the mud wine was everything. Also, for us, for our minds. It was sold-out straight away, because everyone wanted a bottle”. Another story of destruction and rebirth took place in the last month of January in Priorat. A snowfall collapsed the roof of the Celler Vall-Llach in Porrera. Albert Costa from Vall-Llach recalled the peak of online orders after the disaster. “We had never seen it before, and I don’t think we will ever see it again. And it made Lluís (Llach) and me very happy, in the sense of blimey, people really love us and want us to stay here,” Costa explained.
It goes without saying that these phenomena are very serious warnings of climate change. This was highlighted in the speech by Miguel A. Torres Riera, an eminent figure in the wine sector, who received an award in recognition of his career. He explained that he was very happy with the award, very happy to help his country and the wine world, but he remarked that: “I am not happy with what is happening with the climate. Please, these are not accidents. This is a very serious problem we have and everybody must act. We must fight climate change, we must reduce emissions. Every single one of us. Let’s take this issue seriously. It is the future of the vineyards.
Mr. Torres’ message drew applause and a few cheers. The gala continued with the humour and magic of Mag Lari and with this idea in mind: That the best wine of the year is called Purgatori, but that the future of the vineyards depends more than ever on what the skies might bring.
You can check all the winners of the Vinari Awards here.
If you liked this article, we recommend you read:
11Onze sponsors the Vinari Awards 20212 min read
It will take place at the Auditori de Vilafranca del Penedès and can be followed on Canal 33.
To the heart of the Vinari 2021 Awards5 min read
We discover how the final tasting of the awards is organised at the Celler de Rubí