Thursday, 27 April, Bodegas Murviedro and Restaurante `La Pepica´ launched a new range of wines, designed both to accompany Valencian Gastronomy and to be ambassadors for Valencia in the export Market.
Murviedro are the Valencian arm of the Swiss owned Bodegas Schenk. They are approaching their 90th anniversary later this year and are continuously developing their range of wines and cavas with grapes sourced from across the Valencian community. This year apart from launching La Pepica´s new wines, they have introduced a new varietal wine from Merseguera, an old vine wine with short crianza in contact with the lees. More importantly the Bodega is strengthening its position in Requena with renovations to its facilities there and with the purchase of Bodega Casa Lo Alto, in which €2m will be invested in renovation and the creation of a new visitor centre launching them into the world of enotourism.
New wines will be produced from the superb vineyards at Casa Lo Alto and we are promised a Chardonnay, a Garnacha and an exemplary Bobal amongst others.
`La Pepica´ is one of Valencia´s oldest family restaurants with a long and fascinating history. Pepe Balaguer is the current owner and he welcomed the press to this fifth generation, traditionally decorated 120 year old eatery looking onto the Malvarrosa beach famously visited by Valencian Artist Sorolla, author Ernest Hemingway and Queen Sofia amongst others. They have a long history of being a byword for Valencian traditional dishes and participating enthusiastically in the Annual Jornadas de Arroces Marineros.
Opening the event Marc Grin, Director General of Murviedro spoke of the continuing development of the bodega and their support for local grape varieties. In conversation later we discussed the ongoing renovations and we will be reporting further on this in a future post. Xavier Solano the Commercial Director explained that Murviedro had enjoyed a long relationship with La Pepica and the Balaguer family. He explained that the wines, although bearing the name of the restaurant would be publicly available and that a pack had been created containing a paella pan, a tin of paella and a bag of rice , the two wines being presented yesterday and a wooden spoon….traditional to eating Valencian Paella. These would be available as ambassadors for Valencian Gastronomy in events worldwide, in export, possibly as souvenirs in the airport shops, but that most importantly they would be part of the bodegas´ and the restaurants´ contribution to tourism. He did not rule out further developments of this kind and reiterated that they were open to many more ideas as this initiative is not solely about export but also about a continuing contribution to increasing sales of Murviedro´s wines in the home market.
And so to the wines themselves. The 2016 white is a blend of Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc, golden yellow, bright, with an intense nose initially of white flowers and apple but with strong tropical fruit aromatics which persist. In the mouth the fruit is ripe and fresh and the balancing acidity perfect giving a long satisfying full finish. It is one of the best new wave Mediterranean style white wines, one we will be very happy to show in tastings and an exemplary wine for our courses. It was a perfect marriage with the range of seafood dishes which formed the starters of the accompanying meal. This included Pan con tomate, Esgarraet with Mojama, a fritura of small fish, All i Pebre and Puntilla.
The red is a pure Monastrell, without crianza, a deep but bright youthful looking cherry red wine with a very ripe but fresh fruity and spicy nose. In the mouth it is very easy to drink, fruity with good depth and a long full finish. It matched the two rice dishes for which this restaurant is rightly famous, Paella Valenciana and Paella Marinera.
Both these wines would accompany a full range of Valencian dishes. For dessert we had the classic rings of fresh, sweet Valencian Oranges dusted with cinnamon.
This is an exciting development and contribution to Valencia´s tourism and shows how different sectors of the economy can come together to jointly promote its fastest growing industry.