On Monday 8 July, Valencia´s Sumillers Federation came together for their tenth Fiesta de la Burbuja. This is an event which was postponed last year, and previously had been been held in La Ferradura restaurant for a couple of years but which in its short life has been held alternatively in Valencia or Alicante.
This year it was the turn of Valencia to hold the event and the chosen venue was the garden terrace of the Westin Hotel.
This is a fair which is a celebration of all things sparkling in the world of wine! Each year a specific wine is invited and in this event recognition was given to the former cava houses of Penedes who recently left the DO Cava and formed their own organisation, Corpinnat. This was partly a reaction to the overgrowth of Cava in Cataluña (some of it of dubious quality) and a recognition that the houses concerned were increasingly producing better quality wines from the best area. The houses making up Corpinnat are:- Gramona, Llopart, Nadal, Recaredo, Sabaté i Coca, Torelló, Huguet-Can Feixes, Júlia Bernet y Mas Candí. All produce wholly ecological grapes and make the wines within their own estates, the equivalent of Pago status.
Their invitation was combined with their sponsorship of the 1st Competition for Sumillers, the Concurso Burbuja de Oro in which contestants received a masterclass tasting of six wines from Corpinnat, followed by a blind tasting of one wine which had to be identified and specifically described.
38 contestants had the confidence to participate and from these 12 correctly identified the ‘blind’ wine. Of these two were judged to have drawn in the task forcing a further contest in which they had to answer 10 written questions. From this head-to-head Arturo Giner, of Masquecatas and Oryza restaurant, a regular contact of VÍ Vid emerged as the first champion and received the trophy designed by Emili Rabal Vidrer and which represents the bubbles emerging from a cava bottle in the form of a bottle surmounted by a cava flute.
Following the tasting the Federation held a celebratory lunch for the bodegas exhibiting their wines, or their distributors, as well as the press and other wine related organisations such as Verema at which a wide selection of the wines were available to taste. This was held in one of the Westin Hotels salons and was attended by the hotel´s Director Rocio Cibran.
Following the lunch the gardens were opened to professionals from the hotel, restaurant and catering trade who were able to taste all the wines from the bodegas exhibiting.
These included those from the remaining houses of DO Cava (Cataluña) such as Raventos Cordoniu, Freixenet, Juvé i Camps, Pinord, Alta Alella Mirgin, Galán Mirgin, Durán Galán, Raventos Rosell and Miquel Pons.
AOC Champagne is always represented at this event and this year Maxi Bao, a FASCV member and oustanding sumiller of his generation was showing the wines from Maison Luc Gaidoz-Forget from Ludes in the Mountains of Rheims.
Portugal also showed five traditional method wines from the upper Douro, Barraida and Vinho Verde regions, a Pinot Noir rosado from Campolargo being one of our favourite wines of the fair and very fortunately available in Valencia from Amanda Navarro Flores at Terras de Portugal.
Cavas from Requena were well represented with UVÉ, Pago de Tharsys, Murviedro, Vegalfaro, Dominio de la Vega and Vera de Estenas and the award winning Adriano from Bodegas Haya all showing their wines.
Sparkling wines from DO Valencia (Reymos Cheste) and Alicante (Bocopa) were well represented and for the first time Traditional Method and Ancestral Method wines from Victor Bellmunt of Cabanes in IGP Castellon.
His distributor Ardisval were also showing wines from Bodegas Utielanas amongst others.
Following the sessions for professionals from the sector the doors were thrown open to the public who were able to buy tickets for the wines and various tapas provided by the Westin.
This was as always a highly professional event under the direction Of Mari Lu Martin and David Remollar, former and current Presidents of the Federation and a joyous celebration of Traditional Method wines, Cavas, Champagnes and sparkling wines, a fitting `send off´ for the sector before the Summer holiday´s start. It was once again a pure pleasure to be invited by FASCV to report on their very professional competition and the rest of the days events.