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Our travels to Spain 2011

Bryan Hinschberger
Oct 5, 2011 12:42 PM
Well... we're back from Spain!!
For the past 2 weeks, Brad & Laura Jensen (owners of Bon Vivant), Scott Evans (owner & operator of Pago Restaurant in SLC), and myself (the bearded American who can't speak a lick of the native tongue), have been traveling like kings & queens throughout Spain- as almost every Bodega that we visited was smack dab in the middle of their exciting 2011 harvest.  Well... I suppose kings & queens wouldn't have to drive themselves around a massive country in a small 4 door black sedan... but judging off of the hospitality, the food, the wine, the overall general feeling of acceptance & warmth... I wouldn't have been surprised if one of our hosts decided to put us up in one of the ancient castles that dot the landscape all over this great & impressive country.
First & foremost... in regards to our wineries: If you are familiar with Bon Vivant Imports at all, you will know that we boast proudly our dedication to family estates, earth-conscious thinking, ecological production, truly good people, & plain old damn tasty juice.  It was an absolute thrill for me to visit each and every one of our producers and really 'feel' this all come to life. From their sincere & gracious hospitality, to the very last drop of wine poured by their grape-stained hands... all of the Bodegas that we represent are truly top-notch - and we are honored to be in business with such wonderful people.
It was a very exciting time to be traveling through the wine countries, because we didn't expect that the 2011 season was about 2 weeks early everywhere we went - which worked out perfectly in our favor! The year started out fairly grim and wet in most places, but by June the sun began to poke out and really get to work.  The summer had its ups and downs, but as late July and August set in, so did the intense heat.  Ripening took off and did not look back.  Overall, the weather turned out to be fantastic for most everyone... but being careful from the heat, the 2011 harvest started earlier than any year in remembrance.  The general buzz and excitement for this vintage was pretty invigorating, and the fruit we touched, smelled, and tasted- was most definitely top quality.  Scott & I even got to help with the harvest in Cigales! That's us picking away at 40 year old vines of Tempranillo with all of the vineyard workers!  It took me a few minutes to get the hang of it... but once the flow set in, I was sweaty, juicy, and with sore lower back just like the rest of em'.
The entire reason for "why-we-do-what-we-do"... is because there is something magical about the combination of food & wine, and the people that gather around those two things.  Here in America, we can eat very well and we can drink very well... but I feel as though too many people are missing the enormous link between those two activities! One of our biggest goals as importers, is to bring our customers wine that is not only meant to be drank with food, but to share why, how, when, & where to enjoy this age-old tradition! After traveling through the nooks & crannies of the gastronomical world of Spain, we tasted countless 'traditional' foods ranging from fresh Pan Con Tomate, to the unique and delicious Percebes of the north (the funny little rhino-foot-lookin' barnacles up above), to the greatest Jamon Iberico one can find! And all of it... was always accompanied by a glass of the delicious local wines we import. We will begin posting pairing ideas for each of our wines, be it traditional, or just plain tasty... because Spain treated us to an eye-opening experience of wine & food that we wish to share with you.
Instead of diving into all of the 'new-and-exciting' things that we found and can't wait to bring into America... stay tuned for more of these updates, more announcements, more facebook posts, etc. so that you know what Bon Vivant Imports is up to.  But know that we have some VERY exciting wines that will come of this trip!!! Have you ever tasted a Pedro Ximenez Sherry that has aged in barrel for over 100 years????!!!!!  Let's hope that you may be part of the lucky few Wink 
The Bon Vivant team
For more pictures of our trip... visit our facebook page HERE

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