So yes, this is where we come in. What Conrad and I are offering is a condensed version of our five years’ learning. What we want to share is the joy of discovery of the sweet customs – like the importance of socializing every day – and the rhythm of life in wine country. And for us who come from young countries like Australia or the United States, the very long history of Spain tells a story that you can now see how it coloured the present. Spain is the only European country that has such a strong Moorish influence.
Why does northern Spain inspire you?
In 2010, Conrad and I spent 2 months in southern Spain. I love the rustic landscape and tropical ambience. But Catalonia has a completely different vibe. It is one of two highly prosperous regions in Spain. (The Basque region is the other.) Catalonia’s economy and tax base contributes a high percentage to the nation’s GDP. Throw in that Barcelona is a top travel destination and you have a region that attracts the best and brightest to settle there. My gosh, it’s sexy and the people are fashion-forward, progressive, quirky, and they absolutely love to savour their food. I love an environment of excellence and Catalonia has that for me. Catalans are highly proud too, with a healthy dose of arrogance thrown in. To me that makes them more attractive. A showman can’t be demure, you know?
Searching out the perfect lodging was one of the most important aspects for me – because the concept of our tour is to stay in one place. I had a vision of what I wanted and when we drove up to Can Marcer de la Penya, I knew we’d found it. I had goosebumps as we got out of our car and entered the grounds of this magnificent villa. Tucked in Garraf National Park and surrounded by conifer-covered hills, the lovely home is a modern renovation of a 17th Century winery.
More info email Josie: GrassyPaths@yahoo.com