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I recently wrote about having dinner with representatives from two wineries in Spain. What was all the more special about this dinner, aside from the delicious wines and exquisite food from Auburn Restaurant, was the company. I had the pleasure to dine with two women from two different regions who are both in positions of power at winery cooperatives. I shared their stories in the Napa Valley Register which you can read here. ************* I recently had dinner with representatives from two wineries in Spain. One winery is in Rias Baixes on the northwest corner and the other in Calatayud on the northeast corner. What both wineries have in common is that they are both cooperatives and both have women holding positions of power.
The wine world has long been dominated by men, and Spain, as much of the old world, has had a tradition of machismo. But women are making a name for themselves. Enrollment of women in Spain’s university winemaking programs has increased by more than 40 percent over the last 20 years. No longer stuck in the lab or in marketing, they are making the wine and running the wineries. And, I had the pleasure to sit down with two of these women and learn about them, their stories and taste their wines.
Earlier this year, I attended a seminar at Pebble Beach Food and Wine entitled Discover Garnacha & Grenache. The world’s seventh-most planted grape, it is produced in Spain and France, as well as many other wine regions around the world. In celebration of International Grenache Day on Friday, September 20th, my story ran in the Napa Valley Register and now I am sharing it here.
Sing it: “You say Grenache, and I say Garnacha. You say France and I say Spain. Grenache, Garnacha, France, Spain, don’t call the whole thing off!”

Let’s agree to both and beyond!

Whether you call it Grenache or Garnacha, it is the world’s seventh-most planted grape.

This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Wine grapes are grown in a variety of soils. The influence of the soil is one of the many factors that contribute to a resulting wine. But can you taste this difference?
There are general descriptors that say that sandy soils produce highly aromatic wines with low tannins and clay soils produce muscular wines with high extract. And there are examples of wines from around the world that demonstrate the influence on wines from sandy, volcanic, clay, limestone, slate and other soils.
But to really understand the influence of soil on wine, what if you could narrow down all of the other elements -- same grape, same vintage, same region, same viticulture practices, same vinification but four different soils? You can with Capçanes’ La nit de les garnatxes series.