05-07-2017

The 8th VideNit changes things up

This past weekend saw the 8th edition of “VideNit” hosted at the rural hotel of Mas Figueres in Marçà. It marked a rather large change from the previous seven events as they’ve moved it to outside the auspices of the annual Fira del Vi. It’s nice to see one of the events grow up and find its own feet as Priorat should have events more spread across the entire year instead of just a dense three days. It’s also good as it gives another event to the summer, a time in which there are remarkably few.

I feel that this was also spurred by a rather cheap bit of competition in that Mas Figueres, where this event happens is down in the village of Marçà whereas Clos Figueras, a winery with restaurant and small three-room mini hotel is in the village of Gratallops. Given that Gratallops is the more well known of the two, a lot of people were showing up to Clos Figueras for the event thinking it was Mas Figueres. Clos Figueras got wise to this, created an event called “Vi-night” (VideNit means Wine Night in Catalan) and did it at the same time instead of just saying, “No, sorry, you want the other village.” This move by Clos Figueras was beyond tacky and it’s unfortunate that the Fira del Vi organizers allowed it in the schedule as there is the general idea to keep things copacetic between everyone although this doesn’t always work out.

But now, VideNit is free of this and in general, has no competing events around. There were indeed less people than during the Fira del Vi, but for the first year, I suppose it was a good showing while people get used to the new time.

For me, it gave me the chance to taste all of Ricard Rofes’ wines in his RAR label he creates on the side of his day job running Scala Dei. I also caught up with the now rather massive line of Dos Terras which is the cellar part of Mas Figueres. And then there was tasting various other cellars I know well such as Vinyes Domènech, Alfredo Arribas, Vall Llach, and others. The idea of the tasting is to have a selection of the upper-end wineries of the region which they seem to continue to do well. The more interesting facet of this is that the wineries will often bring along some curious older vintage. For instance Cims de Porrera had one of their 1999 wines which was still very much alive and kicking for those who think Priorat can’t age. Vall Llach had their 2007 Vall Llach and there were of course many more.

I’ll be curious to see how it goes forward but I applaud this move and hope it works out for them as well as other events in the future.