Visiting Napa Valley over twenty years ago hooked me onto wine tours. Since then, whenever possible, I make sure to visit a local winery.
So how could I miss out on a tour while in Spain? Interestingly enough though, when you travel with kids it’s a whole different experience when it comes to wine tours.
1. Not all wineries allow kids under a certain age, usually around sixteen
2. The ones that do allow kids to visit don’t have anything special for them to do
For me visiting a vineyard is the education about the art of wine making, so going on a tour where my kids would be bored and not understand anything was out of the question.
Before I go any further, when I arrived to Spain I had no idea what Cava was, so I’ll give you a quick explanation.
Cava is actually the same as Champagne. However, since Champagne is a region in France, in Spain they call it Cava. Even simpler, its sparkling wine.
Why Vilarnau Are the Specialist in Family Friendly Wine Tours
I found Vilarnau by doing a ton of research on wineries in all of Spain. After digging deep Vilarnau was the only one that popped up several times when I put the words ‘family friendly’ or ‘kid friendly’ into the search zone.
I was thrilled.
To affirm this discovery, I contacted them. Georgina, their media and pr specialist, was as delighted to talk to me as I was to her. Yes, Vilarnau was working hard at expanding their market and had started a full kid-friendly educational tour about the entire process and so much more.
When we arrived, we actually had the pleasure of doing the tour with Georgina, for the adult part.
Waiting for my kids, were two lovely tour guides who were there strictly for them. Even though they took my kids on the same tour as we did, the explanations and experience allowed my boys to understand it better and want to learn more.
At the end of the tour we have a tasting of the Cavas and also the local foods.
For the kids part, they also have a tasting. But instead of the cava they get to taste the local grapes in a juice form, and to see the difference in flavor.
Plus, they get (as long as you want) arts and crafts with their guides. There is no time limit on this.
Once the tour was done and we were in the car, my oldest boy was telling me all the cool facts he learned, and that rewarded my work for looking for the best family friendly option visiting a cava winery in Spain.
- It is called “Can petit i les Planes de Vilarnau”. It is over 20 hectares and offers magnificent views of the Montserrat Mountains.
- Those mountains protect the plantation from the cold winds coming from the Pyrenees.
- Harvesting season goes from August to September.
Sustainability and the Measures Vilarnau takes to Lessen the Impact on the Earth:
The winery has been working hard to become 100% sustainable and not rely on the water supply and other factors.
Did you know that roses are so sensitive they detect any slight change or toxin in the environment before anything else does. Similar to the canary in a coal mine. All the vineyards have rose bushes planted on each side, this helps them know what is happening.
- Retrieve the rainwater and recycle it
- Use the pruned branches as a fertilizer
- Reduce the phytosanitary treatments with pheromones to cause sexual confusion of insects.
- They do not use herbicides
- Encourage the use of the natural cork for the cava as well as the wine.
History of Vilarnau
- Vilarnau family settled in the 12th century on this land where the vineyard was already cultivated.
- Vilarnau is the etymological result of Vila Arnau – “country house” of the Arnaus.
- In the 13th century the owners of Vilarnau were highly positioned people with solid economic position.
- Albert de Vilarnau (the actual name that the most exclusive branded cava receive) grew the power of the family and during part of the 14th century was one of the patrons of the Santa Maria de Vilarnau church.
- The Vilarnaus’ main lineage became extinct with the noble Galceran de Vilarnau and the property passed to his nephew, Joan Lluís de Masdovelles.
- The first cava to go by the name of Vilarnau was born in 1949 when the Cusco family started selling the wine that had been produced here for centuries.
- A new cellar was built in 2005 with a unique design that proves a warm feel and large windows that overlook the surrounding landscape.
- The cellar was designed by a well known designer called Antonio Miro.
You can easily take a taxi from Barcelona.