When thinking about the term “boutique” winery, most people will associate it to a small size of operations and a low number of bottles produced. For most wine enthusiasts, though, those definitions are simply not good enough, and the concept carries a lot more meaning. A boutique winery is all about character, passion and, more often than not, ecology.
What makes a boutique winery so special?
There are no two equal boutique wineries, and, in a way, that’s what characterizes them. Sometimes family-owned, the passion of the workers goes way beyond the business side of it. There is a sense of purpose, a philosophy, a lot of care and attention to detail. The winemaker is involved in the whole winemaking process, making sure every step is executed in their own style.
Moreover, most boutique wineries are concerned with sustainability and follow ecological farming principles. Respecting the environment is a key point of their identity. How could we not love that?
Organic? Biodynamic? Sustainable?
We’ve all heard these concepts before, but it’s easy to get them mixed up. Organic winemaking excludes the use of chemical pesticides, artificial fertilizers and genetically modified organisms. Biodynamic follows this same principle, and also seeks to provide vitality and self-balance to the vineyard, using biodynamic preparations, homeopathic remedies, and incorporating astrological influences. Sustainable agriculture goes even beyond that: it really focuses on optimizing the use of natural resources and reducing waste.
With this conscious approach in mind, there are many different techniques that can be used in the winemaking process. For the most curious ones: have you heard about the “sexual confusion” technique? You can read about it here.
What we love the most, though, is to visit local boutique wineries and learn all about these methods first-hand. When you visit a boutique winery, the winemaker/owner is often the one who will happily receive you, show you the vineyards and the winery, and explain every step of their process. Their passion for the craft shows, and that makes it a truly immersive experience.
So… Why should I visit a boutique winery?
By visiting boutique wineries, you are supporting local small businesses – usually with a great, eco-friendly mentality. Besides, the experience you receive is much more unique, memorable and valuable than when you visit larger, corporate ones. If you are a wine enthusiast, there is no better idea than to join a Boutique Winery Tour for you to share and feel that enthusiasm. It’s a privilege to personally meet the winemakers in such an intimate way; after seeing the vineyards and facilities, we enjoy a generous tasting of their exclusive wines (of course!) and often share a traditional, homemade meal, during which we continue to chat, learn, and simply have a good time!
Looking for an authentic wine experience in Catalonia? Spanish Trails organizes small-group and private day trips from Barcelona to the most exclusive wineries in the region. Check our Wines of Catalunya: DO Penedés and Wines of Catalunya: DOQ Priorat day trips.