297/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Cava – El Pla del Penedes – Capità Vidal – Fuchs Cava de Vidal Unic Brut Nature
It was not altogether wrong to use the main “Champagne grapes” to produce this Cava and let the Catalan varieties linger in the background. 85% Champagne and 15% Cava, does that work? I’m not altogether convinced, but it is a well made Cava, leaning more to the Champagne flavors. If you aren’t an avid Cava consumer, this might be your way in! Bright golden color, clear and with a slow release of small bubbles, subtle crown. It has a complex aroma of ripe fruit and nuts, some creaminess and buttery feel, not to much pastries but they are there. Maybe the nose didn’t transmit as much of the French feel but in the mouth it is a potent Cava (Champagne?). Well balanced, full of pleasant sensations. Great value!
This small winery was founded in 1985 by one of the best known Spanish sailors – Enrique Vidal, hence the name Capità (Captain)Vidal. After decades of producing quality wine, The Captain, now in his seventies, has retired to dedicate his days to sailing again, and another family member, Helen Yglesias, runs the business today. The Cava Fuchs Vidal was born of the union of Tati Fuchs with Enrique Vidal. The surname Fuchs is related to the Montserrat Rack Railway, the Cremallera de Montserrat taking you up to the monastery. The grandfather, Julián Fuchs y Leigme, originating from Switzerland, was hired as the chief, operating the Montserrat line between 1897 and 1925.
Capità Vidal treats its products with genuine care and attention. The grapes are hand-picked and all the Cava bottles are still hand-riddled. There are sixteen Cavas and wines on the market, but the main focus (and best-seller) of Capità Vidal are their Cavas, known by the name of Fuchs de Vidal. Lately there has been a growth in exports, and Fuchs de Vidal is becoming more and more popular abroad, especially in Belgium, the Netherlands and Japan. Nevertheless, a majority of the production stays in Spain and then primarily in Catalonia. The clients of the winery tend to remain loyal through the years. One of them is Julio Salinas, a retired Barcelona FC player and a Cava lover. He even suggested the creation of his own label and Capità Vidal brought a limited edition of Cava into the market, with a picture of the famous footballer on the label and on each cap (chapa), which has also become a collectors item.
The winery itself is surrounded by vineyards and located in Alt Penedes about 200 meters above sea level. Once inside the main building, the two passions of Enrique Vidal – wine and sea – are exposed to the visitor through pictures, portraits and small design elements. Producing around 150,000 bottles a year produced and only six full time employees, Capità Vidal is all about quality over quantity, opting for a superior product at the cost of reduced and limited production.