WHY CATALAN MOUNTAIN WINES
"Mountain Wine" is now becoming a sought after but rather vague attribute for wine, much in the same way as "Old Vine" and "Natural Wine" have become.
It has no legal definition but it's one of those things you can recognise when you see or taste it. Some wines in our selection come from as high as 800 metres above sea level, where temperatures will normally be a good 3 or 4 degrees cooler or more than down at the coast. Longer ripening times result in wines of greater complexity and freshness, and cold winters help to keep pests and vine diseases at bay.
This pure, fresh style, combined with Catalan hard work and a skill for good, stylish presentation, results in the wines in our selection showing excellent value and purity of flavour.
A lot of the wines we offer are organic and all of them are great examples of the rugged soils and altitudes from which they come.
ABOUT THE TEAM
Ed Adams MW
Ed joined the wine trade in 1983 after dabbling with radio journalism in his home city of Bristol, England. He worked for an old Bristol wine firm, Howells, before eventually moving to the bright lights of London. Here he sold wine to the Chelsea set for a company called London Wine Brokers; skills learnt included how to unload a container in less than 2 hours and how to sell wine to difficult as well as pleasant customers.
His first big break was working for Vinos de España in London. Having already lived for a while in Madrid in the early 1980s, this helped rekindle his passion for Spanish wine and all things Spanish - as well as showing him how to fill in the same form 3 times for the Spanish government. It was then 7 years as a buyer for the Co-op in Manchester. This was a fantastic job which involved travel and learning about wine; Ed passed the MW exam in1991.
Moving from the liveliness of Manchester in 1994 to the sedate, rural idyll of Bridgnorth in the middle of beautiful Shropshire was something of a culture shock. However, the job with Western Wines made up for a lot. Ed was responsible for a lot of the buying, some marketing ideas (basically, anything to do with Spain) and for all quality control. It was also the time that the Kumala South African wine range was created which has since become a multi-million case brand.
He became a director of Western Wines in 1998 and benefited from the Vincor buyout in 2004. The following year he met up with South African winemaker Bruce Jack after a splendid tasting at Bruce’s Flagstone winery in South Africa and the Báscula plan was hatched to make wine in Spain.
Ed left Western Wines in early 2006 and is enjoying life immensely working on the Báscula project, selling the Spanish range in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Hong Kong, France and Spain itself. He firmly believes the best is still yet to come.
For the last 5 years Ed has also been consulting for Lidl UK and Lidl International, working with Caroline Gilby MW and Richard Bampfield MW.
Cristina Vila de Abadal MBA
Cristina grew up in Vic, a beautiful town in the heart of Catalonia, famed for its agricultural produce.
After studying a degree in Telecommunications Engineering and an MBA in Barcelona, she lived and worked in Spain, Belgium, Dubai and the UK. Employers have included Suez, Altran, Eurofins and Barcelona Football Club (FCB) where she worked on a number of large projects gaining experience in project management, technology, software management, digitalisation and marketing.
An entrepreneur at heart, she enjoys developing new ideas and is currently working on a number of private projects.
In terms of the wine sector she has close personal and professional relationships with many Catalan wine producers and is passionate about helping them expand into the UK market. Together with Ed Adams MW she has sourced and chosen the following wines for you to experience.
She is currently taking WSET Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 certifications.
She is married to an Englishman and spends her time between Bath and Barcelona.