Be the Cava – A method act in the Penedès Wine Country
When you stack layers of bottles on top of each other, it is called a “Rima”. Rima is Catalan for Rhyme. What a word to use for stacked wine bottles!
If you stack bottles of Cava on each other, it is still called a rima, but it looks cooler than just regular wine bottles. But, someone at some point must have said, “Gosh, it would be awesome to live inside one!” Probably that was what lead to the design of Hotel Mastinell. And it is awesome to spend some time “inside” the bottle.
We are talking about Cava and Hotel Mastinell in Vilafranca del Penedes. My wife and I stayed for two nights at this beautiful resort hotel near Barcelona.
As you approach from the distance towards the town, you think someone left giant bottles of Cava in the vineyards. The effect is enhanced even more when you get closer. The hotel is surrounded by the vineyards that belongs to the winery.
While the lower level is mostly reception, all the rooms are on the upper level. Both inside and outside, the architechture is remarkable. Point to note is that this is an environmentally friendly building and a fine example of ecotourism in the Catalan wine country. Also, pay attention to the ceramic tiles on the roof. You will see those same shapes on their Cava labels.
All the rooms are named after wine grapes, some of them indigenous Catalan grapes such as Xarello, Macabeu, etc.
The rooms are spacious, extremely well appointed and well lit. The heel (flat bottom) of the “bottle” makes up the windows and the circular vents built into it appear like the bubbles you would see in a fine Cava. Nice touch. Waking up in these rooms and having a morning glimpse of the vineyards through the bubbles is a fantastic reason to stay in bed. But then, you will be missing out on the tours of the vineyards and cellars. After all Mastinell is a Cava house and a damn fine one at that.
Then there is the restaurant.
Adjoining the hotel, is the restaurant En Rima. This is a small intimate kitchen with most of the tables placed along the windows. The menu is seasonal and since seating is limited, dinner reservation is recommended. Dining here with the view of the vineyards and the skyline of Vilafranca is the quintessential wine country experience. The service is impeccable and the food is delicious. This is a space to linger.
Best part? Meal begins with a delicious glass of the Mastinell Cava.
Staying in the hotel is an experience in itself. But, the hotel serves as a great point to explore the surrounding regions of the Penedès wine country as well as vibrant Barcelona. Take some time to spend in Vilafranca del Penedès itself. If you have a day to spare, a drive to Montserrat is very highly recommended.
As far as the Hotel Mastinell is concerned, don’t just take my opinion. Earlier this year Decanter named it among the “Top 10 Winery Hotels in Spain”. Condé Nast also chimed in and said “..But to truly slow down, stay at Mastinell, an ultra-modern retreat plopped in the center of a rolling vineyard.”
The wines and cava of Mastinell was what really that brought us here. Their cava is one of the best values from Penedes. So central is Cava to their focus that it’s influence is seen everywhere. But, you already saw that. More on their wines soon.
But check out the hotel.
The photographs of the aerial view of the Hotel Mastinell, the roof and that of the sign, courtesy of Mastinell Cava and Hotel.