Wine tasting competition gets underway in spirit of 'resistance'
The Vinari awards will judge 900 Catalan wines but expansion plans hit by Covid-19
The eighth edition of the Vinari Awards for Catalan wines got underway on Monday in what organizers described as a spirit of "resistance."
Online wine magazine Vadevi, the group behind the competition, had plans for a new format and had hoped to build on last year's 1,000 entries, but the pandemic forced them to scale back their ambitions.
Still, the event will feature about 900 wines from 200 Catalan wineries, a figure considered a "success" given the ongoing health situation and earlier fears that numbers would fall as low as 500.
"The pandemic put the awards to the test and we have come out brilliantly," said Salvador Cot, one of the driving forces behind Vinari. "The vineyards of this country wanted to maintain these awards, in a year that will be one of resistance."
Aside from the impact on the number of entries, Covid-19 has forced the competition to change where the tastings take place, reduce the number of tasters, and implement specific hygiene protocols to prevent infections.
Monday's tastings took place in the School of Wine Tourism in Vilafranca del Penedès, in the heart of the Penedès wine region, with more tastings planned throughout the week.
The 2020 Vinari Awards will be presented in the autumn. An awards ceremony is scheduled for October 9.