El Malvasia is a naturally sweet wine that is native to Sitges and the local area. Over the past week local restaurants/bar in Sitges are promoting the local goods.
Normally the wine is still but can also be made to be either dry, or fizzy, and is normal consumed for celebrations or xatonades (Xato is a local style of salad).
If you notice around Sitges this week you will see a brand from a pine street in the window or doors of establishments which for hundreds of years meant that this years wine is now available. The local wine is made in the Hospital San Joan Baptista (in Poble Sec), and with the support of Sitges Mayor (Miquel Forns), the president of Gremi Hosteleria (Joan Anton Matas), and Josep Pascual (Director of the Sant Joan Baptista Foundation) have made a great local Sitges event.
For a list of the restaurants participating check out the Sitges Actui website
I’ve found a small explanation about Malvasia because it’s always better to have a little knowledge of the things one enjoys (coutresy of slowfoodfoundation.com).
Sitges Malvasia is a true rarity: even if it is included in the 84 internationally recognized varieties of Malvasia, only a few hectares of this production survive.
Legend has it that almogávares (mercenary soldiers from the end of the 13th century who were particularly skilled in guerrilla warfare against the Saracens) brought Malvasia to the Garraf while supporting the Byzantine emperor.
The present survival of this vine can be attributed to the farsightedness of Catalan diplomat Manuel Llopis de Casades (born 1885 in Barcelona, died 1935 in Sofia). Last heir of the Llopis lineage, one of the most ancient in Sitges (dating back to the 16th century), Manuel Llopis de Casades left a will one month before dying which handed over possession and management of all his properties in the Sitges territory to the Hospital de Saint Juan Bautista de Sitges (a religious charitable institution) on the condition that they continue production of Sitges Malvasia from the Llopis vines. This provision has ensured that 2.5 hectares of Sitges Malvasia still exist today, though they are now embedded between more recently erected houses and buildings from the unrestrained development of the town.
The chalky soil, marine breeze and protection offered by the mountains all contribute to a unique microclimate which is ill-suited to most common grapevine pathogens.
Sitges Malvasia has very distinctive deep-cut leaves, long and flexible vine shoots and small, elongated grapes which are allowed to overripe.
The grapes are harvested between the end of September and the beginning of October. The young oenologist Josep Pascual supervises the production. All those who collaborate in this small production do so virtually gratis.
The resulting wine is a strong sweet passito which acquired the Denominación d’Origen Penedès in 1991.