Malvasia Week 2023
Until 19 November, more than fifteen activities have been programmed to vindicate the human legacy of this variety
Sitges Malvasia Week is already underway. From this Thursday until Sunday 19th November, more than fifteen activities have been programmed. The actress, theatre producer and member of La Cubana, Mercè Comes has kicked off the Week. Comes is the ambassador for 2023, the edition that vindicates the "human legacy" of this variety in homage to the elderly.
Malvasia Week reaches its ninth edition thanks to the impetus of the San Juan Bautista Hospital Foundation of Sitges, its Hospital winery and the Malvasia Interpretation Centre (CIM), with the collaboration of the Sitges Town Council.
The Sitges Malvasia and Mercè Comes
Mercè Comes acknowledged that "before becoming Ambassador of Malvasia I didn't know much about it, only about drinking it". Smiling and satisfied, the actress had a conversation with Sitges journalist Maria Junyent, where they tasted five Malvasia wines. Comes explained that she recently visited the Malvasia Interpretation Centre (CIM) in Sitges with 25 friends. The actress acknowledged that she was "flabbergasted" by the history, the urban vineyard, the San Juan Bautista Foundation, and the work they do to preserve the Malvasia grape, which she was unaware of despite living in Sitges.
At one point in the conversation, Comès also recalled his time in the series 'Nissaga de poder', filmed a few years ago in the Penedès. "There were so many dead that, at the end of the series, we made a T-shirt that said 'I survived in 'Nissaga'". Of the series Teresina S.A. and Plats Bruts, he acknowledged that he did not expect the repercussions they have had over the years: "They are cult series", he said.
One of the most beloved entities
Carme Almirall, councillor of Finance and Contracting; of Organisation and Human Resources of the Sitges Town Council, closed the event with words of thanks to the more than 50 people attending the event. "The Malvasia is a hallmark of Sitges", Almirall said, which translates into the "well-being of the elderly", who live in the residence of the San Juan Bautista Hospital Foundation in Sitges. "They are our origins", he assured. Almirall also referred to the Foundation as one of the town's most beloved entities.
Sitges liquid memory
"Sitges cannot be explained without the human legacy, nor the Malvasia", said Alba Gràcia, Coordinator of the CIM. "Older people are the liquid memory of when Sitges lived from wine, viticulture and export", said Gràcia: "We are taking part (in this new edition) to vindicate ourselves as we were before Sitges became an international tourist town". The production of single-varietal Malvasía de Sitges wines has now exceeded fifty.
Conversation with five Malvasías from Sitges
The guests tasted Malvasía de Mar, a young white wine from the Bodega del Hospital, which has been aged for almost a year in the port of Aiguadolç. An effort to vindicate the link between the Malvasia vineyard and the blue economy of the sea. During the event, the versatility of the Sitges Malvasía, which goes far beyond its great fame in sweet wines, was highlighted. Five different malvasías were tasted: "Maricel" from the Torre del Veguer winery; "De Levante" from the U plus U winery; Malvasia from the Jané Ventura winery; and the wines from the Sitges Hospital winery "Legado Llopis" 2018, and the famous "Sweet Malvasia".
A social and heritage commitment
Sitges Town Council firmly believes in promoting Malvasia as a Sitges brand. Firstly, from the point of view of cultural wine tourism. The creation of the CIM in Sitges in 2019 made it possible to have an alternative, non-seasonal, sustainable option with Corporate Social Responsibility. The work of the CIM is to promote culture, tourism, and economic promotion from all the opportunities provided by the Malvasia de Sitges grape and wine.
The winery of the Sitges Hospital: social return on each bottle
The opening ceremony of the Week took place this Thursday at the Malvasia Interpretation Centre (CIM) in Sitges, the wine tourism and dissemination space of the Hospital de Sitges Winery. The heart and soul of Malvasia Week is the Sitges Hospital Foundation, one of the oldest institutions in Europe, of medieval origin, in which Sitges Town Council has a stake. The Sitges Hospital Foundation runs a residence for the elderly. Precisely, this group has been the protagonists of this year's posters.
The Malvasia, a native and deeply-rooted variety in Sitges
The Malvasia is the autochthonous and traditional grape of Sitges, which arrived from overseas at the hands of an Almogàvar soldier, who claimed to have "curative properties", according to legend. After centuries of making wines that were exported all over the world, its consumption and plantations decreased, to the point that it was on the verge of disappearing. The legacy of the Sitges diplomat Manuel Llopis y de Casades, who gave the last Malvasia vineyards to the Celler del Hospital Foundation in 1935, ensured its continuity. With the acquisition of the vineyards and other assets, the Hospital undertook to produce Malvasía wines that it would give to its descendants every year.
A variety with a future
Malvasía de Sitges is today a recognised and admired variety, although it is scarce. Around 30 wineries in the Penedès produce it. Most of them come from the Garraf Massif, an area with its own unique soil and landscape. The personality of Malvasia is rounded off by the character of Sitges, a seaside and tourist town, the venue for Malvasia Week 2023.
A centre within the modernist complex of the Hospital
The CIM is located within the Sitges Hospital complex, specifically in the Corral de la Vila. A historical, heritage and architectural space dating from the 18th century, with one of the few remaining urban vineyards in Catalonia. The CIM is the nerve centre of the Sitges Malvasia Week, where most of the events will take place.
For more information Centre d'Interpretació de la Malvasia.
WELCOME TO THE PARTICIPATORY PROCESSES