Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine (IT In Transit #18)


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Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine (IT In Transit #18)

  1. 1. Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 If midway through the 20th century painting and architecture were, and still are, Catalonia’s most important cultural ambassadors, as we head into the 21st century we should acknowledge that Catalonia is known on the five continents today thanks to: an architect, a painter, and a handful of chefs that have made our country a reference point. Let’s make it clear: without Barça (football), Gaudí and the chefs, the world would only know us because of the brands “Barcelona” (the Olympic Games) and “the Costa Brava” (Dalí Museum Pack), destinations for tourists, conference goers, and Japanese and Russian shoppers. Nonetheless, the road to being internationally recognized has not been an easy or smooth one for these chefs. In this country nothing is given for free, and success is not the result of careful planning but quite the contrary—the improvisation and the chance meeting of a valiant few who decide to forge ahead with a project. This is the case of the Catalan chefs. First, it is important to point out that in the past the intelligentsia and ruling classes of Catalonia considered gastronomy to be frivolous and commonplace. And wine didn’t fare any better, anathema for being a cause of vices and infernal darkness. At the same time, when it came to cuisine there existed a restricting, hierarchical, almost military code, with a great deal of French influence, which stated that Catalan cuisine (and everything related to it) was fine just as it was, that no changes should be made: the chef at the stove and the “maître d” in the dining room, with doors that acted as a border to differentiate one area from another. The dining room: a showcase; the kitchen: the calderes of Pere Botero [furnaces of hell]. Some might wonder how —on what appeared to be unfertile ground for any sort of break with tradition or creativity— names started to emerge from some kitchens that are recognized today as the crème de la crème of the res coquinaria? I would say it’s due to three main reasons: youth, no qualms about breaking with tradition, and audacity. Not all who followed this path have been successful, many have taken risks and lost it all, but those who did succeed opened the floodgates and let loose a torrent of innovation, experimentation and beauty. Today, Catalan chefs are on everyone’s lips when there is talk of vanguards or gastronomical trends. Indeed, we can say that the economic success of these chefs over the past two decades has played a very important role in the development of creativity in the kitchen, but the consolidation of this success is more due to hard work and enthusiasm than to monetary returns. Despite all of this, not long ago I witnessed something quite curious. It turns out that “Documenta,” from the city of Kassel 2007, invited the chef Ferran Adrià to participate, and when the chef said yes the delighted executives of Documenta quickly spread the word. And the most negative remarks came from Adrià’s own country. It was a unique opportunity, but many “puritans” denied that what Adrià did was art; instead they called it craftsmanship. Luckily, globalization has helped spread the word around the globe of the graces, the virtues and the experiences of Catalan chefs. Their names are etched in gold. Anecdotes aside, the truth is that the “gourmets” and the “not- so-gourmets” around the world come to our restaurants and the majority of them emerge satisfied. “Wine is the fruit of a mysterious encounter between man and the earth,” just as a recipe is for a chef: the point of contact between the product and the chef’s technique. If one of the two stops loving wine, if man mistreats nature, if the Earth is squeezed without measure, the wine becomes watery, it turns sour, it goes bad. Wine requires serenity; it needs the earth, the sun and the moon to follow their natural rhythms. Dear readers, there couldn’t be a simpler and more gentle formula, am I not right? Well no, no sir, often what mattered more was to produce a large quantity, to sell in abundance, to fill bottles and jugs. It was more common to exploit the land, to forget about whether it was sunny or what phase the moon was in, to ignore whether it rained or if there was a drought: the objective was to make a profit. The consequence: scant prestige and little exigency. What was needed was some reflection, and the kind of action that accompanied Nature’s cycles and that allowed the earth to express itself. Just as in Catalan cooking, what was needed was a handful of young people who yearned to make good wines to take the helm and begin. The results: more varied wines, wines connected to a particular terroir (did anyone know about the Priorat before this? Today, who doesn’t?), the recovery of old varieties, the cautious incorporation of new techniques. Allowing the land to speak and the vine, even if it is old, to grow its fruit, to harvest it with care, and all of this with a single purpose: so that people, no matter if they are Australian or South African, can identify the wine, converse with it, ask it questions and listen to its replies, or the other way around. It is a game of reflections between the light of the wine and the senses of the person tasting it. It is the meeting of the strength of youth and the tradition of the land and the vines. In a word, we are talking about farmers, yes farmers, one of the oldest professions in the world, as is wheat, olive oil and wine itself. Today, Catalan wines are found the world over. Pere Tàpias directs the program “Tàpias Variades” for Catalunya Ràdio (20 years on the air). Photo by Margaret Luppino / Translated from Catalan by Margaret Luppino Pere Tàpias seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter EDITORIAL
  2. 2. Catalan Wine Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 Catalonia is a leading wine producing land. It produces high-quality red, rosé and white wine, as well as many different sweet wines. In addition, it is the motherland of Cava. Flagship cellars such as Freixenet, Codorniu, Raimat and Torres lead Catalonia’s wine producers, which are distributed in 11 appellations (DO) for wine plus an extra one for Cava. Catalonia is a land of wine, present since the Ancient Greeks and Romans arrived to its shores. Since then, the vineyards have been an irreplaceable part of the Catalan landscape, as well as its culture. Wine is rooted in Catalonia’s tradition and nowadays represents a rising sector, which is gaining international prestige year after year. Wines from Priorat, Penedès and Empordà are among the best in the world, and Cava is no longer a cheap replacement of Champaign but a quality product in its own right available all over the world. More than 200 million bottles of Cava certify this success, joined by 180 million for of wine. Which are Catalonia’s protected wine appellations (DO)? There are 11 Protected Geographical Status (DO) for red, white and rosé wines and an extra one for Cava. The 11 wine ones are: DO Alella: Though the smallest, it is one of the oldest and most unique. It covers a small piece of land between the Mediterranean shore and the coastal mountains, north of Barcelona. It produces quality wines and is famous for its white wines, in which some are considered one of the best in the world. DO Catalunya: It is a DO that fosters experimentation, as wines can be produced with a great variety of grapes in a wide range of soils. This DO has been growing significantly in the last few years, exporting more than 40 million bottles to more than 100 countries. DO Conca de Barberà: It corresponds to a Catalan county with a very old wine tradition, coming from Medieval monasteries in the zone. Since the creation of this DO in 1989, there has been a continuous effort to modernise the cellars and the vineyards. The speciality of this DO is top-quality red wine, which is produced together with white and rosé. Most of these wines use a grape type that is autochthonous from the county that is called Trepat. DO Costers del Segre: It is Lleida’s DO, split into the following sub zones: Artesa, Vall del Riu Corb, les Garrigues, Pallars Jussà, Raimat, and Segrià. It employs advanced technology and is famous for its innovation, changing grape varieties and fostering “Ull de Llebre”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnatxa, Sirah and Merlot. DO Empordà: This DO is seeing new cellars booming in the Northern coast of Catalonia. New and old cellars are easily adapting themselves to new technology trends, changing harvest patterns and restructuring vineyards. DO Montsant: It is the youngest Catalan DO, located in the southern part of Catalonia. Despite this fact, it has achieved a good market positioning. This DO includes the sub zones of South Priorat and some zones in Ribera d’Ebre. The soil has a high percentage of mineral salts, which is one of the main characteristics of this region. The cellars are young and modern, producing a small quantity of wine but of a great quality. DO Penedès: This is probably the most famous wine region within Catalonia. It has powerful cellars, always improving their technology and innovating. It has traditionally been associated with white wines, but in the last years it has also started to produce top quality red wines, which have been internationally recognised. DO Pla de Bages: It is a small DO but that produces quality wines. In the last years, wine producers from this DO have put effort recuperating an autochthonous type of grape: the “picapoll”, which is very small and can be either red or white. DO Priorat: In the last 10 years, this DO has lived through a revolution, being recognised worldwide and seeing some of its red wines reaching the highest prices in specialised shops all over the world. The DO has new cellars, young entrepreneurs and experts who all work to maintain this DO among the best of the world. Their wines have a unique strong taste, full of peculiarities. DO Tarragona: It is the oldest Catalan DO, producing liquor wines of great quality, such as Tarragona Clàssic. In the last years, red-wines have joined their traditional white and rosé wines. DO Terra Alta: Many of the cellars from this DO work as a cooperative. Their wines have a singular taste and are reaching great levels of quality in the last years. Their rosé varieties are very fruity, the white have a low acidity and the red have a round body and a dark colour. Finally, there is one DO that needs to be explained aside, the DO Cava. Catalan News Agency seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter FURTHER READING
  3. 3. DO Cava: This DO is shared with 6 other Autonomous Communities within Spain apart from Catalonia. However, 95% of DO Cava’s production come from Catalonia. More than 200 million bottles are sold each year, a number that grows year by year. Cava is famous all over the world. In the past it was sold as a cheap replacement for Champaign, but in the last years top-quality cava has started to be exported and has become famous for its great quality which is at a much more affordable price than the French Champaign.
  4. 4. Alella DO, one of the oldest wine regions in Spain on Barcelona’s doorstep Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 Alella (CNA).– If you’re on holiday in Barcelona and want to have a break from exploring Gaudí’s architecture, you can make a refreshing change and check out the wine cellars and vineyards of the Protected Designation of Origin (DO) Alella, one of the oldest and smallest wine appellations in Spain. All you need to do is to take your car or catch the bus from the centre of Barcelona and in just twenty minutes you can be at Alella’s tourist office. The small town of Alella, which lends its name to the small wine region, is located 15 kilometres north from the centre of Barcelona, on the Mediterranean coast, at the foot of the granite Litoral mountain range. Along with the vineyards, you can find great beaches as well as going walking in the mountains in the Serralda Litoral Natural Park, where you can go on hiking tours. But the number one attraction of Alella is the wine culture. Producing wine since Roman times The presence of wine in Alella goes back at least to Roman times. Proof of that is the Cella Vinaria archaeological park in Teià, close to the town of Alella. This was the preserved Roman vineyard, which was the wine-making centre of Roman Laietania. Documentary evidence of its activity exists from the 1st century BC. At the end of the 19th century phyloxera violently attacked the region, but thanks to replanting of plague- resistant vines of American origin, the wine makers could start again. In 1906 the wine cooperative Alella Vinícola was founded. In the centre of Alella an Art-Nouveau style winery by one of Gaudí’s disciples architect Jeroni Martorell was built. The wines produced by the cooperative were considered to be of very fine quality and were exported worldwide. To protect their quality and authenticity the Regulatory Council of the Alella wine appellation (called Denominació d’Origen in Catalan, DO) was created in 1953. During the 1990s the cooperative was disbanded and since then Alella Vinícola is a private company, but one which still continues to produce valued wines. Visiting the cellars You can visit Alella Vinícola very easily. It is situated in the centre of the town, close to the tourist office, where useful information about the small wine region, including a map of the cellars is available. The Alella Vinícola offers several wine related activities. Guided visits allow visitors to discover the Art-Nouveau winery, see how it works and how they worked in the past, what the processes of making all sorts of wines are, why they have such a small chemical laboratory, what is the difference between making red and white wine, where and how long wine is fermented, how wine gets into the bottle, and how to taste wines. The visitor can also focus on wine tasting and spend some time with a representative of the winery tasting and analysing their red, rosé and white wines and cava. Alella DO wines consist of several varieties of grape. Those white varieties which have traditionally been cultivated in the Alella area are Pansa Blanca, Garnatxa Blanca, Pansa Rosada, Picapoll and Malvasia. The red varieties are made from Tempranillo, Garnatxa Negra and Garnatxa Peluda. A few years ago, new varieties were introduced, such as Parellada, Macabeu, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, among others. Some of the wineries also offer space, where you can arrange your business meetings or team buildings sessions and connect them with interesting wine activities. Gemma Becerra from Alella Vinícola explains, that in their cellars you and your colleagues can take part in a programme, where you can try to produce your own wine, including creating a strategy for a name and how to sell it. It can act as a kind of business training. They also do not forget about kids as tastings can be organised for schools. One of the last “urban vineyards” in Europe A tour through vineyards can be added to the classic wine tourism experience where you can obtain information about the geology of the Alella DO, about traditional varieties of the area, the biological cycle of the vineyard and vine growing techniques (cultivation, pruning, watering systems, grape harvest). In Alella you can visit one of the last “urban vineyards” in Europe. Vineyards are integrated into the more built-up areas and are very easily reached from the town. Nowadays Alella’s vineyards cover only one third of the area that they covered in 1956 when the company was established. Due to urbanisation in the 70’s and 80’s, many wine producers sold parts of their lands converting them into construction plots for second residences for Barcelona people. Therefore Alella DO suffers from lack of grapes. Instead of quantity they are focusing on quality. To the less known wine tourism activities we can add work experience. You can try taking care of the vineyard or taking part in some seasonal activities like pruning or harvest. Alella Vinícola also organises gastronomy experiences, where you can enjoy the connection between food and wine during tastings of chocolate, cheese, hams, etc. Klara Zitnanska - Catalan News Agency - 10-4-2012 seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter FURTHER READING
  5. 5. An exclusive wine region of only 314ha and eight cellars Alella’s vineyards occupy an area of 314ha in 18 different municipal areas of the Maresme and the Vallès Oriental Counties and consist of eight cellars (Alella Vinícola, Bouquet d`Alella, Roura, Alta Alella, Altrabanda, Can Roda, Joaquim Batlle, Parxet – Marqués de Alella), which produce 6,000 hectolitres of wine a year. Almost all of them organise some activities for wine tourists. All these offers can be found at the websites of the vineyards or on Alella’s tourist office. They are also usually in three languages – Catalan, Spanish and English. Also the guided tours and tastings are offered in these three languages. If you visit this area in the autumn, do not forget to have a look at the season highlights: the Grape Harvest festival in September and the Alella DO Grape & Wine Festival in November. Photo by Klara Zitnanska
  6. 6. Speech by Muriel Casals at the Concert for Freedom Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 We are here to make our cause known, which is Catalonia’s cause and above all, also the cause of democracy. We are here to state that we wish to exercise democracy without barriers peacefully. We appeal to all democrats from within and outside Catalonia: nobody can forbid a democratic referendum in the 21st century. The cause of Catalonia’s independence is not against anything or anybody. It is in favour of a better life for all. We wish to build a fraternal relationship with all the women and men of Spain, and with the citizens of the rest of Europe. Democracy requires participation. We wish to reach as many Catalans as possible for them to decide freely. We do not wish to impose anything, we have suffered too many impositions and we know that living in freedom consists of knowing how to respect those who think differently. We must be able to increase consensus to win, to go further than those who are already convinced to transmit our illusion so that Catalonia does not have to constantly give explanations for its existence. When you go out on stage today in this concert, search for those who doubt or who still have not given any thought of the chance of fearlessly taking their own destiny. Our democratic representatives must continue to build a path that is difficult but one that cannot wait any longer. We are aware that political pace requires a series of steps, but we are also aware of the need for not losing the force that comes from a mobilised and organised society which has assumed its own prominence. The parliamentary parties manage an important wealth of illusions and must be aware of the expectations that have been generated and which need to be set out in a time frame. It is time to move forward together, leaving behind any discrepancies. We have a common goal that is more important than our own interests. Let’s have the generosity, the courage and intelligence that this historical moment calls for. Let’s be prepared to face the challenge that we have set ourselves, with the memory of all those who have come before us in this struggle and with the hope of younger generations. We are here to build a freer, fairer and more decent country where everybody has their own place. We are not here to seek a dream, we are the dream. This is our strength. Long live Catalonia! Muriel Casals is president of Òminum Cultural and professor of international economics. Image courtesy of Flickr feed (see web version) Muriel Casals - Òmnium Cultural - 29-07-2013 seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter OPINION
  7. 7. “Catalunya té molt poder” Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 In my opinion, Peret’s performance was one of the defining moments of the Concert for Freedom. First he made Camp Nou fall silent with his moving yet understated interpretation of L’emigrant (the emigrant), a poem by Jacint Verdaguer with music by Amadeu Vives, originally performed in 1894 by the Orfeó Català, something most people at the concert we likely unaware of. Another song that was a success was the new version of the old invocation —now they call it a “mantra”— to the rhythm of the rumba of the Barcelona Olympics, which curiously enough was still included in the program with its original title in Spanish: Ella tiene poder (She has power). This ella, which in the original version referred to the Barcelona of the Olympic Games, presented herself at the concert with a Catalunya és poderosa, Catalunya té molt poder. (“Catalonia is powerful”). We could analyze the transformation of the Olympic hymn from many different angles. For example, our surprise at the fact that the original song was written and sung in Spanish reveals just how much the linguistic awareness of Catalan society has changed in the past twenty years (in favor of the Catalan language). Peret’s transformation is also interesting to consider. Today Peret supports Catalonia’s pro-sovereignty aspirations (a change similar to Dyango’s), and it is a clear reflection of the process Catalonia as a whole has been going through, manifested in the world of popular music. In other words, this adhesion is not considered a conversion —much less so an opportunistic gesture— but instead as a sort of “rediscovery” of an original belonging, masked for many years due to adverse circumstances. (It is quite meaningful that Peret chose to mention that his father would sing L’emigrant when he was little). All told, it is a collective process that Peter L. Berger would call “alternation,” precisely to differentiate it from “conversion.” This is something we’ll have to explore more on another occasion. However, what interests me about the evolution of “Barcelona tiene poder” to “Catalunya és poderosa” is the reflection we can make about the two “brands” that appear in Peret’s rumba. For some time now experts — some experts, at least— have considered Barcelona to be our country’s main brand for international projection and recognition. And this tourism and business related perspective, which is based on what worked well in the past, has brought them to want to reduce Catalonia to one big Barcelona. The obsession reaches the absurd level of wanting to promote Central Catalonia with the brand “Costa Barcelona” (The Coast of Barcelona), or put the name Barcelona World on the casino project that is being studied for Salou, in the region of Tarragona, to name just a couple of examples. Indeed, I am not an expert and I speak from intuition, but I am convinced that the Barcelona brand’s colonization of the whole of Catalonia, at this particular moment, is a mistake. Firstly, for obvious geographical reasons. It is also a mistake because the non-residents of Barcelona –what euphemistically is called el territori (“the territory”) to avoid the old a comarques, which has a negative connotation—not only don’t identify with it, they are annoyed at the invasion of this brand. But above all, it seems like a mistake because it reflects an antiquated, conservative, politically timid perspective that is closely linked to a success that is more than twenty years old that is indifferent to what is emerging today: the Catalonia that is awakening. Working in the field of communications, I wouldn’t hesitate to bet on the Catalonia brand, as Peret did, and to associate with it all the positive connotations being generated by the process of political emancipation. Barcelona is a classic. Catalonia is the big novelty that the world is discovering. Salvador Cardús is Full Professor of Sociology in the Autonomous University of Barcelona’s Sociology and Political Sciences Faculty. He works to spread the word about issues relating to education, nationalism and immigration. He is author of the book El desconcert de l’educació (Disorder in Education), an out-and-out positivist work and a manifest countering the clichés that have always been linked to educational issues. Translated from Catalan by Margaret Luppino Image by Cristina Calderer Salvador Cardús - Diari ARA - 02-07-2013 seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter OPINION
  8. 8. Concert for Freedom Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 Catalonia is the sum of all the peoples and all the cultures that at some point in history came to this small territory of the Mediterranean. This country cannot (and doesn’t want to) boast of an ethnic purity because even the most “Catalan” among us have relatives that are a result of this migratory mix. Instead, Catalonia has expanded its cultural and national identity to include people from all corners of the globe who have come to this country to live. Obviously, we are not in Wonderland and not everything is positive or fantastic. It is not an idyllic country where there is no discrimination, poverty or deficiencies... It is simply a country with a great deal of positive things, but also many things that must be changed. But more important than all of this, in Catalonia there is a will to continue being a country with its own identity, with its own language and its own culture. A country that is not better or worse than others. A country whose inhabitants have the right to decide what future they want. The Concert for Freedom is the clearest model for a country that is open and inclusive. We only have to run through the list of participants to see the inclusive and diverse nature of the event from a cultural, national and musical perspective. They were artists that wished to band together under one flag, which of the Right to Decide what the Catalans believe is best for their country. We don’t yet know whether those in favor of independence will be the majority in the referendum. The polls (they’re only polls!!!) point in this direction but the margin is so small that any slight oscillation could tip the scales. I doubt that Paco Ibañez (Valencia), Ramoncín (Madrid), Mercedes Peón (La Coruña), Nabil Mansour (Catalan of Palestinian origin), Alessio Lega and Franca Masu (Italy), Nena Venetsanou and Yannis Papaioannou (Greece) or Gwen Perry and Gisele Jackson (United States) just woke up one morning and decided to become supporters of Catalan independence. Surely not. What they are, however, are voices that call for the Catalan people’s right to be consulted about its future. As is the case for the fans of Dynago, Peret, Sabor de Gràcia, Gorka Knörr, Lluís Llach, Pastora, Marina Rossell, Joan Isaac and a long list of singers and musicians. Yet what was most important about the concert in Camp Nou, beyond the musical (and at times nostalgic) aspect, was the message of openness, integration and inclusiveness that was a core element of the call for the Catalans’ Right to Decide. Under this one slogan, “Concert for Freedom,” artists from a diverse mix of cultural and national origins turned it into an inclusive event. No one could call it an affair of a couple of disgruntled Catalans who wanted to protect their little plot of land. The Concert for Freedom was a political event of the first order and guarantees that its impact goes beyond Catalonia’s borders. It is the example of what Catalonia is: an idea, an ideal, that throughout centuries has welcomed peoples of very different origins and allowed them to dream; a feeling that has been transmitted over and over again to newcomers; a message of the future supported by the accumulated sediment of history. All of this, with or without independence, makes Catalonia’s sense of identity practically indestructible. Josep M. Torrent Journalist. He appears on the program “El suplement” of Catalunya Ràdio and the news program “L’observatori” of La Xarxa. He has been News Director of TV3; chief political and economics editor of the Avui newspaper and a contributor to the section “El Rasclet” of this same newspaper; head of Politics, Society and news coordinator and director of the news program Catalunya Matí, all of this at Catalunya Ràdio; and news director of the tv channel Cadena-13 Maresme. He has collaborated with RAC-1, El Punt, El Periódico and el Correo Catalán. Also in the audiovisual sector he has been general director of the Consorci Local i Comarcal de Comunicació and of the company Comunicàlia. Josep M. Torrent - El Singular Digital - 29-6-2013 seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter OPINION
  9. 9. A global club that is proud of its identity Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 Barcelona FC has just celebrated its 113th anniversary. According to its oldest fans, the club is enjoying one of the best moments in its history. Barcelona FC [Barça] is one of the top clubs in the world, while simultaneously being one of the great icons of the twenty-first century. It is a truly global club with 350 million followers worldwide. Barça’s emblem, the team’s strip, its colours, pictures of the players, can all be found in any city round the world, a part of everyday life. ‘Barça’ is a universal word. Everyone knows what it means. It is used by people of all ages, races and creeds. When people say ‘Barça’, they do so with pride and respect. Clearly, the club’s members and fans feel proud to belong to Barça, not least because the team has won more trophies than anyone else in the last decade. This pride goes beyond sport alone. It is linked to the club’s identity, to its values, its roots and its history, all of which form a part of the traditions, culture and language of a country: Catalonia. The club’s followers are able to relate to a Catalan, and indeed Catalanist club, with solid values and principles that are a reflection of Catalan society. This has been the case throughout the club’s history, from its very infancy. The club was founded by Hans Gamper, Swiss by birth, who changed his name to Joan and became a Catalan out of eternal gratitude to the country that had welcomed him with open arms. In addition to founding the club, Gamper was a player, manager and its president, but more importantly he laid the foundations on which the Club is built. These have marked its evolution, making it what it is to this day. He envisioned a democratic sports club, freely governed by its members, who in turn would be the owners, and he established a spirit that was to mark the Club forever: a commitment to Barcelona and Catalonia. These foundations are Catalanism, democracy, multi-sports and universality. 113 years later, these pillars remain as firm and relevant as the first day. Our organisation has always been ahead of its time and a tool for social change. From the very beginning, the club stood out thanks to its democratic spirit. One example can be found in 1913, when the club registered its first female member, Edelmira Calvetó, twenty years before universal suffrage was introduced in our country. Barça has maintained its commitment to democratic freedom and Catalonia’s institutions, while ensuring its unshakeable Catalan nature is never co-opted by a particular political party: the club is also a pluralistic, grassroots organisation, open to all. This plurality is also one of the reasons why Barcelona FC has been instrumental in the integration of newcomers to Catalan society. During the 50s and 60s the club was something which economic migrants to Catalonia from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula had in common. Later, they were followed by those from Latin America, North Africa and Asia, who chose our country to begin a new life. There are many reasons why Barça is ‘Més que un club’ (more than a club). The club’s slogan expresses its commitment to Catalan society, which for decades lived under a dictatorship, unable to freely express its personality. Barça has been a vehicle for the expression of Catalan identity, and for this reason it is ‘more than a (football) club’. Over time the slogan has come to mean ‘more than a club throughout the whole world’, having spread to other signs of the club’s identity, such as being owned by its members, being a multi-sports entity that has five professional sports teams (football, basketball, handball, roller hockey and futsal) and eight amateur sections, and defends values that permeate all their activities, including the education of their athletes. These values include a commitment to the underprivileged and to charitable projects, work which is carried out by the FC Barcelona Foundation. ‘No other sports organisation in the world shows as much interest in social issues as Barça does’, announced Bill Gates at the launch of the alliance between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the FCB Foundation in the fight to rid the world of polio. For Barça’s supporters, such a statement gives us as much satisfaction as winning a match. Such global leadership in terms of values is also a big responsibility. We have to be worthy of it, both on and off the field. There is no point in being considered an example of solidarity and social responsibility if our players fail to put on a modest, sportsman-like, committed performance when they are on the pitch. These values and principles all form part of the training we provide for our players from an early age. We currently have over 300 children in our training teams and 87 children at La Masia (Barça’s training academy). They all receive a sporting education based on the humanistic values that form part of the essence of both Barça and the sport itself. Respect, hard work, ambition, teamwork, humility and commitment are some of the values that guide us, that show us the way ahead. It is therefore extremely important that we educate our children properly, since everything they experience during childhood and adolescence is reflected later on when they are professional players. It is impossible to appreciate Messi without his humility, likewise Guardiola and Tito cannot be understood without their hard work and Iniesta and Xavi without their teamwork. Sandro Rosell - Catalan International View - Winter 2012 seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter IN DEPTH
  10. 10. We believe that this training model and its results make Barça unique. We also have a firm commitment to ‘homegrown’ talent, raised in a playing style that has made our team the epitome of offensive football. It is a spectacle based on ball-control, possession and genuine teamwork, with solidarity on the field of play. Skill and creativity is valued above physicality. The ‘Barça method,’ which began some 30 years ago with the opening of La Masia, which has become a symbol of the Club’s spirit, is now truly bearing fruit. At the time of writing, 16 of the 24 players in Barça’s first team were trained in La Masia and are therefore homegrown talent. This is how we have managed to have nine world champions plus Leo Messi in the same team. FC Barcelona is experiencing a Golden Age which needs to be defended and it is everyone’s responsibility to convert the excellence we achieve on the pitch to other areas of the organisation. We need a club that is socially, economically and institutionally strong in order to ensure its solvency for future generations. We are aware of what FC Barcelona represents for Catalonia, the ties that bind us to Catalan society and the fact that we are considered the unofficial ambassadors of our great country beyond its borders. We project our image, our sporting successes, our way of being and doing and we are recognised internationally as ‘more than a club’. We therefore have a responsibility to our country, in defence of democratic rights and freedoms and our own identity. Barca’s commitment to Catalonia is unquestionable. This calls to mind a line by the poet Salvador Espriu on this, the centenary of his birth. It is to be found on a poster designed by Avel·lí Artís-Gener (also known as ‘Tísner’), to commemorate a historic event: the visit by Josep Tarradellas, president of the Generalitat, to Camp Nou [Barca’s stadium] on 30th October 1977, on his return to Catalonia following his exile in France. ‘We will remain forever faithful to the service of our people’. Sandro Rosell (Barcelona, 1964). Holds a degree in Business Administration and an MBA from ESADE. In 1990hestartedworkingforCOOB’92intheInternationalMarketingDepartmentinchargeoftheInternational Sponsors. In 1993 he joined the Swiss sports marketing company, ISL as their manager for Spain and became the commercial agent of CIO, FIFA, FIBA, UEFA and IAAF, as well as of the LFP. In 1996 Rosell joined Nike, as director of Sports Marketing for Spain and Portugal, a position he held for three years. He was the architect of the Futbol Club Barcelona contract, which exists to this day. In 1999 he went to Rio de Janeiro and worked as Nike’s Sports Marketing Manager in Latin America. He managed the contract between Nike and the Brazilian Football Confederation among many others. On his return to Spain in 2002 he founded Bonus Sports Marketing, S.L (BSM), which specialises in sports marketing. Among other projects the company has developed Football Dreams, which takes place in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The project’s main goal is to use football to help the social development of the African continent. Rosell was Vice-President of FC Barcelona between 2003 and 2005. In June 2010 he was elected the new President of the club.
  11. 11. Pioneering Catalonia Catalonia: Universal Wines and Cuisine issue #18 - july/august 2013 Catalonia has often been home to great breakthroughs in technology and scientific innovation. Part of this progress is due to the creation of specialized schools, founded in the 18th century and initiated by the Junta de Comerç [Board of Trade]. The 19th century left us the celebrated imprint of Narcís Monturiol or Ildefons Cerdà. During the 18th century, Catalonia went through an industrialization process that required the creation of specialized technology schools. These schools provided individuals with good education which, together with the effort and insight of several businessmen, allowed industrial sectors to be developed. Parallel to this, other breakthroughs were the first railway train or the first power plant in the Iberian Peninsula. The year 1758 saw the creation of the Junta de Comerç [Board of trade], a traders’ association that took over some of the functions of the Consolat del Mar [Sea Consulate], created in the 13th century. This society had been deprived of its responsibilities and resources by the Decreto de Nueva Planta [Nueva Planta Decree] signed by Philip V. However, the Board’s competences were not limited to promoting trade. They also regarded the whole industrialization process as a key to the country’s development. These competences could not be achieved without a solid technical education. As Philip V had also closed down the University of Barcelona and established higher education in Cervera, the Board created several specialized schools. The first one was the Nautical School in 1769; next came Noble Arts, in 1775; Stenography and Chemistry in 1805, Mechanics in 1808. These novel disciplines were followed by the foundation of the Industrial School in 1850. Furthermore, the year 1832, despite the defeat in the war for the Spanish independence, saw one of the main episodes in Catalonia’s industrialization process: the installation of the first steam-powered machine in the whole Iberian Peninsula at the Bonaplata factory, in Barcelona. In fact, while the textile sector played a crucial role in industrialization, it is also worth paying attention to the other sectors that benefited from the graduates trained at the Board-founded Schools. From these, one of the most outstanding was the Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima School, founded in 1855 and dedicated to heavy machinery. Also the Chemistry School made it possible to assimilate several breakthroughs, both in the industrial sector and in society at large. One of the main personalities of the time was the School Director, Francesc Carbonell i Bravo. He not only made it possible to translate and disseminate the main texts of the budding modern chemistry, but also facilitated new processes with direct application. In 1826, one of Carbonell’s disciples, Josep Roura, used for the first time in the Spanish territory gas lighting. He did that in his night drawing classes at the Fishing Market Hall, the Board’s headquarters. Shortly after, on the occasion of the royal visit of Ferdinand VII and his wife, Maria Cristina, he would do an on-site demonstration. Furthermore, chemistry played a key role in the development of the textile industry, especially artificial colours and other substances. It is also worth mentioning the contribution of chemistry in products like soap and mineral fertilizers. A powerful industry requires solid communication that facilitates the arrival of raw materials at factories and the delivery of final products. In the early third of the 19th century, Catalonia only had three general roads. These means of communication had been built in the previous century and, despite having a toll system, were in a precarious state that affected carts. Apart from the construction plans of new roads, in the face of economic difficulties and other politics-related problems, the main event of the time was the official inauguration in 1848, of the first railway line in the whole peninsula, between Barcelona and Mataró. This achievement was supported by Mataró-born Miquel Biada (1789-1848), who died a few months before the inauguration. This line was followed by other railway lines that, apart from becoming key elements in the industrialization process, had an impact on the society and its territory. This impact has been recorded in some of Narcís Oller’s works like ‘La febre d’or’ [The gold rush] or ‘L’escanyapobres’ [The scrooge]. As far as telecommunications are concerned, it is worth highlighting the works of Francesc Salvà i Campillo (1751-1828), who paved the ground for electric telegraphy with his essay ‘La electricidad aplicada a la telegrafía’ [Electricity applied to telegraphy]. This work was presented in 1795 at the Royal Academy of Natural Science and Arts of Barcelona. Other types of research need to be highlighted like medicine, meteorology and mechanics. As regards the telephone, it is worth recalling the businessman and maker of scientific instruments Josep Dalmau. With a telephone made by him, the night after Christmas’ day of 1877 he did not hesitate to use the telegraphic railway line to speak from Barcelona with his technical director, Narcís Xifra, based in Girona. This was the first long-distance call in Spain. Shortly after, on 30 December, the first local call was made between the military installations of Ciutadella and the Castle of Montjuïc. Culturcat - Generalitat de Catalunya seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter OUR CULTURE OUR HISTORY
  12. 12. A few years before, in 1873, Dalmau and Xifra had installed in Barcelona a dynamo to light up the Industrial School. This Gramme machine worked by means of four gas-fuelled engines that made it possible to install an electric street lighting system with voltaic arcs. By the end of the century, by common and other companies’ initiative, the first power stations were constructed. Still it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that the large hydroelectric power stations appeared. However, few public figures embodied in the 19th century the innovative spirit and the pursuit of ideals like Narcís Monturiol (1819-1885). Born in Figueres, he studied law in Barcelona, though never practised it. Follower of Étienne Cabet’s utopian socialism, he disseminated his ideas and participated in creating ideal communities that the French philosopher had called Icaria. This activism ended up costing him political persecution. It was precisely while taking refuge in Cadaqués, where he worked as a painter, that he could observe the risky task of coral collectors. This finding made him ponder on the possibilities of underwater navigation. After a well-grounded research study, he released in 1858 an opuscle entitled ‘El Ictíneo o barco-pez’ [Ictíneo or the fish-vessel]. Soon after, on 28 June 1859, the submarine ‘Ictineu I’ was launched in the port of Barcelona and on 23 September that same year it set off on its first journey. Despite lack of support, he carried out new tests and on 2 October 1864 a new vessel was launched in Barcelona: ‘Ictineu 2’, a prototype developed in his own company La Navegación Submarina. This was the first submarine in the world propelled by an anaerobic propulsion system. In 1867 the company went bankrupt and Monturiol was forced to abandon the project. With the same idea in mind, he wrote two years later the treaty ‘Ensayo sobre el arte de navegar por debajo del agua’ [Essay on the art of underwater navigation], unpublished until 1891, after its author’s death. The engineer and town planner Ildefons Cerdà (1815-1876) was also captivated by utopian socialism and had occasional contacts with Narcís Monturiol. His ideology, clearly liberal and progressive, that ended up costing him prison together with his social conscience had an influence on the work that would pioneer modern town planning: ‘Teoría general de la urbanización’ [General theory of town planning], published in 1867. His formation as a jurist and an economist made it possible to incorporate proposals related to new legislation and the division of property. Cerdà is mainly celebrated for his project of the Barcelona’s Eixample. His idea resulted from observing the fact that the city walls prevented Barcelona from growing and also caused serious hygienic problems. The guidelines of the Pla Cerdà were: open road network, low population density, blending with nature and distributed social and cultural facilities. Although the plan was passed in 1859, its implementation was modified according to the political situation and economic interests of each time. Garden space and public facilities suffered the consequences of speculation, resulting in a current density higher than that originally planned by Cerdà. ISSN: 2014-9093 | Legal deposit: B. 2198-2013