DO: VISIT THE CODORNIU CAVA WINERY NEAR BARCELONA
If you are spending more than a week or two in Barcelona and would like a short day trip with a side of modernisme and a glass of bubbly (two actually), make your way to Cavas Codorniu, or the Codorniu winery. There’s a bus now, which makes it easy as pie to get to or you can take the train to Sant Sadurni d'Anoia and catch a cab or stroll over.
Codorniu make cava, Spain’s 'champagne' and are the oldest producers of this bottle-fermented sparkling wine. The winery is rather wonderful. The noucentista or art nouveau buildings were designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, a Gaudi contemporary whose work is magnificent, the gardens are gorgeous and the tour itself is quite interesting.
Don’t expect to see much of the wine-making process up close (it isn’t remotely quaint), but you will learn a little bit about it and about Codorniu’s incredible history. It’s more of a facilities tour, but it includes a short train ride of its labyrinthine underground cellars which is quite an experience.
The architecture was a highlight for me, as was the generous wine tasting (but of course). The tour ends at the giftshop, where you can choose to buy a souvenir. I packed a bottle in my luggage.