Wine plays an important role in bringing people together, a role that evolved from its origins in religious rites and ritual, where wine was a symbolic element, to the consolidation of wine culture across all social strata. Wine became a festive and energizing element of culture; a witness and facilitator of social exchange.
The culture of wine evolved alongside the various societies that make up our modern world.
Much like access to art, information, education and a full sense of communal belonging, wine went from being an exclusive element of ritual to an agent of social cohesion that is now accessible to all.
From a liturgical perspective, wine takes us back to the earliest civilizations where it was steeped in religious symbolism. Moments of celebrating and praising the gods, from Bacchus (or Dionysus) onward. Cultural echoes of these rituals are still found in local religious holidays that coincide with the harvest, from Curicó to Penedès. These folkloric traditions are rooted in regions that have grown up around wine, where ritual symbolism translates into a cultural blend with wine as the main ingredient. After all, getting together for good conversation is nothing new:
The Death of Socrates, an oil painting by Jacques-Louis David, 1787
In Ancient Greece, this took the form of symposia where wine inspired deeply philosophical debates about human nature and the divine. This impassioned—and occasionally heated—intellectual exchange has enriched our culture with moments of brilliant insight and knowledge.
When the warm weather sets in, cities awaken and café terraces overflow with lively conversations that last into the evening, taking a more intimate and festive turn as the night unfolds.
Nowadays, these traditions are reflected, for example, in the events calendar of Barcelona's hotels where, year after year, we welcome the warm weather with Setmana de les Terrasses, an event packed with wine-related activities: tastings and pairings, workshops, live music and more... held on the rooftop terraces of leading hotels, in a city that is even prettier when admired from above. Perhaps a conversation shared over a glass of wine is the legacy of the ancient symposia, adapted to the ideas, concerns and emotions of our time. After all, wine, enjoyed in moderation, is a nonjudgmental companion that warms the soul. It brings us together and builds connections. It calms tempers and inspires hope.
An evening at a Barcelona hotel terrace during Setmana de les Terrasses
This has enriched our culture, shaping and consolidating it in the process.
As a winery we play a leading role in this wonderful world, and it is our duty to make wine culture accessible to people in an experiential and inclusive fashion. Creating new temples, so to speak, that are open to all. In our wineries and wine bars, our vineyards and our sincere passion for everything we do, we will always find something worth toasting. Let's celebrate life together.
¹The upcoming edition of Setmana de les Terrasses 2018 or Terrace Week will take place from June 1st through 10th in Barcelona with more than 80 participating hotels. More info at: http://mesqhotels.cat/familia/setmana-de-les-terrasses/