• Enópata

    Photo Gallery

  • A line up of Champagne

    Francophile's can spend hours in Enópata.

  • Epic Bottles

    While the shelves at Enópata have something for everyone, their collectors' vintages set them apart in Valencia

  • Spanish Wine

    Some of Enópata's favorite Spanish Wines

  • Front of the Store

    The "front" of the Enópata operates as a traditional wine shop

  • Event Area

    The "Library" at the back of the store is converted regularly for tasting events

Enópata

If you’ve ever traveled to a wine producing country such as France, Italy or Spain, it probably didn’t take you long to realize that truly “international” wine shops are hard to come by.  So for a store in our little town of Valencia, to offer top shelf selections from Burgundy, Barolo, and the Mosel Valley, is quite an achievement.  Add to that an immense selection, a variety of tasting events, and an intoxicating mix of poetry and humor, and you’ve got in our opinion, the best darn wine shop in the city, Enópata.

Situated in the unlikely working class neighborhood of Patraix, Enópata’s shelves store some of the most prestigious bottles available in the world, including collectors’ pieces such as an 1890 Chateau D’Yquem, a 1936 Chateau Pétrus, and a 1936 Chateau Latour.  For those of us on slightly tighter budgets, there are of course, plenty of reasonably priced bottles on the shelves, starting as low as around 5-6 euros per bottle.  While local expats may relish in the opportunity to buy wine from say South Africa or Australia, tourists and diehard Spanish wine fans, never fear.  Enópata carries a wide selection of domestic labels as well, from hallmark regions like Rioja and Ribera del Duero, to those less traveled, such as Ribeiro, Toro, Bierzo and Extremadura.

Rebeca Gar and Juan Ferrar

Owners of Enópata, Rebeca Gar and Juan Ferrar

“We specialize in small producers that make wines which really express the place where they come from”

Despite having 4,000 labels to choose from, make no mistake, this is no corporate run “super-store”.   The collaboration of poet-artist-sommelier Juan Ferrar and marketing-savvy, Rebecca Gar, is a passion fueled outfit, whereby the inventory is carefully selected.  The two travel year round in an effort to discover new wines, tasting about 3,000 a year, and only selecting on average about 10 new bottles to add to their shelves.   Their philosophy?  “We specialize in small producers that make wines which really express the place where they come from,” says Gar.   Case in point, she showed us their new local favorite, Sentencia, a wine being made out of the garage of a young producer in Requena.

What makes Enópata even more brilliant is how they have grown their business, developing a clientele for themselves through their events.  It’s a direction that started in the early days with an exclusive, 100 member wine club.  As a perk to the club, they began hosting tastings in the back of the store so that members could decide whether or not they wanted to buy the wines for a given month.  The event was extremely popular, and so they soon expanded on the idea, offering various events that catered to all levels, and transformed their notion of a wineshop, from not just a place to buy, but a place to ‘be’.  Today, in addition to the exclusive wine club tasting, they host many other events, from serious courses to understand and taste specific regions, to a casual “Afterwork”, which offers an array of interesting wines, some as low as 2.50 euros per glass, in a relaxed, dimly lit setting with background music.  Less of a strategy, and more so just two people doing what they love, Juan and Rebeca have not just provided a service to their customers, but they’ve inspired them through education to become connoisseurs themselves, thus developing a demand for international vino, where there once was very little.

Empty Bottles

Empty bottles left from a blind tasting at Enópata

“Learning about wines is like learning a new language”

Whether you are just visiting and looking for a few bottles to take home as gifts, or you are a local wine lover in search of that perfect neighborhood wineshop, we would highly recommend that you get to know Enópata.  Their events are going strong and announced via a regular email newsletter (which in itself is an enjoyable read).  Owners Juan Ferrar and Rebeca Gar are knowledgable, approachable, and above all very interesting people, who can offer you insight into not just wine, but life in general.  “Learning about wines is like learning a new language” says Rebeca, “First you study a little, then you practice it…you drink it. Then you travel to the places where that language is spoken.  For wine, you travel to the wine region to meet the people that make the wine, to drink the wine, and to understand the environment…is it dry, is it wet, are there mountains or is it flat?”  Then, says Gar, “you should have fun.”   We agree.

An Interview with poet, artist, writer, sommelier Juan Ferrar…

Q:  Do you ever drink cheap grocery store wine?

A:  Yes, reluctantly.  We’ve all got a brother-in-law.*

(*We found out during the interview that “brother-in-law” references a Spanish saying, and signifies anyone in your family or circle of friends that insists on bringing cheap stuff to your house.)

Q:   What do you drink when you aren’t drinking wine?

A: (Long pause)…..Vino.  Not even water.  Wine is 85% water.

Q: When friends or family come to your house, do you let them choose any wine they want from your cellar?

A: No way. (Group Laughter)

Q: Not anyone?  Does it depend on the visitor?

A: No, I always choose.  I always choose a good wine, I never go cheap with it, but I choose it.  

Q:  What’s your favorite beer?

A: None.

Q: No???

A: On principle, for political reasons.  It’s a product of infected industry, an enemy of wine production.  

Q:  What about like..beer made by monks in Belgium?

A:  Yes, of course, I like it, but I don’t drink it because of my conscience, because of what it means, because that’s not the beer people are drinking.  They drink the stuff by the big producers.  The beer producers come into the neighborhood and help the bars with rent or free chairs or whatever, but in exchange they tell them to get rid of “these wines” and dictate that they must sell just “this” wine and “this” beer.  It’s a commercial war.

Q:  What’s the best cure for a hangover?

A: (Pauses)…Vino.  (Again Laughter)  Vino with orange juice and sherry..it’s delicious.  It’s called a cocktail Andalusia.  

Q:  What would you be doing if you didn’t own Enópata?

A:  I’d be writing or painting. 

Q:  What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled?

A:  Burgundy.

Q;  What’s the worst place?

A:  India.  Not because of the place, but because of the poverty I saw, the way people live…it was heartbreaking.  I’m in to photography and went on vacation to take pictures.  There are kids at the airport that approach the plane when you land because people bring them food.  They were so desperate to eat they attacked us, like animals.  I had scratches on both hands where they were grabbing the food.  It was heartbreaking.

Diccionario Del Diablo

Juan Ferrar’s favorite book

Q:  What’s your favorite book?

A:  Diccionario Diablo, Ambrose Bierce.

Q:  Music or Sports.

A:  One or the other?

Q:  Yes.

A:  Music.

Q:  But you like sports too?

A:  Yes.  I play always.  I like to win.  I play racket ball and use both hands.  I swim because I like it and it also keeps me in shape.

Q:  What else do you want people to know about you?

A:  As little as possible!