The sommelier of the three-starred Celler de Can Roca is the Engine Driver of the Year of the Haro Station Wine Experience, official spokesman of the great wine and food event to take place on 18 June. The day before the tasting, Roca will show the influence of the weather and climate, the character of the vintage, on the final result of the wine, going through mythical cold and warm years in Rioja to show how Haro’s Station District wineries adapt to these circumstances and produce the best possible wine. The experience with the Engine Driver can be enjoyed by purchasing an exclusive ticket for that day.
After being suspended in 2020, the Haro Station Wine Experience returns with its fourth edition on 18 June with the sommelier of the three-starred Celler de Can Roca, Josep Roca, as Engine Driver of the Year. The renowned sommelier is this year’s image of this great event about the culture of wine and food, which returns with new energy after the pandemic.
“I am very pleased and happy to be the Engine Driver of the Year of the Haro Station Wine Experience.” This event is a must for all wine and food lovers around the world and it is a date that we should all save in our calendar to live it in style, surrounded by great wines that are part of the history of Rioja and Spanish wine” says Josep Roca.
On the day before the Wine Experience, Friday, 17 June, as a new feature, Josep Roca will lead an experience focused on the influence of the vintage and climate of very different years on the final result of the wines. Only a privileged few who purchase tickets for this exclusive event on this link will be able to enjoy this special tasting led by Roca. This will be followed by a cocktail party with different wines from the wineries that make up the Haro Station District Association.
The sommelier from Girona will open a debate on the adaptation of the wineries to the characteristics and particularities of cold and warm vintages to show the differences that the vintage exerts on the final result and how the Station District wineries adapt to them to get the best possible wine.
Attendees will travel through time, tasting wines from vintages in cold years and warm years, old vintages in which heat was happiness and not so much a threat, until reaching one of the key vintages of this climate change, 2003, a year in which the alarm went off, forcing us to take a new look at vineyards and wine, being more aware and adapting, albeit always respectfully.
Roca is considered one of the best sommeliers in the world and a true wine sage. He will offer his view, which is always humanistic, with a philosophical touch, of the effect of global warming in the wine industry, starting from the vineyard, with the grapes, and ending in the emotion of the glass, from must to wine, highlighting the value of time. For the sommelier, each bottle is a message, a drop for the soul.
You will live a mystical experience in contact with the essence of wine, with history and the passage of time, discovering the message that can be contained in a single drop of wine made in 1939 that has lived historic moments. A nostalgic look at exceptional wines that leave their mark, ending with a must and a wine from 2019, symbolizing the present and the future.
The title of Engine Driver of the Year is awarded to professionals of proven renown and reputation in the world of wine. Josep Roca’s predecessors at the controls of the Station District’s train are Masters of Wine Sarah Jane Evans (2018), Pedro Ballesteros (2016) and Tim Atkin (2015). Each of them left their mark on the District and turned each of their respective deliveries into an unforgettable event.
Josep Roca biography
Josep Roca (Girona, 1966) is maître-sommelier and co-owner of El Celler de Can Roca (3 Michelin stars, Girona). He grew up with his two brothers, Joan and Jordi (respectively, chef and pastry chef) among the pots and pans of his parents’ restaurant, Can Roca, where his passion for gastronomy blossomed. In 1985, he finished his studies at l’Escola d’Hosteleria de Girona and, the following year, together with his brother Joan, opened El Celler de Can Roca in adjacent premises. The first Michelin star arrived in 1995 and, the second, in 2002. They were awarded the National Gastronomy Award in 2004. They earned their third star in 2009, the same year that Josep Roca published the book Vins Compartits together with journalist Marcel Gorgori.
In 2012, they received the award for Best Wine List from the Revue du Vin de France, as well as the Personality of the Year Award. In both 2005 and 2011, Josep was named sommelier of the year by the Prix International de la Gastronomie, as well as the National Gastronomy Award for Best Sommelier in 2010. In 2013 and 2015, Restaurant Magazine named El Celler de Can Roca as the best restaurant in the world, while, in 2013, it was named The S. Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant, a year in which it also won the Golden Gueridon Award. As of 2019, the restaurant is part of the select Best of the Best group.