Great cooking and the love of food, wine and art. That's what launched our company into existence.
You see, the first Sunday of the month was paella night at my Aunt Mercede's house. And wow, could she ever cook! Her specialty? Spanish paella. The smell of the shrimp, chicken, sausage, onions, peppers and tomatoes was just heavenly when you walked into her cozy little house in Barcelona. How she got her rice so fluffy still remains a mystery.
One night I watched while my aunt's dinner guests—friends from her workplace—admire her painted wine glasses. They weren't particularly special glasses, but the colors were quite alluring. One of the guests likened the colors and patterns to stained glass, which instantly made me think about Barcelona's world-famous Sagrada Familia Basilica, the national Spanish treasure that always kept me spellbound by its striking beauty.
I had a flash of inspiration! What would happen if I married the beauty of the Basilica with the simple elegance of truly high-quality wine glasses to create a one-of-a-kind wine drinking experience? There was only one way to find out.
Afterwards we embarked on a 2-year quest to create the world's most beautiful wine glasses. We decided to pay homage to Antoni Gaud Corneti—the celebrated artist whose modernist style has changed Barcelona forever and whose magnum opus just happens to be—you guessed it!—the famed Basilica. Soon thereafter, the Antoni Barcelona glass was born. (But our work had just begun.)
We spent weeks studying the Basilica’s stunning windows from every angle at each hour of the day. We also became students of wine glass shape, and toiled over the perfect shape that would maximize the pleasure of wine drinking and also fit perfectly into the aesthetic of the artwork.
Once the design and the shape of the glass were finalized, we vetted dozens of glass makers. Besides simply insisting on using high quality glass, these skilled artisans needed to be masters of the art of mouth blowing, and had to create an ideal shape that was neither too thin nor too thick. It had to be gracefully delicate, yet durable... a piece of art that could also function in everyday life.
We spent months scrutinizing manufacturers... reviewed and rejected dozens of test samples... until we finally settled on one remarkably skilled producer whose incredibly refined work literally took our breath away. After 120 days of grueling back-and-forth negotiations, this remarkably skilled manufacturer now works exclusively for us.
Next, it was time to choose an artist whose skilled hands would bring our vision to light. This proved easier said than done. Because while the artists we contacted were familiar with The Basilica's memorizing beauty, recreating it on glass proved to be far more complicated.
Over time, we assembled a “dream team” of five skilled painters—including dedicated apprentices—and one master of the craft to ensure that each individual glass is just as dazzling as the next.
Unlike mass-produced, machine-made glasses, ours are truly a labor of love. Each glass is softly painted with an ultra-thin brush so that even the tiniest details can be accurately rendered. Everything from the mixing the colors to properly match the sunny windows of the Basilica, to the artist's delicate brush strokes, are performed with a steady and masterful hand. After shaping and painting, each glass is fired again at 600ºC, permanently fusing the colors to the surface. Only then—after a final quality check to certify that the glass meets the highest standards of excellence—is it deemed worthy of the Antoni Barcelona name.
Whether you’re a novice wine lover or a seasoned connoisseur, a proper wine glass can make all the difference in your overall experience and enjoyment. Small details such as the shape of the bowl and the size of the opening has significant impact on how the wine smells and tastes. That's why it's so important to seek out quality glasses that are worthy of the fine wine you've chosen.
We want to share the Sagrada Familia experience with everybody in the world. So even if you can’t come to beautiful Barcelona to see the cathedral in person, you can bring it home with you in the form of Antoni Barcelona wine glasses and accessories. If you are lucky enough to visit the Basilica, this glass serves as a stunning memento that will bring you back to that breathtaking place again and again.