Son of a winemaker passionate about the universe of viticulture, the brilliant writer is a profound connoisseur of the wine world. Domingo Villar joins The Readings of Pazo Baión and gives us three delicious works paired with our albariños
With Domingo Villar, time becomes liquid. Everything in him is narrative. When he writes, it’s obvious, but also when he talks. A genuine pleasure for the interlocutor. Because of how much he knows and how well he tells it. Nothing as seductive as his closeness.
For all these reasons we have invited him to The Readings of Pazo Baión. A series that started with our beloved Arantza Portabales and now adds the great Galician writer, who will make us three proposals paired with our albariños.
Three different books. Three jewels of different genres uniquely appropriate for these days. To relax and enjoy. To enjoy the intimate pleasure that comes from a good read and a glass of any of the Pazo Baión wines.
The arrival of Domingo Villar to this initiative that combines books and wines was, in a way, a logical consequence. The writer has been passionate about the world of viticulture since he was barely two feet off the ground.
«It’s an inheritance», he says. «My father and his brothers had an estate on the banks of the Miño where wine had been made since the 16th century, although most of the land was occupied by fruit trees».
The fact is that, already with a certain age, Domingo Villar‘s father was assaulted by the winemaker’s fever. And he began to raise fruit trees to plant vines.
«And a kind of miracle happened. At home we stopped talking about seasons, autumn, winter or summer, to start talking about flowering, purging, pruning… The passion for the world of wine took hold of my father since he was 10 years old and it was him who converted all of us children to the wine religion», he explains.
It’s time, then, to present the first of his suggestions.
«Ávidas pretensiones» and a glass of Pazo Baión
Domingo Villar‘s first recommendation is a fresh, entertaining book, full of irony and fine intelligence. Ávidas pretensiones, by Fernando Aramburu.
Our guest says that Aramburu, whom the general public identifies with the celebrated Patria, «has a great sense of humor».
The synopsis of this work already gives us some clues about the hilarity of the proposal. A bunch of poets who lock themselves up in a monastery in Cantabria to rave and indulge in the pleasures of life. «I had a lot of fun with this book».
Domingo draws in his mind the scene to launch with the pairing. «It’s an ideal book to enjoy with a glass of Pazo Baión by the sea because it has that fresh, playful point…»
A great plan for a summer afternoon, don’t you think?
«The Last Ship» and Gran a Gran
His second proposal is a tribute to a way of doing things that connects with the past. Perhaps also with the future. With the need to dwell on things well done. Those that mature slowly. With sensitivity.
The Galician writer combines Pazo Baión Gran a Gran with one of his best known and most acclaimed works: The Last Ship.
«It was also a book of late maturation. It took me 10 years to write it because I wasn’t too convinced by the first thing I had done».
And why Gran a Gran? «Because it pays homage to things that are made slowly and by hand. That’s why a wine that is made grain by grain, grape by grape, with patience and letting the wine develop little by little, connects so well with this book».
A book that is much more than a crime novel. «Many of my elders made me see that with the excuse of a police investigation you could write real literature. It was possible to write crime novels without having to give up writing about the human condition, about emotions or places», he argues.
A way of understanding his passion that found a turning point when the Galician author discovered Andrea Camilleri, one of the referents of the genre, some time ago.
There is in fact in Leo Caldas, the protagonist of Domingo’s books, a subtle connection with Commissario Montalbano, the popular character created by the late Italian writer.
Like the latter, the police inspector created by our guest has, over the last few decades, found his way into thousands of homes around the world. And he has won the affection of the general public.
For his bonhomie (does he look familiar?), his empathy and his decency. Also because of the wryness that hovers over all the installments of the saga. That peculiar sense of humor that is so exotic outside of Galicia.
Domingo speaks with a very special personality of his character. «Leo is a quiet guy, with some demons. Not many. He kills them by the way enjoying a glass of good white wine», he smiles.
«I got to know Caldas –he continues- little by little: what his aspirations were, what he was afraid of… And so I discovered a pious guy, who faces his job in a humane way, a job that consists of lessening the pain of the people who cross his path».
The «Essays» of Montaigne and Vides de Fontán
The third and last suggestion for this second installment of The Readings of Pazo Baión is a work that is perhaps a little denser, but indispensable for lovers of literature. It’s the Essays of Montaigne.
It was recommended to Domingo Villar by his good friend the journalist Pedro García Cuartango. «I came to this book as an adult because one day, talking about philosophy, he recommended it to me».
And he admits that he was impressed. «They are essays that are incredibly modern despite having been written centuries ago. They contain a lot of humor and are thought-provoking. The book can be opened to almost any page. It’s full of treasures», he says.
The Galician writer pairs this work with Pazo Baión Vides de Fontán, a very unique albariño. Special for its 3 years of aging. For its powerful personality, the same spirit that guides Montaigne’s work.
A restless spirit that, somehow, also identifies our guest. “I was always a fanciful kid, full of borrowed lives that boiled inside me. None of my high school teachers were surprised by my vocation. They always tell me that my exams didn’t look much like the syllabus [laughs], but they enjoyed correcting them,” he recalls.
There is little doubt about this creative vocation. Next month his new book will be released: Algunos cuentos completos. An original title that pays homage to his father and is a sort of literary adventure with ten stories illustrated by the painter Carlos Baonza.
Good luck with the book Domingo. And thank you for visiting The Readings of Pazo Baión.
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