To be fully appreciated, some projects require a perspective that only comes with time. One such project is Spain’sCérvoles Celler, the first ever instance of mountain viticulture in Catalonia, and a beacon for quality Spanish single estate wines. And yes, it’s also our October’sWinery of the Month.
Cérvoles Celler is a venture first undertaken by Tomàs Cusiné 20 years ago in order to pay homage to ancestral wine-making land, reclaiming a practice that, at that time, didn’t attract much interest in the world of wine: mountain viticulture. The Urgell plains in the land of Castell del Remei, which was acquired by his family in 1982, as well as the vineyards at La Pobla de Cérvoles represented an unbeatable opportunity to rethink his work as a winemaker. So it was that, in 1997, Cérvoles Celler was created. The winery is designed to produce high-quality single estate wines, which expresses clearly the territory where they are grown.
Winemaking Philosophy & Terroir
The conditions offered by Cérvoles fuelled Cusiné’s dream: a unique estate in the area of Les Garrigues, nestling in the foothills, with different areas and a stony chalk soil; vines that offer very low yields but of great quality, providing grapes brimming with colour, strength and structure and a unique, special aromatic character. The vineyards of Cérvoles Celler occupy around 55 hectares and are divided into twelve plots with vines mostly of Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Macabeu and Chardonnay, planted between 1970 and 1989.
The different plots that make up the estate have a range of inclines and hours of sunlight, enjoying very mild weather in spite of the zone’s harsh climate thanks to the influence of the dry winds from the west in the morning and the more humid winds from the sea in the afternoon, refreshing the atmosphere and increasing the difference between night and day temperatures.
Such favourable circumstances allow Cérvoles Celler to carry out ecological farming, using organic principles that encourage natural processes and biological interaction in order to optimise and conserve the land’s agricultural resources. With this system, the soil’s nutrients are constantly “recycled”, ensuring good results and sustainable agriculture.
The Cervoles Celler
Equipped with the latest oenological technology, the Cérvoles Celler winery has a bespoke design that takes into account the size and yields of the different plots of vines so that the grapes from a single variety and specific plot are fermented separately in different tanks. The system used to transfer the harvested grapes is particularly important, these being loaded via the bottom of the tanks to protect the fruit more effectively, among other reasons because this prevents lacerations in the grapeskins.
The winery has used different types of slow-growing oak for its assortment of barrels, specially roasted and using coopers which can supply casks that contribute to the nuances and character deemed appropriate by Cérvoles to preserve the balance and complexity of its wines; in other words, the characteristic bouquet of this company’s wines. The winery currently has 300 casks, mostly new although some are in their second or third year of use, all made from French oak.