Natural Wineries In Catalonia | Top Five Organic Vineyards
If you’re planning a holiday to Catalonia this summer, then we think you should definitely consider a winery tour. There are some amazing organic vineyards in the region that are making fantastic low intervention and natural wines.
WHAT IS NATURAL WINE?
Natural wine is wine made from organically grown grapes under bio dynamic farming principles. Simply put, it is wine that is made without adding or removing anything to the wine once the fermentation process has started. In conventional wine making (wine that is ‘un-natural’), it is permitted to use chemical based herbicides and pesticides in the grape growing process. It’s also permitted to use preservatives such as sulphur dioxide (So2), commonly known as sulphites.
DOES NATURAL WINE LOOK DIFFERENT TO ‘NORMAL’ WINE?
Natural wine can sometimes have a cloudy appearance, which is is due to the lack of fining agents and filtration used in the wine’s production. The development of aromas is what makes these natural wines so unique. They are very full and fruity, and often characterised as being ‘funky‘. This arguably brings more complexity to the wine than conventional wines, and therefore will almost certainly be more intriguing.
FOUR GOLDEN RULES OF PRODUCING NATURAL WINE
Organic Farming– This means, not using any herbicides, pesticides or any synthetic products in the grape growing process.
Bio-dynamic farming – Respecting the life-cycle of nature and working in harmony with the environment, by employing bio-dynamic preparations.
Balanced plant life – This is called the ‘leaf-fruit effect’. In other words, they aim to find a balance between the amount of fruit and leaf surface. This is done in order to achieve optimum photosynthesis.
Balanced waste – Quite simply, all the waste is returned to the earth so it can decompose naturally. This practice therefore makes it a sustainable wine estate.
TOP FIVE NATURAL WINERIES IN CATALONIA:
We’ve listed the five best natural wineries in Catalonia, so all you have to do is read and visit!
Eudald Massana Noya is a winery that is situated in the Penedés region of Catalonia, and it is equidistant between Barcelona and Tarragona. They own a variety of vineyards that range in altitudes and micro-climates, which results in different characteristics in their wine.
Massana Noya makes it onto our list of the five best natural wineries in Catalonia because of their beliefs about terroir. They believe in demonstrating, when possible, the four golden rule of natural wine production.
Mas Tuets is about a 40-minute drive in land from Tarragona and is well worth the visit. They believe that ‘Nature is balance’ and their goal is to preserve the natural balance of the grape in each bottle.
The wines that they make are all single varietal wines, because they believe each vineyard has its own identity. Therefore, they want that to shine through in each glass, rather than blending different grape varieties.
At Tuets, it’s all about nature. So much so that they have a ban on using electronic devices, which champions their commitment to keeping things natural! That’s why they make it onto our list of best natural wineries in Catalonia.
Bodega Mas Comtal is a gem in the Penedes and is about 45-50 minutes away from Barcelona and Tarragona. Alternatively, it’s only a 25-minute drive from Sitges.
Their wine is of great standards and their attitude towards viniculture is commendable. Their simple ethos/motto states… “In the same way that two crops are not equal, Mas Comtal never produces two wines alike. Every year is a different adventure”.
They have the most easterly vineyards in the Penedes, located at the foot of the Garraf Mountain region. Mas Comtal offer in-depth tours to their visitors for very reasonable prices (their welcome tour costs €17 + VAT*). Click here to find out more.
Founded in 1987 by Joan Badell Badell, this is a family-owned winery and it is a 35-minute drive from Sitges. The guys at Valldollina understand the importance of the land and their name pays tribute to the dolines in the Garraf Massif area.
They place a lot of value on respecting nature. In 1998 they started to move towards organic and Eco-friendly farming, with bio-dynamic influences and their dedication to the terroir is why they are on our list of the top five natural wineries in Catalonia.
Rounding up our list of the five best natural wineries in Catalonia is Parés Balta. Pares Balta has been going since 1790 and is a short drive from Sitges. They like to find a balance between tradition and modern approaches to wine-making, which we think is a great approach.
We recommend taking one of their winery tours because this will give you a good insight into their wine making practices. The tours are available in a range of languages and you can choose from three different packages.
They wanted to create wine that represents their terroir, so they experimented with bio-dynamic plantings in 2010. As a result, they later rolled it out in all of their vineyards. Now all of their wines are at least certified organic and all of their vineyards have been certified as bio-dynamic by Dementer.
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