Clos Lentiscus, Penedès Malvasia de Sitges Gentlemant Pétillant Naturel (2014)
Founded in the fourteenth century, the farmhouse of Can Ramon always had work related to the world of wine: wine agriculture, commerce with Southern France and the American colonies. But in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with the problems of phylloxera, industrialization and the Spanish Civil War, the property goes into decline.
In 2001, after the death of their father, brothers Manel and Joan Aviñó, returned to the family estate to find a land depleted and unhealthy from years of conventional agriculture. They then started a very ambitious project to return the brilliance of the estate to its original condition. They set about adopting a biodynamic, holistic philosophy that treats the entire estate as whole, living organism. The philosophy here is a return to the way wines were made for generations before modern agriculture (today much of this falls under “biodynamic, back then much of it was conventional wisdom): farming biodynamically, following lunar cycles for planting, pruning, harvesting, and bottling, native yeasts, no additions or enzymes, and no dosage. Manel’s has adopted other techniques as well to create healthy, living wines with energy and soul: replanting ancient, nearly extinct indigenous varieties on ley lines found using divining rods, using sound and vibrations to encourage growth and repel pests, experimenting with the ancient Roman practices of fermenting in a marble tank, and keeping his own bee hives for pollination. The results are a vibrant, healthy ecosystem filled with wildflowers, herbs, insects and local animals (wild boars help with the pruning).
Located in the near the rugged land of the Garraf Mountains just north of Tarragona, Clos Lentiscus sits between the massive Montserrat mountain and the Mediterranean Sea, in Sant Pere de Ribes. The property is arranged on a calcareous mass, with shallow soils on which one can find marine fossils, which provide many microelements and minerals that the vines easily absorb and grant a unique mineral character and great aging potential with to the wines.