Irene Alemany, a Catalan, and Laurent Corrio,
a Breton, met while travelling the world on various winemaking
explorations, first in Burgundy and next in California.
Returning to Cataluña to her home town Vilafranca del Penedes,
Irene was fortunate enough to have a father who owned some
vineyards but so little interest in cultivating them that he handed
them over to these two wandering oenologists. Practicing what they
thought they had learned on their travels they began their work on
converting these vineyards from the typical Penedes high yields to
something very different. Abandoning all forms of chemical
treatment and fertilizers, applying a fierce green harvest they
rapidly reduced the yields to around 2500 tons per hectare and made
their first wine, Sot Lefriec in 1999.
Building on these same principles they created a simple cellar in
an old unit on the industrial side of Vilafranca, just behind the
Torres installation (where Laurent moonlighted working on the
bottling line for a while). They are basic and organic which means
you have to build your own tanks - they did - and although they
rely on skills of coopers in Burgundy for their barrels much of the
construction and equipping of their cellar has been "home
Production remains small yet as they identify further small
vineyard sites that they can work with their range has extended to
include some Xarel-lo.
Laurent continues to keep his life complicated by accepting
commissions to work and advise at other wineries.
Practicing sustainable agriculture and eschewing the use of any
non-organic products in their vineyards they work to acheive
balance between the plants and the soil. Canopy management to
reduce yields and acehive phenolic ripeness.