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Alemany I Corrió, Spain

In the little town of Vilafranca del Penedes in Cataluña, Irene and Laurent are challenging the traditional perception of DO Penedes wine.

Converting their vineyards from the typical Penedes high yields and abandoning all forms of chemical treatment and fertilisers, they follow basic organic practices. Much of the construction and equipping of their cellar was modest and homemade, including building their own tanks. Production remains small, yet as they identify further small vineyard sites their range has extended to include distinctive wines from the indigenous varietal Xarel-lo, which they choose to do extended fermentation with, using indigenous yeast and it is then left on its lees to increase the richness and compexity.

Viticulture

Practicing sustainable agriculture and eschewing the use of any non-organic products in their vineyards they work to achieve balance between the plants and the soil. Canopy management to reduce yields and achieve phenolic ripeness.

Winemaking

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 made".

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sustainable viticulture, only organic products used in vineyards and all cellar and vineyard work according to biodynamic calendar.
  • Minimal tractor use to prevent soil structure damage.
  • Natural yeast for alcoholic and malolactic fermentation.