Wine Culture Connection
At the beginning of the collaboration between Vinyes d'Olivardots and the Pérez's, José Luis Pérez suggested Lyre Trellising for the new vineyard plantings. It is an innovative technique José Luis developed after many years of research and testing. Its goal is to coax the best from the vines by mimicking old vine morphology to get old vine concentration results relatively quickly. It has other benefits as well.
Old Vine Morphology
We find the results here at Vinyes d'Olivardots with Gresa and in other vineyards employing the system very impressive.
Vinyes d’Olivardots proprietors Carme Casacuberta, a graduate in chemical sciences and an enologist, and Antoni Pena, an industrial engineer, sought out Sara and José Luis. Fuelled by their love of wine and the natural beauty of the area where they had been visiting for years, Carme and Antoni's dream became to have a winery of their own. But not simply something they could take pride in and provide wine for themselves and friends. Something extraordinary. In the year 2000 they purchased the gorgeous, wildflower-laced Olivardots estate in the town of Capmany (Girona-Alt Empordà) in Catalunya.
From the beginning, their goal was to make distinctive, exceptional wines that reflect the specific soils, terrain, drainage, orientation, and vine clones of the estate, along with the culture and traditions of the region. They were delighted when Sara and José Luis agreed to collaborate on the project.
Out of a total of seven hectares under vine, three hectares are old vine Cariñena (Carignan) plots, ranging from 35 to more than 100 years old, and four hectares were planted with Garnacha (Grenache), Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in 2002.
There are three main types of soil on the estate. Gresa, from which the wine takes its name, is the predominant soil. It is a mixture of sand and grey granite. All the varieties on the property are planted in this type of soil. Additionally, some Garnacha, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon is planted in sandier soils, which adds elegance to resulting grapes. The old vine Cariñena is mostly planted in slate soil, Llicorella, which adds mineral complexity to the resulting grapes—although there is a very old parcel planted in sandy soil.
In the new vineyard plantings they opted for vine training in the lyre system, developed by the Pérez's to increase the foliar surface of the vines and at the same time to maximize exposure to the sun and keeping the foliage aerated, thereby reducing the risk of fungus disease, optimizing the foliar production/area coefficient, and achieving better maturation. All these vineyards are controlled to produce low yields—mimicking old vine morphology—allowing the grapes express their terroir more deeply and at an earlier age than in typical planting systems.
The result of this harmony of nature, science and passionate winemakers is wine that offers the full-bodied personality of the region, but with great expression and unusual finesse and balance.
WINE FROM VINYES D'OLIVARDOTS
"Blanc de Gresa" 2011 white, Empordà DO $28 –
"Finca Olivardots" 2011 red, Empordà DO $25 –
"Gresa Expressió" 2007 red, Empordà DO $40 –
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