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Blanc de Gresa label
Blanc de Gresa label
(image)

Finca Olivardots label
Finca Olivardots label
(image)

Gresa Expressió  label
Gresa Expressió label
(image)

Antoni & Carme, Proprietors
Antoni & Carme, Proprietors
(photo)

Old Vine Cariñena
Old Vine Cariñena
(photo)


Panorama of
old vine vineyard
(video)


Panorama of
Lyre vineyards
(video)


Carme Explains
Lyre Trellises
(video)

Llicorella slate Vineyard
Llicorella slate Vineyard
(photo)


Panorama of
slate vineyards
(video)


Carme on slate vineyards

(video)


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Wine Culture Connection

Lyre Trellising
Innovative Technique for
Old Vine Concentration

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.

Carme explains Lyre Trellising
Carme explains Lyre Trellising out in the vineyards. Click Here to see the video clip.
Photo: © 2010 Justin Berlin for SWE

Old Vine Morphology
José Luis exhaustively studied old vines, old vine vineyards and why they result in more concentrated grapes. One of the conclusions he came to was that the physical configuration of the grape clusters along the vine is a significant factor. And he developed the Lyre Trellis system to spread the grape bunches across two branches, one along each side of the "lyre". The resulting clusters grow at more spread out intervals than young vines normally grow, which more closely resembles old vine bunching.

Better Ripening
The Lyre design also allows for a better canopy of leaves for both protection from excessive sun on the one hand and more even exposure to the sun across the day. This allows the grape bunches get good sun exposure without getting completely blasted with sun during one part of the day, and overly shaded much of the rest of the day.

Better Aeration
Another key factor is that the openness of the design allows for very good aeration of the bunches. This helps prevent fungal problems like mold or mildew that can ruin the grapes. By promoting less of these types of problems the vineyards are less reliant on chemical treatments and able to be farmed in a more organic and sustainable way.

We find the results here at Vinyes d'Olivardots with Gresa and in other vineyards employing the system very impressive.



   
Wines & Wineries

“Gresa Expressió”
from Vinyes d'Olivardots

Jump to wine!

The Vinyes d'Oliverdots winery, nestled between a wooded hillside and grapevines and wildflowers growing in Gresa soil.
The Vinyes d'Oliverdots winery, nestled between a wooded hillside and grapevines and wildflowers growing in Gresa soil.

Gresa is a project featuring two of the foremost winemakers in Catalunya—and argueably in Spain—the father and daughter team of José Luis and Sara Pérez. They are best known for one of the most consistently elegant and balanced of all Priorat wines, Clos Martinet. José Luis is a professor of oenology in Catalunya and has put his seemingly boundless energy into innovative wine projects across Spain, from Kosher wines to groundbreaking technical studies of how to create old vine quality from relatively young vines. Sara, blessed with her father’s talent and passion, is one of the great young winemakers of Spain, and among the foremost female winemakers in Europe.

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.

The soils of the estate, from to bottom: Clumps of Gresa soil, which virtually explode apart when you squeeze them; view of Gresa soil  (a mix of sand and grey granite); view of the sandy soil, which is paler and more granular than the Gresa; view of the slate soil called Licorella, here a mix of brown and grey slate.
The three main soils of the estate, top to bottom:
Close up of clumps of Gresa soil, which virtually explode apart when you squeeze them; Gresa soil, a mixture of sand and grey granite; the sandy soil, which is paler and more granular than Gresa; the loose slate soil called Llicorella in Catalán, here a mix of brown and grey.

With the help of these winemaking luminaries they developed a plan for the vineyard training systems, the design and location of the winery, the aging cellar and the winemaking equipment all with their terroir-driven goals in mind. Innovative techniques pioneered by the Pérez's were incorporated into the project, including groundbreaking methods to coax old vine-like complexity from newer plantings.

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
This white blend of very old vine (90-110 years old) from scarcely planted varietals is loaded with character and flavor. The nose offers a medley of waxy golden apple and fresh crushed green apple scents with hints of vanilla and nutmeg spice. The palate is ample, bright, silky and long, marked by a core of green apple, pineapple and pear flavors. Undercurrents of pine needle, bay leaf, mint and chalky minerality lead into a lively pineapple inflected finish, lined with delicate sweet butter tones.

Tech Details:
483 cases produced. Blend: 50% Garnacha Blanca, 30% Garnacha Rosada and 20% Cariñena Blanca.
Oak Treatment: Garnacha Blanca and Garnacha Rosada Aged 8 months in 500L new French oak barrels on lees. Cariñena Blanca vinified in stainless steel on lees.

"Finca Olivardots" 2011 red, Empordà DO SRP $25 Order Now from retail merchant Despaña Vinos y Mas: 212 219-1550
This lush and forward red features deep berry flavors with a smooth mouthfeel, rounded by soft oak tones. The nose offers intense blackberry scents accompanied by black pepper notes. The palate is full and chewy with brambly dark berries and pure black plum flavors along with mineral, spearmint and spicy peppery tones. Good acidity provides lift through the silky mid-palate into the lively, creamy plum and berry finish with lingering chocolate brownie nuances.

Tech Details:
625 cases produced. Blend: 70% Syrah, 20% Garnacha, 10% Cariñena.
Oak Treatment: Aged 6 months in 2nd use French oak barrels.

"Gresa Expressió" 2007 red, Empordà DO SRP $40 Order Now from retail merchant Vintry Fine Wines
Gresa is an opaque purple, heady and deeply fragrant wine. The nose is chock full of vibrant cherry kirsch aromas, rounded out with notes of smoke, bramble, blackberry, vanilla and spice. On the palate it is full-bodied, supple, creamy and round. Plush Maraschino cherry flavors are joined by blackberry and red plum flavors that are layered with touches of black earth, wild herbs and slate-laced minerality. Finely integrated acidity buoys ripe tannins into a full finish marked by lingering notes of dried cherry and warm blueberry pie. A brash, yet harmonious new star in the region.

Tech Details:
1250 cases produced. Blend: 30% Garnacha, 30% Cariñena, 20% Syrah, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Oak Treatment: Aged 18 months in new French oak barrels.

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