100% hand-harvested Pansa Blanca, the local clone of xarel-lo, from three different granite-rich parcels around Allella, Catalonia, Spain. After destemming, the grapes are pressed into stainless steel, with 20% of the skins added back into the vat. After primary fermentation, the wine spends another 20 months on the lees, and then bottled unfined, unfiltered, with zero SO2. A yeastier, slightly rounder vintage, with salty, citrus elements, and lightening bright acidity.
It is a familiar story in natural wine: determined to resuscitate and preserve what encroaching modernization threatens, intrepid winemakers take to the vineyards. Oriol Artigas works in one such threatened DO in northeastern Spain. The gem-like sliver of land known as the Alella, coated in sandy granite (Sauló) and matorral (garrigue/timollares), rests between the Serralada Litorral (Catalan Coastal Mountain Range) and the Mediterranean Sea. Tranquility blankets the sea-salted air of Oriol Artigas’s vineyards where you can gaze out over the lower coastal lands to the southeast and see Barcelona wink in the distance like the object of a future far from the deep time of the Alella. Oriol works 7.5 hectares with indigenous grapes and farmland closest to Villasar de Dalt, his hometown. Grapes such as Pansa Blanca, Garnatxa Blanca, Beier, Pansa Rosada, Garnacha, and many, many more (sometimes up to fifty different varieties in a single cuvee) enjoy healthy growth on his gobelet-trained vines. Practicing organic, he follows the lunar calendar and allows native plants to grow freely in the combes of his vineyards. Unfined, unfiltered, and using neutral french oak, amphora, or stainless steel for fermentation and aging, Oriol Artigas is at the vanguard of the protection and prosperity of this ancient winemaking region.