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H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Our meeting with H2O Vegetal by Laureano Serres and Joan Ramon Escoda

This past summer we visited Pinell de Brai, a village in the middle of Terra Alta area. It is known for his “wine cooperative”, built by the architect Cesar Martinell. This area is also well known due to Mendall wine maker, which establishment is just behind the wine cooperative. There, we attended the H2O vegetal fest!

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

H2O Vegetal

Joan Ramón Escoda and Laureano Serres Montagut concepted H2O Vegetal, and they are managing it. They are known worldwide for the artisanal wines they make – without any addictive. Their wines influenced the event that they realise, starting from its name. Their natural wine is grown up without any chemical since the beginning, in the vineyard. It also doesn’t contain any additive, as like as is made without any additional processing or filtration. This process gives birth to the alchemy called “Vegetal Water”.

H2O Vegetal have not a fixed venue: it changes every year amid the canteens of the two organizers. Last year it has been held in the Joan Ramon’s canteen, who made its new opening in Prenafeta for this occasion. Prenafeta is a village in Conca del Barbera: a strategic area in which are located the best wine makers in Europe.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

We decided to travel on Sunday morning, we arrived slightly later, so we had the occasion to see all the exhibitors together already preparing their booth for the event.

 We have been surprised by recognising a lot of well-known faces: many friends – artisans – coming from Catalunya, all over the Spain, Italy ( MargoTuniaDinavoloVino del Poggio), France (Thierry PuzelatJerome Saurigny) and Georgia Republic (John Wuderman y John Okro). Here we met also other exhibitors that don’t knew already. They came from Germany and United States. It has been a pleasant fair, with exchange of glances, full bottles and open arms.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

We suddenly realised that with a so huge participation, with exhibitors coming from all over the world, we would have had an intense day to taste all the wines.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Like at home with Clot de les Soleres’s wines

Clot de les Soleres is one of the wine maker in Catalunya most coherent with the natural wine philosophy. Montse and Carles are real wine growers: they produce wines since 2001, taking back to life the ancient tradition of making wines with only the own wine varieties. They are specialized in making natural wines, without sulphites or any other addition. Since their first year in wine making – it was in 2008 – they believe in a not-processed way of making wines, using organic farming techniques, with scent of biodynamic influences. We already know very well their wines, but anytime that we see them in any exhibition, national or international, we taste it with the same pleasure: every year we found ourselves astonished by them.

Their main characteristic is that all of them are single variety wines. Vivid and with a complex texture, the Xarel.lo and Macabeu are marked by clear vegetal shades: these wines are the most successful natural ones that the Penedès area nowadays have.

Before to move on with tastings, we have the chance to try their two Cabarnet Sauvignon: one is fermented “in amphorae” in 2014, the other one in barrique in 2013. It’s a pleasant surprise for us to see that a non-autochthonous wine variety, wisely cultivated and elaborated with two different methods, could express his real potential through a wide and intense palette of scents and notes.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Abruzzo goes natural with the company Marina Palusci

It’s time to approach the company of Marina Palusci, one of the new entries in H20 Vegetal 2017.

We have big expectations about them because we already their wines. We tried it for the first time in RAW London 2017. We are happy of their presence here, so we can greet Massimiliano, Marina’s son. She is well known in Italy for their excellent extra virgin olive oil. They make a high-quality Evo oil since four generations. Since 2009 they decided to make also natural wines.

The company is 20 hectares wide, of which 7 occupied by vineyards. Out of these latter ones, 4 hectares are used to cultivate mono-variety grapes, with Pecorino, Passerina and Montepulciano varieties. All the grape harvest process is made manually, only during night hours. This practice is made to avoid any temperature shift amid the grape collecting and processing in the production site. This peculiarity allow them to turn a potential issue – the avoidance of controlled temperature processing – in a smart solution to keep the most natural way to make wine. Their wines are just fermented grape juices: the longevity and deepness of the wines is only given by the high quality of their grapes, paired with a wise and coherent craftsmanship.

We are especially suprised by their “steep” Passerina wine, friendly called MILF: we rarely had the luck to taste a so well structured and bold Passerina natural wine.

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H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Ioannis Argiris

Talent and craftmanship by Massimo and Antonella

We waited long for him and his wines: we are talking of Ismael Gonzalo with his company Microbio Wines. We already know him, but we haven’t had yet the opportunity to taste his wines.

His canteen is in Nieva, in the Segovia province. He has a heritage of a five generations wine makers only dealing with organic agriculture and particularly Verdejos wine variety, using ancient prefiloxerich vineyards. Ismael is used to work with also younger vineyards, obtained through a strict selection of his oldest ones.

Ismael is a true master of Verdejo wine variety: blending many different wine-making procedures, he wants to emphasize the peculiarities of his grape wines and how them are grown up with his soil, weather and sunlight exposition.

He can create truly artistic artworks, where unexpected flavours are mixed up with the most classical ones of the same wine variety. This is possible for him because of the high-quality of the vineyard and wine grapes.

Since long time we are thinking to visit him in his city, Castilla y Leon, in order to widen our knowledge first-hand, through visiting one of the few prefiloxerich vineyards in Spain.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Rachel Signer
Foto221

In Castilla with Ismael Gonzalo and his Microbio Wines

We waited long for him and his wines: we are talking of Ismael Gonzalo with his company Microbio Wines. We already know him, but we haven’t had yet the opportunity to taste his wines.

His canteen is in Nieva, in the Segovia province. He has a heritage of a five generations wine makers only dealing with organic agriculture and particularly Verdejos wine variety, using ancient prefiloxerich vineyards. Ismael is used to work with also younger vineyards, obtained through a strict selection of his oldest ones.

Ismael is a true master of Verdejo wine variety: blending many different wine-making procedures, he wants to emphasize the peculiarities of his grape wines and how them are grown up with his soil, weather and sunlight exposition.

He can create truly artistic artworks, where unexpected flavours are mixed up with the most classical ones of the same wine variety. This is possible for him because of the high-quality of the vineyard and wine grapes.

Since long time we are thinking to visit him in his city, Castilla y Leon, in order to widen our knowledge first-hand, through visiting one of the few prefiloxerich vineyards in Spain.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
Foto 11

Mas Candí and La Salada: wine-making friends

Going on with our tasting we arrived at Mas Candi and La Salada stands. They have always been in Vella Terra due to the high-quality of their wines – for whom that don’t know these two wine makers, we need to talk about the evolution that both the friends Ramon Jané and Ton Carbò had.

Mas Candi is a young project, born in 2006 in Les Gunyiles, in the Ramon’s company, located in the heart of Penedes area. Two of the features that these two artisans share are the restlessness research of perfection, and the exceptional tasting capabilities. They are curious about everything that happen in the Catalonian natural wine-making world. Thanks to the Laureano Serres wines, they started improving their wine-making techniques. This development brought to one of the biggest and well-known natural wines fairs all over the world: la Dive Bouteille held in 2012. After that fair, they decided to radically change the way in which they produce wine.

Today Ton continue to work with Ramón in Mas Candi, although he is now completely focused on “La Salada”, with which he became a reference in all the best wine bars in Europe.

Among all the wines we tried, their “Cabòries” had a strong impact on us. It is realized with Mandó (Catalan autochthonous vine variety re-discovered in the Alt Emporda area), Sumoll e Xarel.lo. This wine doesn’t have any added product in it, is refined in oak barrels for two months. Hence the final product is well structured with his specific texture, but still easy to drink. It represents, in my opinion, the beautiful friendship among Ton and Ramon.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Rachel Signer

Natural sparkling wines and pure vineyards with Clos Lentiscus

We thought about ending our wine tasting with a good local sparkling wine, so we headed to the “champanoise” and the ancestral wines by Manel Avinyo from the Clos Lentiscus canteen. Manel is a true master of these wines. Today he works together with his daughter, Nuria Avinyo Mestre. She is his right-hand for what regards the canteen, and this is the first year for them participate in H2O Vegetal.

Manel currently cultivate 20 hectares out of 65 of the whole area. He still uses only biodynamic agriculture since 2010. He makes wines using only the raw materials that his soil gives him: he has 45 hectares of forest just outside his vineyards.

He uses his autochthonous wine varieties Sumoll, Xarel-lo, Malvasia de Sitges, Samsó and Xarel-lo Vermell to make 18 different wines. There are dry wines, „anchestral“ ones and classic method ones. We decided to try the product line „Gentlement“, made by three mono-variety of Xarel.lo, Sumoll and Malvasia de Sitges. The non-invasive processing method helps to express a full flavoured and gently persistent flower/fruit scent. Good to see Manel in the H2O vegetal this year.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Having a dinner with the Pinell de Brai guys

Many important restaurants, together with their chefs, showed out at H2O Vegetal, also due to the friendship and shared values with Joan Ramón Escoda e Laureano Serres. The main drivers in participation are the products freshness and the natural wines, and seeing all of them together has been for us a great moment of enjoyment.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

Participants

NIGHT+ MARKET SONG – Los Angeles, Estados Unidos.
EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA – Girona, Catalunya.
AZARPHESTA – Tiblisi, Georgia.
BAR BRUTAL – Barcelona, Catalunya.
FARINE – Montreal, Canadá.
GRESCA – Barcelona, Catalunya.
ROSFORD FOOD – Copenhagen, Dinamarca.
SOLIDES – Toulouse, Francia.
TOSSAL GROS – Prenafeta, Catalunya.
VILLA MAS – S’Agaró, Catalunya.

H2O Vegetal Vella Terra
H2O Vegetal Vella Terra

We are enhancing friendships, enjoyable moments, good wine (and a plunge in the swimming pool!) with music all along the night.

H2O Vegetal is an event in which anybody can participate. The wine makers share their wines made with love, travelling for long trips.

For whom don’t know enough about H2O Vegetal… we are waiting for you next year at Joan Ramon’s place. We have to say that this one is probably one of the most natural-products-related touching point currently available in Spain!

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Alejandra Delfino
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