Diputaci de Girona
 

Empordà wines.

The vineyards change the Empordà landscape to the rhythm of the seasons. Young and old vines, in neat rows, reflect the renewal of the life cycle. The wine grower cares for them, works on them and prunes them to obtain the best grapes. There are vineyards on flat land and others high up on mountain slopes, supported by miles of dry stone walls. This ancestral architecture is designed to be inconspicuous and stop the devastating effects of soil erosion when torrential rain falls from the skies.

As long ago as the Middle Ages, leading scholar Francesc Eiximenis (1330- 1409) praised Empordà wines as among the best in the world, according to a chapter in Terç del Crestià: “I cannot drink local red wine, so in summer I drink Santo Noixet Calabresc, Túrpia or Trilla, Picapoll from Mallorca, rosé or claret from Avinyó. In winter, those from Madrid, the fine Spanish wines, and those from Gascony, and Monastrell from L’Empordà. […] At supper I drink Beauna or Sent Porçà, and I refresh my legs with exquisite cool water.”

 

However, it was not until 1975 that the Empordà Designation of Origin (DO) was created, initially only for products from Alt Empordà. It has also included the Baix Empordà region since 2004, and is identified by different varieties of Grenache (called Lledoner in this region), Cinsault or Carignan, Macabeu and Muscat of Alexandria. Garnatxa, a naturally sweet wine made with Lledoner, is the most typical and distinctive product of the entire designation of origin area.

Wines with the 2016-2017 Girona Excel·lent seal

Maragda 2015.

This young white wine is fresh, floral, fruity and passionate. It is made in Garriguella by Mas Llunes, with 78 % white Grenache and 22 % Macabeu grapes.

Category: Young white wine

Company: Mas Llunes, Vinyes i Cellers, SL

www.masllunes.es

Cartesius Blanc 2015.

In 2004, after more than a century working in the vineyard at Capmany, the company decided to create Celler Arché Pagès. This aged white wine is made from the old white Grenache vines.

Category: Aged white wine

Company: Celler Arch Pages, SL

www.cellerarchepages.com

Gerisena Rosé 2015.

Following the ancient Empordà tradition, the Agricultural Cooperative of Garriguella produces a modern, fresh, floral rosé with citrus notes, using red Grenache grapes harvested at the optimum time from vines over fifty years old.

Category: rosé wine

Company: Agrícola de Garriguella SCCL

www.cooperativagarriguella.com

Gerisena Red 2015.

The Garriguella cooperative claims to have the largest area of vineyards in Alt Emporda. This enables it to harvest red Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from old mountain vines to produce this red wine.

Category: young red wine

Company: Agrícola de Garriguella SCCL

www.cooperativagarriguella.com

Antima 2014.

Empordàlia, in Cap de Creus, is the largest cooperative of small wine producers and makes this aged red wine using Cinsault and Lledoner grapes, the two main traditional varieties in L’Empordà.

Category: aged red wine

Company: Empordàlia, SCCL

www.empordalia.com

Vd’O 6.13 (2013).

This wine is produced by Carme Casacuberta at the Vinyes d’Olivardots winery in Capmany. It is made exclusively with native white Cinsaut grapes from vines which are one hundred and ten years old.

Category: wines, unique specialities

Company: Vinyes d’Olivardots, SL

www.olivardots.com

Empordà sweet wines.

The vineyards beside the sea, the contrast between green and deep blue, have fascinated poets, artists, musicians and photographers over the years. Similarly, gourmets and sommeliers from all over the world have been captivated by Garnatxa, a natural sweet wine made with Lledoner grapes. In L’Emporda, the Grenache variety is known as Lledoner, because the term Garnatxa, or Granatxa, is only used for the sweet, silky wine, made with grapes ripened in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

Garnatxa never comes to the table alone. Tradition pairs it with Moscatell, making them inseparable. Some like to drink both; others, those with a sweet tooth, prefer Moscatell. In Lent, when brunyols (the doughnut typical of L’Empordà) are made in bakeries, pastry shops and at home, Garnatxa wine is almost indispensible, although not quite, because there is always someone in the family who prefers the floral sweetness of Moscatell.

 

The Garnatxa wine is very reminiscent of traditional rancid wines, as it is aged in old wooden casks, which concentrate flavours and aromas, combining them with memories of time gone by. Grapes are harvested, left to dry out for several weeks and then pressed. The must, which has a high concentration of sugars, is left to ferment for months. It is transferred to glass carafes, where it matures for four years in the Mediterranean sun to finish the work started in the vineyard.

Sweet wines with the 2016-2017 Girona Excel·lent seal

Empordà Garnatxa, Solera d’Espolla.

Made with red and white Lledoner grapes by the Celler Cooperatiu in Espolla, wine alcohol being added when it is half fermented. Oxidative ageing takes place in wooden casks with a solera over fifty years old.

Category: Garnatxa

Company: Celler Cooperatiu d’Espolla

www.cellerespolla.com

Dolç Moscat 2013.

Mas Llunes, Vinyes i Cellers uses only small Muscat grapes. Fermentation is spontaneous with indigenous yeasts and is stopped by adding neutral wine alcohol. This is a classic wine to drink after a meal, along with Garnatxa.

Category: sweet wines, unique specialities

Company: Mas Llunes, Vinyes i Cellers, SL

www.masllunes.es

Bac de les Ginesteres.

Vinyes dels Aspres, in Cantallops, produces a very distinctive, painstakingly produced and highly-praised wine. Once the red grenache has been harvested, it is left to dry out for 59 days and is then pressed: the wine is matured in glass carafes exposed to warm days and cool nights for for fifty months. A traditional method requiring great patience.

Category: sweet wines, unique specialities

Company: Vinyes dels Aspres (Joaquim Albertí, SA)

www.vinyesdelsaspres.cat

The wine

tasting jury.

Gerard Marin

Sommelier at Wine Palace

Josep Roca

Sommelier at El Celler de Can Roca restaurant

Eduard Solà

Sommelier at Vins i Licors Grau

Agustí Ensesa

Wine analyst, master winemaker and sommelier

Anna Vicens

Sommelier and President of the Catalan Association of Sommeliers