Friday, January 16, 2015

Albet i Noya’s terrains in DO Penedès

COSTERS D'ORDAL - MASSÍS DEL GARRAF

For a good few years now we have been deepening our knowledge about our wine-growing soils, as a complement to the studies carried out by DO Penedès, with the aim of identifying the different types of terrains that we have in our vineyards in Penedès. 
To date, we can verify that there are 7 terrains that we can find in DO Penedès, three of them are the most characteristic of our vineyards: 

 - 50,9 has. in COSTERS D'ORDAL - MASSÍS DEL GARRAF ( 62 % ) 
- 30,9 has. in CONCA DEL RIU ANOIA ( 36,4 % ) 
- 1,3 has. CONCA DEL RIU FOIX ( 1,6 % ) 

Today we will focus on our most representative terrain; "Costers d'Ordal y Massís del Garraf", and we will analyse the most important characteristics. 

Its origins date back to Miocene times (32 million years ago), when the area of Can Vendrell was a shallow, inland tropical sea with crystalline waters, and full of aquatic animals like the manatee (a species of marine elephant-dolphin) which can still be found in some tropical waters. At that time, Can Sala Mountain and Can Vendrell Rocallís, behind the estate house, was a coral reef located a few metres down. 

Nowadays, the most outstanding feature of this terrain, with a relief sketched out by terraces and dry-stone walls, is the limited depth of its soils, sometimes just a few centimetres, which makes the vine suffer a lo

t when the summers are dry (which is usual) as their capacity to accumulate water is very low and the roots can’t penetrate to any great depth.
This is one the factors that has most impact on the fact that we get very low grape production per hectare, with good ripening and aroma concentration, and always with their outstanding mineral features and hints of calcareous herbs like rosemary, thyme, quince... 

However, it is the high magnesium content of these soils that make the Costers d’Ordal wines fresher than usual, for such a warm place like Penedès, as the wines have low potassium levels that help to maintain their natural acidity. 
These terrains are located at an altitude of around 250-300 m. and are strongly influenced by the sea breeze, which helps to moisten the vine leaves and refreshes the grapes, therefore increasing the thermal contrast that favours the build-up of aromas. 

Other factors, like the high calcium content, the low levels of organic material and a pluviometer at 15% below the central Penedès average, accentuate the mountainous and austere character of its wines. 

The vineyards that Albet i Noya has within the Costers d’Ordal-Massís del Garraf terrains are: 
From the "Can Milà de la Roca" estate: El Fanio, Les Terrasses de Dalt, Les Terrasses del mig and Les terrasses de baix, La Milana, La Partió del Guilera, Mig del Bosc and Rocallís. 
From the "Can Vendrell de la Codina" estate: Bosc Negre, Corral Cremat, Oncle Pau, Boet, Deban la casa, Ton Gulart, Anselm and La Creu del Pago.
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