Celler de Joan Sangenis, one of the oldest grape-growing
families in DOC Priorat, historically sold their grapes to
the local cooperative until forming a new company in 1995
to bottle wine under their own name. Based in Porrera, they
own 80 hectares of south-facing vineyards with an average
age of 50 years and several small parcels of 100+ year old
vines of Garnacha
The oldest vineyards are situated on steep slopes known as
'costers' and the younger vines are found on the northwest
facing terraces. The topsoil, composed of slate and quartz-rock,
appears dark grey and often nearly black. Beneath this there
is a base of reddish slate with particles of quartz rock locally
known as 'Llicorella', high in mineral content. The altitude
of the vines is between 300-400m.
For Joan Sangenis, the
enormously talented, young owner/oenologist, experience
and research are his University. The heart and the
continuous testing updates are what are important to him.
He says that he spends 10 months in the vineyards and 2 months
in the cellar, explaining that great wines come from great
grapes and not great hands. Maintaining healthy vineyards
with weeks of ploughing ensures that they never have to use
any chemical herbicides or pesticides. The secret of both
his red and white wines is the basis of their blend - Garnacha
- produced from the grapes of old, low-yielding vines. The
white, one of only three produced in DOC Priorat, has been
awarded the title of best Spanish white.
According to Joan Sangenis, the 2018 harvest was generous in Priorat thanks to more rainfall and a favourable growing season without major complications. He described 2018 as 'a bit strange after a series of much hotter years for the region. Midsummer was much fresher than usual so we had slower ripening. It reminded us of how it was in the past. The fruit quality was very good, very balanced in terms of structure, flavour and acidity. All varieties ripened well especially Garnacha'.
Click on the underlined grape varieties
for more information.