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Espelt is our family name. All our ancestors have always cultivated grapes and olive trees, the most grateful fruits in our land. Lluís and Quimeta were already renowned growers when they decided to build their cellar in the year 2000. Their son, Damià, agricultural engineer, reinforced it and took many of the decisions that shape Espelt nowadays. Anna, Damià´s daughter, biologist and winemaker, had a clear calling for viticulture and winemaking. Today, she´s in charge of Espelt, focusing on the native varieties and heritage of vinegrowing in Empordá. Three generations.
When you come and visit us, you are likely to run into our grandma Quimeta at the winery shop or bump into Anna, on her way to or from the vineyard, or back from touring around the world, spreading the word about the work of this family.
Imagine an amphitheatre overlooking the Mediterranean and sheltered by the Pyrenees. That is Empordá. A landscape that transforms itself with the seasons: In Winter, the magic and silent surprise of snow rarely arrives. In spring, green colours are soft and tender. In summer, everything is covered with a sweet light, touched by a shade of peach. In September, the vines in Empordá show a golden grey, superb and elegant. And each harvest features this perfect cycle of Earth…
Of all the winds that shake the bunches of grapes in our land, the most powerful one is Tramontana. It is a harsh, bold and obstinate inland wind. It can blow continuously for a whole week, oppressing us when it comes and releasing us when it leaves. It is considered to be responsible of the awkward force of our landscape and the surge, the RAUXA, of its people. Our wines, just like ourselves, are touched by the Tramontana. Vines love it when it dries moist after the rain. Hate it when it breaks their bunches, leaves and shoots.
SAULÓ & SLATE
We live in the place where the Pyrenees roll down and dive into the sea, in Cap de Creus. This land is made up of slate, patched with granite. Our vines grow in both types of soils and each one brings its own character into our wines: Sauló is a sandy soil originated by the breaking down of granite. Its wines are fresh, elegant and easy to drink. Slate is responsable for riper, more tannic and powerful wines.
They say that people from Empordá are lunatic and hot-headed. This is known as Rauxa and and this character of ours has led us to grow vines in this challenging land, after finding the right spot, just beside the Cap de Creus, where grapes grow contemplating the most amazing scenery. Our wines are born out of this rage and this beauty, expressing their character, poetry and quality.
We believe in the ability of grapes to express their origin precisely. That is why we focus on growing native varieties from the Mediterranean and the Empordá: Grenache (Lledoner Blanc, Lledoner Negre, Lledoner Gris), Carinyena (Carignan), Monastrell (Mourvedre), Syrah, Macabeo (Viura) y Moscatel (Muscat).
Viticulture is our calling. Our love for the land is the origin of our work. From this love we have learnt that you can´t go against nature or try to modify it. You can only bring out the best of it in your wines by respecting Nature´s balance and ecosystem. You have to know what to do at the moment of planting, how to use manure, which pruning system to use, when is the right moment for harvesting… Our future is marked by organic viticulture because wine is made at the vineyard. That is the winegrower’s most important knowledge.
One meaning of genius is character, energy, another is the ability to create or invent new or admirable things. Character and energy are used to make the most of the land and to create our wines, full of hues, of expression, able to transmit emotion, to reach the heart, to linger in one's memory. Wines with genius that follows the star of geniuses such as Dalí or the author, Josep Pla, with an un questionable L'Empordà D.O.
The first thing we see from our house in the morning is the vineyard and the winery. It´s our home´s backyard. Our winery is just a stopover for grapes before they turn into wine. We are determined to let the wines talk about terroir: about Sauló and slate soils, about the fierce Tramontana, about Lledoner and Carinyena… We want to convey the essence of Empordá, making good wines that make people think and cause them to smile. We like to consider our winery as a welcoming place, where people can enjoy the art and culture of this corner of the world.
We just let the grapes speak, trying not to step in more than necessary.
We make wines that inspire and invite you to pour a second glass.
The gods that have always been worshiped here loved wine. The first Greek gods intervened so that the vines would take root. The Romans asked their gods for their best auguries for their harvests. The god of the monks in Sant Pere de Rodes monastery gave them the wisdom to cultivate the vines. Over the centuries this divine plan that we still respect today was not able to be conquered by the Barbarians, the Arabs or the Turkish pirates or even by the devastating phylloxera.