Pedrola Sparkling Wine
by Michael Bosc
One evening I was going through my mail when I found an invitation to visit a small local Celler and see how they made their sparkling wine. I was rather pleased as the invitation came from Judith who was kind enough to show us round the
Co-operativa in Batea. So I replied and on the following Saturday we set out for a Celler that was truly traditional in every way. This Celler which without knowing we have driven past over the years, has been here since the 1940′s providing wine for the local people of Miravet; a well kept secret.
When I pulled into the yard I was pleased to see that this really is a working Celler that actually does things by hand. No big machines that rattle bottles around to be filled then corked. In this Celler a small filling trough does the job filling 6 bottles at a time. Then the bottles are taken inside where they are corked and labeled by hand.
Judith greeted me and introduced her husband, Hose-Louise the wine maker, who was busy preparing the yeast for mixing with the wine. This is no simple job; everything has to just right and the yeast mix is checked before it is added to the wine. When this is done and the wine and yeast mixed well the wine is bottled, capped then taken to the cellers for its 10 month fermentation.
In the mixing room were the turning racks with bottles waiting to be corked. These have been turned each day so the sediment arrives at the neck. Next the metal caps are taken off by hand; no freezing the necks here, as we were to see first-hand later on.
Whilst Hose-Louise was busy, Judith showed me round the small Celler. It is attached to her father-in-laws farm where the grapes are grown alongside peaches, apples, figs, pears and several other fruits. The part of the Celler she took me to housed the vat of white wine which is sold to the local people of Miravet in plastic containers, or a container they may bring with them. But she wanted to show me the ceiling which has been carefully restored down to the nails where tobacco was dried before the government decided to levy taxes so making it illegal for the farmers to grow their own.
We then returned to see the wine being mixed in the vat. It is a process that is taken very seriously by both Hose and Judith, and with good reason; the result is something rather special. These are two people with a passion for what they are doing and a vision of their wine being sampled by the world.
Then Judith showed us how the bottling machine worked explaining that the wine is pumped along a tube into the trough. Then the wine is fed into the bottles through feeder tubes when this is done they are taken to be corked or in the case of sparkling wine capped.
Judith then fetched a
bottle of sparkling wine which was ready to have its cap removed and be corked. Holding it up to the light we could clearly see the sediment in the neck. So following her outside to the area where the caps are removed she showed how it is done in the traditional way.
It was wonderful to see the pride they have in the traditional ways of wine making. They are doing a great job here both coming from the industry and villages that make some of the best wines around, they bring knowledge and ideas to their wines that are something else.
Cami de Sirga: This is a smooth fresh and fruity wine made from Sauvignon and Macabeu grapes. It is a wine perfect with fish, salads or chicken; a wine I would pick for my table.
Vi Dolc: This is a sweet wine made from Muscatel and Macabeu grapes. There is the aroma of figs, almonds and honey, whilst on the tongue you get the hint of sultanas. This wine is 16% vol and would go well with cheese.
Vi D’Aperitiu: This is a rather good Vermouth, made by mixing Vi Dolc and red wine but no sugar is added giving this wine an aroma of fruit. This wine is perfect over ice or as it comes. This wine is 17% vol.
Cavi de Sirga: This is a sparkling wine that is something special. The grapes used are Sauvignon Blanc and Macabeu which give this wine its body and clean crisp taste. This is not a sweet wine but is smooth with a clear pale golden colour and small bubbles slowly rising - the sign of a good sparkling wine which has a certain style of its own. My first taste seemed to indicate lemons but the next was smooth leaving a desire for more. I could happily have spent the afternoon sitting in the sun drinking this wine.
Although Hose and Judith produce white wines they have two reds that will give their white wines some competition. Judith let me taste each of them to see what I thought. The first, a young fruity red with good legs/tears a light but solid colour. To my palate it was perfect. The other red was too dry for my taste and I thought it could do with maturing in a barrel. This was what she and Hose thought and the wine was from the barrel still busy working away to its final strength, which I am sure will be a very fine dining wine.
These two people have a passion for wine making and their heritage, resulting in some fine wines being produced. They not only have passion but also a vision of their wines being drunk by the world. You know what I think; they will make it too.
If you would like to try some of these amazing wines you can contact them by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org...Enjoy!
© Michael Douglas Bosc
To read more about Michael's Wine Adventures, check out his blog at: http://asoldierswind.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/pedrola-sparkling-wine/