Raventos i Blanc – De La Finca 2009
18th February 2014
The result of a new philosophy of making sparkling wines based on a study of the forces of interaction between the soil, the microclimate, the vines, the animals and the people working on our 21st century estate: bio-synergies.
Lying 50 km to the west of Barcelona, De la Finca comes from a historic vineyard whose geology and microclimate allow it to rival the world’s most prestigious sparkling wines.
The soil on the estate, in the basin of the River Anoia, are calcareous and date back to the oldest period of the Penedès depression some 16 million years ago, when the valley was still submerged beneath the Mediterranean Sea. The River Anoia has carved out its course, this being the only area of the Penedès region where these soils replete with tropical marine fossils have surfaced.
The first layer comprises roots up to 1 m that live in the clay along with nutrients, organic matter and water, so vital for the life of the leaves which are responsible for photosynthesis, by means of which the grapes ripen evenly.
Second layer, from 1 metre down. This is where the plant meets the compact clays known locally as galera. Calcareous base rock encrusted with marine fossils. The large number of marine fossils that characterize the structure and composition of these soils are the main source of the typical salinity and minerality of De La Finca wines.
Selection of plots:
Grapes are selected from nine plots situated on the slopes of the Serral hill, mainly with a north or north-easterly exposure, between the woods and the lake, where we find the coolest temperatures during the ripening period.
The Mirador del Serral plot faces north. Here we grow goblet-trained Xarel·lo vines which were planted in 1978. This terrain encourages long growing cycles, achieving an excellent balance for long-aged sparkling wines.
The Viñas de la Barbera plot lies on the Serral hill facing east. Here we grow espalier-trained Macabeu vines, planted in 1998; and goblet-trained Parellada vines, planted in 1970 and 1973.
On La Finca, the 2009 cycle started with a rainy autumn and winter which blessed us with excellent water reserves while the vineyard was still in its dormant winter state.
The Xarel·lo vines started shooting on 12 March, one week earlier than usual. The high rainfall in March and April led to early attacks of mildew. The dry spring encouraged slow, healthy plant growth. In July we had rainfall of 41 litres, helping the plant at this critical phase and slowing down the ripening process. A hot, dry August propitiated a quick, healthy, high quality harvest.
The cycle – 10 days longer than normal – was perfect for propitiating optimum ripening with great natural acidity. This vintage had an average temperature of 14.4 ºC (an annual average of 15.3 ºC) and rainfall of 526 mm (annual average of 520 mm).
45% Xarel·lo grapes, harvested after 5 September.
30% Macabeu grapes, harvested after 26 August.
25% Parellada grapes, harvested after 16 September.
Eco-friendly viticulture in the transformation to Biodynamic agriculture. The vineyard has spontaneous plant coverage which provides the soil with biodiversity, fertility and life. We add composted manure in winter and practice short pruning on the bush. In spring we take a preventive approach involving close observation and green pruning to balance the vine and prevent any diseases. We make sure the grapes are not exposed to sunlight to prevent the skins from burning.
We use plant infusions as a homeopathic treatment to minimize the use of plant protection products such as sulphur salts for oidium and copper salts for mildew, which are permitted in organic farming. We control the Lobesia Botrana pest with sexual confusion techniques. Cluster sampling and ripeness controls before harvesting. Manual harvesting with small trailers.
The grapes enter the winery by gravity. At each stage, the atmosphere is controlled by dry ice. Slow pressing at low pressures. Static sedimentation at low temperatures. First fermentation in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. Assemblage and second fermentation in the bottle with a minimum ageing period of three years in a horizontal position. Disgorging date stated on the back label.
Shared by Susana Portabella
Glass of Bubbly
Executive editor of news content for the website Please enjoy the articles that we share - We hope you find our love for Champagne & Sparkling Wines both interesting and educational.