In the tremendous effervescence that reigns in the vineyards of Spain and particularly Catalonia, a new generation of winegrowers has set itself the task of reviving traditional viticulture - indigenous grape varieties, no chemical treatments - for lively and authentic wines. In the Alto Penedès region, Amós Bañeres is an example of the rise of natural wines in Catalonia, both with his Vinya Oculta estate and with the Els Vinyerons project run alongside Alex Ruiz.
While working as a pharmacist, Amós Bañeres decided in 2011 to invest in his family's small vineyard in Sant Martí Sarroca in the Alto Penedès region of Catalonia. A few vines of indigenous grape varieties on clay-limestone soil - macabeu, xarel.lo - and above all a strong desire to produce totally natural terroir wines: he opts for permaculture (vegetal cover of the soil, minimal doses of sulphur and copper) and practices vinification with indigenous yeasts, without inputs, in vats or barrels depending on the case. Small estate, small production, but great wines - such as the Missatge en una Ampolla - where complexity meets good drinkability. It is the same "philosophy" that inspired the Els Vinyerons project in 2015 with Alex Ruiz, winemaker on his family's estate - whose speciality is cava - but driven by the same desire to embark on the adventure of authentic and natural wines - such as the Saltamartí cuvée - of high drinkability... and moderate price. A partnership for the better.
Macabeu is a difficult grape variety to grow (thin skin, compact bunches) which often gives a vegetal taste, but Amós Bañeres only harvests the bunches when fully ripe, and the juice is vinified with an addition of 3 to 5% of the stalks to ensure good texture and acidity.