Making Natural Wine in Spain
A journey full of excitement laid behind me when I stepped foot on Spanish soil. I felt butterflies in my stomach as I walked through the arrival gate of Barcelona airport with my overweight luggage where my friend Pablo was already waiting for me with a kind smile on his handsome face. I was embraced into an adventure that was just about to begin.
Being in Catalunya, where Pablo owns the first wine shop exclusively dedicated to natural wine in Girona, I discovered the beautiful region of DO Empordà, a stunning place for winegrowing on the border to France with the Pyrenees to the North and the influence from the Mediterranean Sea to the South. In this breathtaking region there is a charming little village called Biure where the natural way of farming without any use of herbicides or pesticides is still intact since generations and the sanity of the grapes is incredible. The climate is favorable as there is a strong wind called “Tramontane” which reduces the risk of pests and is beneficial for healthy vines. The soil is low in organic material and has a sandy texture which is ideal for grape growing and making high quality wines that are fruit-driven and very well-balanced. The grape varieties planted have adapted wonderfully to the region and the vines produce thick juicy grapes that are superb for making natural wine without filtering, without adding sulfites or anything else - all natural, just as nature intended.
Sharing friendship and passion for wine, Pablo and I have been making and drinking natural wine under our Multiversum label. We believe in the beauty of nature and isn’t it wonderful when you can enjoy a bottle of wine knowing that you will feel great afterwards? We have been investigating alternative methods and came across conscious organic practices of elaborating wine and finally, the wonderful world of natural wine, made without removing nor adding anything. Just 100% wine and the result is the faithful reflection of the terroir where the wine is born. Similar to the wines our great-grandparents made.
What is natural wine? Natural wine is usually made from grapes that are hand-harvested only, come from organic and biodynamic certified vineyards and throughout the winemaking process, only indigenous wild yeast, no additives, enzymes nor heavy manipulation and minimum sulfur dioxide levels are used. There is absolutely no use of anything artificial, as all the treatments of the soil and the plants are based on natural remedies and we winemakers accompany the grapevine throughout its natural journey.
Making natural wine is the highest expression of a terroir and the vintage tells the story of the climatic circumstances of that year. When we arrived in the vineyard in Biure, the dry Tramontane wind brushed through the vineyard moving the grape vines’ leaves that made a gentle sound. Thick, juicy Merlot grapes were sweating under the Catalonian sun, ripe, full of aromas and tannins, ready to be harvested by us the “natural winemakers”. In Catalonia the most widely planted grape variety is the Garnacha grape, but because of the proximity to France, there are several French varietals that we came across on the journey such as the Merlot grape that we harvested and pressed that day to make delicious Rosé.
With a happy heart I enjoyed my natural winemaker experience and knew this was just the beginning of something beautiful. I was looking forward to continue this amazing journey being one with nature and in conjunction with the multiverse that loves us.