Anna is the last in a long line of farmers from the Empordà region –the Espelt family– who have long farmed an area of light soils that can only be used for the cultivation of vineyards and olive groves.
She began her career studying biology and oenology, travelling to see how wine is made elsewhere in the world, and getting herself an MBA. The Espelts have always been involved in growing grapes, so when Anna started working, she naturally ended up in the vineyard and got involved in viticulture. Five years ago she took over the management of the firm.
For Anna, the vines and winegrowing are a way of life, but one in which things happen slowly. There is only one harvest every year, and any decisions made will not necessarily produce a result for years to come. One of her priorities at the head of the firm has been a project to rediscover the best local terrain, where the right combination of soil and climate can ensure the highest quality grapes. A lot of these soils have often been lost over the years but recovering them means the resulting wines will be among the best that Empordà can offer.
Anna has also introduced organic winegrowing on the estate, and it now accounts for 80 hectares of the almost 200 that they under cultivation. Respect for the land is thus at the heart of Anna’s work, while the winery works to extol the virtues of local grape varieties that had been neglected for many years:
1. Compost samples: We need these so as to choose which will be used to fertilise the vineyards.
2. Pruning shears: This tool is essential for cutting back the vines when they are still green, for example.
3. Cutting: This is a sample taken from last winter’s pruning of the vines.
4. Speakers: Music is essential for inspiration!
5. Wine samples: These are taken from different tanks and barrels for testing.
6. Glasses: These are what we use for trying out the different blends
7. Corkscrew: We wouldn’t get far without one.
8. Spitoon: This makes sure things don’t get too heady while tasting the wines.
9. Decanter: It always better to aerate the wine, which allows it to acquire its true taste.
10. Pipette: This used for taking samples from the barrels.
11. Cork sample: We only use top quality cork.
12. Sculptures of Catalan chefs: They include Fermí Puig, the Roca brothers, Juli Soler, Ferran Adrià and Sergi Arola.
- Catalonia Today 04-06-2017 Pàgina 16