In the tremendous effervescence that reigns in the vineyards of Spain and particularly of Catalonia, a new generation of winegrowers has given themselves the task of reconnecting with traditional viticulture – native grape varieties, no chemical treatments – for lively and authentic wines. In Haut-Penedès, Amós Bañeres is an example of this boom in natural wines in Catalonia, both with its Vinya Oculta estate and with the Els Vinyerons project carried out alongside Alex Ruiz.
While he was a pharmacist, Amós Bañeres decided in 2011 to invest in the small family vineyard, in Sant Martí Sarroca in Haut-Penedès, in Catalonia. A few vines of autochthonous grape varieties on clay-limestone soil – Macabeu, Xarel.lo – and above all a strong desire to produce totally natural, terroir-driven wines: he opts for permaculture (plant cover of the soil, minimum doses of sulfur and copper) and practice of vinification with indigenous yeasts, without inputs, in vats or in barrels depending on the case. Small estate, small production, but great wines – such as the Missatge en una Ampolla cuvée – where complexity meets great drinkability. It is the same “philosophy” that inspired the Els Vinyerons project in 2015 with Alex Ruiz, winemaker on his family's estate – whose specialty is cava –, but driven by the same desire to embark on the adventure of authentic and natural wines – such as the Saltamartí cuvée –, highly drinkable… and moderately priced. A partnership for the best.