Since arriving in Spain, Franck Massard was fascinated by the landscape of the Priorat region, where the sites are a contrast between the enigmatic and the fabulous. He began his project in the region in 2004, in the village of El Molar, where he bought a plot with an old friend. After a while they moved to Poboleda, situated at a higher altitude, withthe clear objective of developing a style of more fresh and elegant wine.
The Priorat region is a relatively small wine area, with less than 2,000 hectares being cultivated. But very significant differences were observed in regards to the region's climate, altitude, orography and soils.
The vineyard is located 30 minutes from Tarragona and 18 kilometers from the sea. It is nestled in an amphitheater between 300 and 550 meters above sea level, in one of the coolest areas of Priorat. In the morning, a North wind called Cierzo blows cool and dry and in the mid-afternoon the Garbí wind starts blowing. This comes from the coast and softens the temperature. The synergy of both winds, combined with the altitude at which the vineyard is located, provides a healthy environment. The significant temperature variation between day and night is essential to the development of the grapes as it makes it slower and therefore means the harvest date is later. Thus, the accumulation of aromatic compounds favors a natural freshness and good acidity in the grapes.
The soil is geologically very old. Experts call it Paleozoic bedrock, which is older than 400 million years of age. The Priorat slates are the oldest found in Catalonia. The slate floor or llicorella is characteristic of Priorat, but there is some heterogeneity in soils with more clay areas, as well as granite and limestone. The vineyard has laminated flooring slate, which is very poor in nutrients, little fertile but with good drainage. Yields are low, favoring grapes with small but intense aromas.
The coexistence of species is crucial to promote biodiversity of the landscape. Coexistence and balance between the vine, aromatic herbs such as thyme, rosemary and lavender flowers, fruit trees, almond trees, olive trees and bushes are a benefit to the vineyard and to the wine would bring complementary flavours. It is essential to respect the biodiversity within our viticultural environment. We practice ecological viticulture in all our plots and from the 2014 vintage, our wine Huellas will have the organic certification.
In the vineyard there is a water natural spring rich in minerals that makes us self-sufficient.
In the winery there is minimal intervention to preserve the maximum identity of the grapes, adapting to the natural conditions of each growing cycle. The extraction and ageing of the grapes are performed gently and in different types of deposits, according to the characteristics of each grape variety, to provide sufficient tannin and structure to the wines so as not to mask the particular flavours of the area. We believe that these practices are essential to produce a wine of quality, in harmony with the environment’s identity.
Ageing is needed to complete the process of winemaking. In most cases we use barrels of 500 liters and light toast to input a subtle aromatic wood flavour. We are particularly interested in working with natural and fine materials. Recently, as part of our own investigation project, we have begun experimenting with amphorae which are the same size as are barrels.
T. +34 938 95 65 41