Capçanes, a village hidden away in the Priorato Hills inland from Tarragona, is the source of many fine wines today, but it has a long wine growing history.
Before the arrival of Phylloxera at the turn of the 19th century, the area was very densely planted. After the devastation caused by this insect, only about 20 percent of the original vineyards were replanted, predominantly with Garnacha, the popular grape variety. Some of those vineyards, approaching 100 years old, still exist and are in production, although yields are low.
To compete in the wine market, change was needed. In 1933, five families from the village collaborated to establish a cooperative that would handle large quantities of grapes economically and efficiently. The foundation of the cooperative led to a change in the commercial prospects for Capçanes; suddenly the village could offer large volumes of wine at competitive prices for bulk sales. The cooperative processed the villages production and the wine was sold off in bulk until 1980, when they started to sell their grapes off prior to fermentation. This state of affairs continued until 1998 when the decision was made to process all the village’s grapes at the cooperative.
The real changes had begun in 1995, however. That’s when, in a mirror image of activities just down the road in Priorat D.O., processes were started that recognized the quality of the grapes they were growing. The change came about when the Jewish community of Barcelona asked Capçanes if they could produce a kosher wine. This required the installation of new equipment that allowed the winemakers to identify, isolate and vinify, under controlled “Lo Mebushal” conditions, small parcels of high quality fruit. The ground was laid for production not only of Kosher wine but also limited quantities of a range of fruit driven wines. The Kosher wine was a success and the Capçanes brand, Flor de Primavera, enjoys a reputation among the highest in the world. Nowadays, the total production comes to 800.000 bottles, 200.000 liters of local bulk wine, plus bag in box.
At Capçanes, two winemakers pool their talents. Anna Rovira is the most experienced winemaker in the winery and she manages the vineyard, as well. Jürgen Wagner, having studied at Geisenheim and University of Tarragona, brings his experience to composing and styling the blends.
Continuous development shows that Capçanes not only has the raw material to produce world class wines, but the facilities, and most importantly, the people to achieve it.
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