' ABOUT US - Alta Alella

ABOUT US

HISTORY

historia

Appellation D.O. Alella

Since Roman times, as early as the 3rd century BC, Alella has had a long tradition of winemaking.
Controlled by the families of Barcino– Barcelona’s Roman name– Alella wines continued to be in demand and in the Middle Ages became the official purveyors of wine to the Crown of Aragon.
In the late 19th century up until the mid 20th century, the wines of Alella became the preferred still and sparkling wines of Barcelona upper classes and were widely exported to the Americas. However, in the late 19th century this period of splendor and expansion was interrupted by the spread of phylloxera.
Given the success of Alella’s wine-making, other wine-producing regions began to use the name. To protect D.O. Alella, in 1953 strict rules controlling the use of appellation D.O. Alella were drawn up.

Alta Alella

Alta Alella is the culmination of a family business project that started in the early 1990’s. Wine entrepreneur and enologist Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets and his wife Cristina Guillén enthusiastically began this winemaking adventure after purchasing the art-deco Can Genis Estate, located in the agricultural part of Serralada de Marina Natural Park between the towns of Alella and Tiana.
In 1991, Alta Alella planted its first vines alongside the other traditional variety of Alella, Pansa Blanca (Xarel·lo), followed by a diversity of grape varieties, including  the long forgotten Mataró grape which had not been cultivated since the phylloxera epidemic. During the 1990’s the winery and the laboratory were built and the main house was renovated.
After a period of ten years, in 2001, Alta Alella was about to produce its first still wines, the fruitful result of the 6 hectares distributed over terraces and slopes. Currently, in the DO Alella, Alta Alella has 25 hectares situated at an altitude of 100-250m above sea level.
Since the undertaking the entire production of Alta Alella has been based on certified organic farming because we are conscious of preserving the biodiversity of the surrounding Natural Park. In our winery we seek to maintain the balance of the agricultural ecosystem in order to respect the fauna and flora of the area. The EU “Certified Organic” legislation excludes all treatments with pesticides and herbicides. Therefore, many of the techniques used are as ancient as winemaking itself. The harvest is carried out manually — the grapes are carefully selected– over a period of about two months. We seek the optimal time to harvest each variety with an expert and rigorous control of maturation.
Today, Alta Alella has evolved into a highly mature vineyard and as a prestigious brand. The newly-built Visitor Center where wine lovers have a chance to discover Alta Alella’s privileged location while tasting the still and sparkling wines – the result of an artisan elaboration of maximum expression. This beautiful site is overlooking the magnificent view of the Mediterranean Sea.

The next generation of Alta Alella is insured by the founders’ two daughters: Mireia, Biologist, Master’s degree in Organic Agriculture and Sommelier, and Georgina, Pharmacist and Master’s degree in Nutrition and Public Health.

VINEYARDS

vinyes
The property has been declared and certified organic from the very beginning where herbicides, pesticides or insecticides are not used.

The estate is just two kilometres away from the Mediterranean Sea and the vineyards are planted on slopes and terraces between 100 and 250m above sea level. The vineyards are grown on Sauló soil, one of the most important elements that determine the wines from Alta Alella. Sauló is an acidic and sandy soil with a low limestone content, low organic matter and good natural water drainage.

Each variety has been planted according to the orientation of the plot. The slopes facing south are planted with varieties destined for sweet and red wines, requiring a higher degree of ripeness; whilst the slopes facing the north give aromatic and floral wines, which is ideal for cavas and white wines.

Currently, Alta Alella controls 60 productive hectares within the DO Alella and DO Cava.

  • 18 hectares of Pansa Blanca (Xarel·lo)
  • 8 hectares of Macabeu
  • 7 hectares of Chardonnay
  • 6 hectares of Parellada
  • 5 hectares of Mataró
  • 5 hectare of Garnatxa Negra
  • 4 hectares of Syrah & PS
  • 4 hectares of Pinot Noir
  • 1 hectare of Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 0,5 hectare of Pansa Rosada
  • 0,5 hectare of experimental varieties

CELLAR – Alta Alella · Mirgin

celler

The cellar is specifically designed for microvinifications. The small size of the tanks enable each parcel of land to be fermented separately, thus allowing us to wait until the moment of peak ripeness for each variety and for each plot. All wines are fermented under strict temperature control in stainless steel tanks or new French or American oak barrels.

Whenever possible, the wine is moved by gravity rather than pumps even during maceration when the wine is regularly pumped over the floating skins. This is achieved by drawing off the wine into a stainless steel basin and with the help of a forklift truck it’s poured back over the floating skins. Moreover, the maceration is done by using the technique known as submerged skins, whereby the grape skins or chapeau– which usually float to the top of a fermenting vat– are artificially kept below the surface of the wine to favor extraction.

The length of maceration varies according to each wine and grape variety but is usually between three to four weeks. Malolactic fermentation for reds is done in oak barrels, a process which requires a little extra care, but offers significant advantages in fixing color and polyphenols in the wine. The whites and base wines for cavas do not undergo malolactic fermentation to maintain optimum freshness.

For our cavas, the base wines are then bottle with additional yeasts and sugar for the second fermentation in the bottle. They are laid in the cellar and left to age between 20 to 60 months before being disgorged.

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