For eight generations, the Espelt family has been renowned grape growers, not vintners, in the Empordà wine region, located in northeastern Catalonia, bounded by the Pyrenees to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. This changed in 2000, when Lluís and Quimeta Espelt constructed a large, state-of-the-art winery in their village and began making their own wine, rather than supplying grapes to others. Though relatively new to winemaking, Espelt produces wines that have drawn frequent acclaim from esteemed wine critics. Anna, their grandaughter and a trained biologist, brought a fresh, international perspective to their award-winning vintages, which is also reflected in their fine red and white wine vinegars.
Having studied habitat restoration and organic farming, Anna has always sought to bring her values in line with the farming practices at her family’s estate. She focuses on growing native varieties from the Mediterranean and the Empordá: Grenache (Lledoner Blanc, Lledoner Negre, Lledoner Gris), Carinyena (Carignan), Monastrell (Mourvedre), Syrah, Macabeo (Viura), and Moscatel (Muscat). Preservation of biodiversity and regeneration of soils are her main objective, and why she practices organic, sustainable, and respectful viticulture. Through her work, Anna is paying tribute to the thousands of years of interaction between her ancestors and the land they’ve inhabited.
The Tramuntana—the most powerful wind in the region—greatly influences the landscape, wine, and people of the Empordà alike. It accentuates the extreme landscapes, and, as the Espelt family says, has given them all a passionate and restless character. Their philosophy is that one brings out the best in wine by respecting nature´s balance and ecosystem, so they never interfere more than is necessary, instead choosing to let the grapes speak, expressing their character, poetry and quality.
Espelt's Garnatxa red wine and Moscatell white wine are aged in French oak barrels for 12 months, transformed into fine vinegars, and blended with concentrated grape must.