the spanish aquisition

La Vinya del Vuit, D.O.Q Priorat

Vinya del Vuit is a project of Sara, Rene and 6 other young friends from the region. The project commenced in 2001 with the purchase of an outrageously uneconomical old vineyard. It's more than 100 year-old Samsó, planted in 1912, as part of the first wave of Priorat's re-birth after phylloxera. First release was 2002.

In a way, the wine is a statement of generational shift – although now Sara and Rene run their family properties (Mas Martinet and Clos Mogador, respectively – two of the original 'Priorat Five'), back when this idea got up and running they were just starting out ... young, keen and hungry. Along with the other 6 (also local industry "kids" at the time), they purchased Vuit as an entirely neglected - abandoned and overgrown - ancient vineyard. It's south out the back of Clos Mogador and Finca Dofi, on the Cami towards Bellmunt from Gratallops. 

The soil of Vuit is blue-brown llicorella, formed in long-and-wide flat leaves, with fennel and mint growing wild throughout. Farmed ecologically, the vineyard is about 95% very old vine Samsó with a tiny bit of co-picked Garnatxa Blanca scattered through the vineyard. There is also a very small patch (60 vines or so) of extremely old Garnatxa Tinto at the bottom of the vineyard – usually, this barely yields at all! It's a warm, slow-ripening site, facing southwest. Of 1.5 hectares, half now is young plantings massale-selected from the old vineyard. Another 0.5 hectare vineyard north towards la Vilella Baixa is also included, which means that the wine cannot be labelled as a Vi de Vila de Gratallops, as not all the fruit is from the same village. Overall, the yield is so low that it takes 10 vines to make a bottle of wine. The wine is fermented in open-topped 500 litre barrels and aged in new and older barrels.

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