Xavi Pallejà

While it's true that the Spanish (and Catalans) are sometimes overly fond of dramatic rhetoric (and heavy autor bottles), in this case, the terminology is appropriate. Here, towering above the valley of the Siurana river, overlooking the old mining town of Bellmunt de Priorat, Xavi Pallejà's mountain vineyards are incredibly steep, remote, forbidding. It takes the most powerful and rugged 4WD imaginable to surmount them. Handling fruit during harvest is unthinkably difficult. Xavi has 7 hectares planted at up to 450m altitude on a 13 hectare estate. There are some bush vines around 70 years old and some 20 year old trellised plantings, all on ancient terrases. The label is the local Boxwood, buxus sempervirans, and serves testimony to long, patient attention to the vineyards.

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