Terraces and steep slopes of Priorat AOC
Terrace farming is a technique almost as old as agriculture itself, being a fundamental technique for many cultures that lived in the mountains. This kind of ladder on the mountain allows cultivation of steep slopes, maximizing land use, avoiding soil erosion (keeping the nutrients in the soil) and allowing maximum utilization of the water by draining from the upper to lower terraces.
It is possible to find this technique in many places around Europe, mostly developed to cultivate cereals, olives and wine grapes. In the Catalonia region, in an area enclosed by a rugged ring of mountains which form a fascinating landscape, we find the wine denomination of Priorat. Here the grapevines grow on terraces and steep slopes, reminding us of this ancestral practice. With a unique terroir, Priorat is defined by poor soil , composed of quartz and slate, locally called “llicorella” and a range of microclimas induced by mountains, the most notably the Monsant. What does this mean? Poor soil results in low yields and highly extracted grapes, giving wines from this area an exceptional concentration, body and intensity.
Licorella Vitis 60, 2002. This wine, 40%Grenache, 40% Carignan and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in Priorat with selected grapes from grapevines more than 60 years old. The must is macerated with the grape skins for 20 days and each variety is fermented separately. The wine has an attractive and clean ruby color, thick and plentiful legs, sliding down the glass like a symphony of tiny rivulets. On the nose, fresh black berries, cherry and leather. On the palate it has minerals, good structure, and balance. The wine still has fresh notes mixed with robust and velvety tannins. You can enjoy this beautifully aged wine with a full body and mature tannins that retains good freshness and fruitiness.
Ready to drink and enjoy with hard cheese, olives and bread, in the best Mediterranean style!
– Soledad Claveria