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Mas Igneus, Spain – Josep Maria Albet and Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets

April 17, 2012

HISTORY: Mas Igneus was founded in 1996, the result of a joint venture between Josep Maria Albet, Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets and initially the Poboleda Cooperative. In 2004, the cooperative left the society and Mas Igneus, together with a group of committed organic farmers from Poboleda and Porrera, moved to its new and definitive home in a purpose built cellar at their Costers de l’Ermita estate just outside Gratallops.

The vineyards, the wines, the Mas Igneus cellar and the vineyards of our associated growers are all certified organic by the Consell Català de la Producció Agrària de Catalunya  and BIO INSPECTA (Delinat – Switzerland) – entities that ensure adherence to the strictest international organic regulations. Mas Igneus was the first organically certified winery in Priorat, and continues to be at the forefront of organic production.

CELLAR: Our award winning cellar, designed by Alfons Soldevila, is located just outside the village of Gratallops in the heart of the Priorat. It was completed in time to vinify the 2004 vintage and formally openend in Spring 2005.It is specifically designed to be able to vinify each small parcel separately, allowing us to wait until the moment of peak ripeness for each grape variety and plot. This is especially important as we have estates in three different villages within the D.O. and the ideal ripening points of each parcel of the same variety rarely coincide.

Wherever possible, the wine is moved by gravity rather than pumps. Even during macerations when the wine is regularly pumped over the skins, this is achieved by drawing wine off into a stainless steel basin, and with the help of a forklift truck, poured back over the skins. Moreover, the macerations are done using a technique known as “submerged skins” whereby the grape skins or châpeau, which usually float to the top of a fermenting vat, are artificially kept below the surface of the wine to favour extraction and keep volatile elements to a minimum.

After fermentation, the wine is ready to be transferred to French oak barrels that give the different Mas Igneus wines their names: the red FA206, and the white FA104. FA refers to Fusta Allier, Catalan for “Allier Wood” whilst the numbers refer to the age of the barrel, and the months spent in it. Hence 104 are 1st year barrels, with the wine 04 months in oak. The FA206 spends 06 months in 2nd year barrels.

In the case of the top of the range Costers de Mas Igneus and the FA112, malolactic fermentation is done in new oak barrels in which the wine ages. At the end of the ageing process, the wines are bottled unfined, and with only a very light filtering.

VINEYARDS: At Mas Igneus, we currently have 3 estates: Costers de l’Ermita in Gratallops (where the cellar is located), Finca Comellars in Poboleda and Finca La Salanca in Torroja, all together 11 hectares of vineyards. We also work with a small group of committed organic growers in Poboleda. The most widely planted varieties are Garnatxa Negra and Carinyena, although we also have some newer plantations of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. For our white wines we have Garnatxa Blanca and Moscatell at our own estates, and Pedro Ximenes and Macabeu at our growers’ estates in Poboleda.

The Priorat’s soils and climate, make it an ideal candidate for organic viticulture: The low rainfall (approximately 350 mm per annum), low humitidy, high temperatures and good ventilation makes fungal deseases very rare. As a result it is very unusual the need of using any copper based treatments, leaving the use of powdered sulphur as the main vineyard treatment. The Totrix Moth, whose larva penetrate the grapes and can cause rot, is treated with bacillus thuringiensis.

website: www.masigneus.com

 

 

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