There are not many projects focused on wine without an economic purpose, but La Vinya del Vuit is one of them. A project of a group of friends with a vineyard as their link, and a perfect excuse to enjoy good food and wine.
20 years have gone by since the first Vuit vintage, and a few more since, during a dinner between René and his cousin, the idea of making a wine with some friends came out, 8 friends in particular, because it was a magic number, and they liked it. And they found the friends and the vineyard, a vineyard near Gratallops, in the Coll de Falset. It was a centenarian vineyard with very old Carinyena and Garnatxa that needed a lot of work to be recovered. And it was them who did it, these 8 people, at the weekends, during their free time, with a lot of effort.
A very costly project, an organic viticulture project, minimum intervention philosophy. Vineyards with a production of 100 g per plant, which means that between 8 and 10 vines are needed for each bottle of wine. “Furthermore, it is a very hot and dry area, in which we do not dare not to plant 100% vegetable cover, so we also go to work the crop with the cultivator/tiller that we do not have and that we need to rent” tells us René Barbier when he explains the project. A very special vineyard, a vineyard of high heritage value. A very concentrated wine, a wine mostly made with Carinyena, although there are many Garnatxa grapes in the vineyard. And the Carinyena is more demanding, it needs time and patience. It is a long-ageing wine, aged between 16 and 18 months in a 300-l barrel, but it is fully aged in concrete and demijohn, and then it ages in the cellar inside a bottle for 5 years. An old, aged and nice Carinyena.
From the beginning, we knew that we wanted a different image every year. We wanted the design to be a very important part of the wine. Inspired by the project Sine qua non, the label and all the graphic part of the wine are very important. Designed by Joanji and his studio, JJBertran, it was the designer’s first project, when he was starting, and it has always been especially important for him. It is so important that, under the guidelines of a theme established by the members and the vintage, he has full freedom to offer a risky and modern design. The Vuit labels have won 3 Laus design awards. This year, the 2016 vintage, the anniversary will be celebrated, as could not be otherwise, every 8 years, this time with two labels, double anniversary and the passage of time for the project, a great challenge.
The future… a Vuit white wine. The plot had some white varieties which have been vinified as orange wine in a demijohn only for the members. However, these varieties have eventually been reproduced in a new plantation of 700/800 vines, which also reproduces the idea of Vuit red wine in white wine: Carinyena Blanca and Garnatxa Blanca (and some Picapoll that they have found too).
And finally, a commitment: build a shelter in the state. A place to meet and enjoy, both the members and their friends, and maybe to stay a night there. A place integrated into the vineyard and the olive trees landscape that will allow biodiversity recovery in the middle of the plot. “There is no biodynamics without biodiversity (…). The only way to have significant biodiversity is with multiple cropping and/or having forests in the middle” tells us René. And there, in the Coll de Falset, one of the most cultivated areas in Gratallops, we will find a small paradise rooted in the past.
The members, René Barbier, Julian Basté, Iban Foix, Montse Mateos, Ester Nin, Núria Pérez, Sara Pérez and Philippe Thévenon, receive 12 bottles every vintage for their own enjoyment. The rest is sold mainly in Premieur around the world.