In 2004, when René worked with his father in Laurona and they were looking for Garnatxa grapes for the wine, they found grapes from a vineyard located in the village of La Figuera. They made wine with those grapes, and they were amazed by it. Since then, every year René visited the cooperative of La Figuera, and he tried a large amount of their wines. He always found them good, very good!
Thanks to a request of René’s father for a new wine, everything was triggered. The task was transferred to his son, and… everything started. René went to see the members of the cooperative, and he proposed the idea of bottling the wine for free in exchange for some kilos of grapes to make a couple of wines. He also asked them for an estate to work it and make a wine for Venus La Universal (the Venus de la Figuera). The members of the cooperative accepted his proposal.
The first bottling of the Sindicat de la Figuera was carried out thanks to Quim Vila, from Vila Viniteca. The wine from this first bottling was sold to him, and it enabled the design and the printing of the label, and the purchase of bottles and boxes (thanks to the prepayment).
In 2014, it was the first harvest, René and his team got to La Figuera. Cold, rain…., and everything was rotten. Everything was rotten. A small part was rescued for René’s projects, but it was not possible to make the Sindicat de la Figuera. They decided to wait another year because the first year of a project is very important and decisive.
In 2015, the 2nd year, once again, it rained… but they couldn’t wait this time. El Sindicat 2015 was a different wine, a more delicate wine, but a wine which indicates the nature of the village of La Figuera. Vila Viniteca finally received the wine, they started to sell it in Barcelona, and they achieved a spectacular position with it.
The collaboration between René Barbier and the Cooperative of La Figuera continued. René helped the members of the cooperative with the technical part, but the wine was made as usual. In 2014, he observed, and in 2015, there wasn’t any significant change, despite the fact of being a way of working different from the one that he was used to (without selecting, all together in the press…). And little by little, the technique and some vine growing concepts, such as the systemic treatments were polished, and these treatments were minimised too (the use of herbicide was eliminated, and the consequence was the vegetation cover, which was so necessary)
And the potential of La Figuera is very big (in both, space and typicality), but the members of the cooperative don’t see any future in this village. The surprise arrived in the shape of an offer from the Cooperative to Venus La Universal to replace them in the project. The cooperative members will still be involved in the grapes part, but the administrative and technical management will be transferred to Venus. A new challenge accepted with excitement and a great renewed enthusiasm.
La Figuera is one the most special areas in Priorat, because it only works a single grape variety, the Garnatxa Negra, and all the possible wine profiles (from the cheapest one to the Grand Cru). It has a common and recognisable style, and especially the height, which gives us a wine with a low profile, and which is very delicate and has a marked acidity.
Sindicat de la Figuera is a renewed old project with a willingness to continue to exist and grow in order to go very far.