Gatell is a family winery devoted to the making of exclusive cava. We cultivate our vineyards using organic artisanal methods and we select the finest grapes, limiting production to 26,000 bottles per year, to create a sparkling wine 100% fermented in barrel, with long maturing, classified as Brut Nature.
At Mas Gatell the setting, soil and climate are combined with the most complete horticultural knowledge to ensure that the grapes achieve their maximum potential and you can enjoy a sybaritic cava outstanding for sensorial elegance, fine and subtle.
There are documents which mention agricultural activity at Mas Gatell as early as the 16th century (1548), in the hands of Petrus Gatell. Through the centuries the property has belonged to the nobility (Cecília d’Icard), to religious foundations (Monastery of Sant Cugat) and in the 19th and 20th centuries to various families (Joan Gatell, Isidre Roig, Miquel Puig and Marcelí Batet).
The property comprised around 15 hectares of cultivable land, most planted with vines, although there were also sections with carob trees and olives.
The wines made were mostly for sale in bulk and as a base wine for the production of cava in deep ceramic-clad cups which are still preserved today.
Since the end of the 20th century the Jiménez Ruiz family has taken up the reins of Mas Gatell and modernised the property, building an innovative winery and extending the vineyards to 35 hectares with a clear aim: Caring for these grapes with their long history with delicacy and organic methods in order to offer an exquisite cava.
At Gatell we are very proud of what we do and so we tell you all about the process that gives our cava its great quality. The whole process takes place in our premises, where we have the most innovative technology to convert our grapes into a special cava.
The fruit from our best vineyards, hand-picked, arrives at the winery in boxes of 12 Kg to prevent any damage to the skins. The boxes are put into a cold room for 24 hours for cold maceration.
The cold bunches pass over the selection table to be cleared of leaves or where they do not come up to the strict quality controls that we impose, before being put into the pneumatic press.
The press is filled with the whole bunches cold and the air is replaced by food grade CO2. This method of refrigeration and creating an inert atmosphere is used to forestall early oxidation of the must.
The must obtained is piped into tanks where gravity separates solid particles from the liquid by decantation (a cleaning process).
The solid part is stored for later use as natural fertiliser.
All the cleaned must, classified by varieties and vineyards, is put into barrels of toasted French oak from the Allier, with an average 300 litres capacity, for the fermentation process (converting the sugar into alcohol).
The barrels are housed in a temperature-controlled room at 14ºC for at least 7 months, depending on the style of cava. During this time the must develops into a base wine for cava and acquires secondary aromas from the nuances produced by tannins in the wood. Also, due to the micro-oxygenation which occurs through minute pores in the barrel, the wine acquires a capacity for ageing, an essential quality for making long-matured cava like ours.
Using barrels for the fermentation makes the process more expensive but enhances the sensory qualities of the wine and gives it very special characteristics. At Gatell we are proud to be one of the few wineries in the world where 100% of the production is fermented using this technique.
To optimise the properties given to the wine by the wood we use batonnage. This technique, applied after the 1st fermentation has finished, consists of stirring the lees inside the barrels every day in order to obtain an increased volume of the glyceric compounds which give smoothness in the mouth. It also frees mannose chains which form mannoproteins. These are polysaccharides which combine with the tannins, generally bitter, astringent and tart, converting them into fatter, silkier and sweeter nuances for the senses.
The process ends when fruit and wood reach the balance expected for a great wine. All this is supervised by oenologists Marta Ferré and Joan Rabadá who have more than 70 grape harvests behind them.
The wine is now transferred into stainless steel tanks where the ensemble or coupage takes place. Through oenology and exhaustive tasting good wines of different varieties are mixed together to produce another wine with even finer qualities. Then the mixture is bottled and yeasts are added with their nutrients, organic cane sugar.
It is these yeasts that transform the wine into cava through the second fermentation process.
The second fermentation takes place in cellars at a depth of 14 metres (which means that the natural temperature is 16 degrees throughout the year). The constant low temperature causes slow fermentation in which the CO2 generated remains in the bottle in the form of fine bubbles, well integrated and slow in release.
Although the process usually lasts for just a few weeks, the bottles rest in the silence and darkness of the cellars for at least 30 months with their lees, a time of maturing which our oenologists consider enough for the cava to obtain excellently integrated tertiary aromas or bouquet.
Having reached this point the sediments left by the yeasts (lees) need to be removed. This is done by riddling, gradually turning the bottles until they are vertically upside down, the lees being then deposited in the neck ready to be removed by disgorgement. This process involves freezing the neck of the bottle so that the remains of the yeasts can be expelled in the form of a plug of ice.
Now it only remains to top up the bottle with the dosage, prepared on the basis of the same wine and with sulphites (to prevent oxidation in the cava), insert the cork and finish the presentation with elegance according to the style of cava it contains. Following a philosophy based on purity of flavour we do not sweeten any of our cavas with sugar (Brut Nature).
At Mas Gatell we cultivate 35 hectares of vineyards with the different varieties native to the Penedés area.
White varieties: Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Malvasía.
Black varieties: Garnacha, Monastrell and Pinot Noir.
Ecology and individualization
Our vines are treated with strictly organic methods, no herbicides or pesticides are used, only organic fertilisers of natural origin which permit adequate biotic and environmental control.
True to the artisanal philosophy of yesteryear, we care for the growth and quality of the vineyards through personal attention to the vines, guaranteeing an optimum degree of ripeness in the grapes. For this task there are no reliable formulas, so we have to interpret and adapt to the characteristics of each vintage, according to the potential of the different varieties.
During the last phase of ripening we increase our vigilance and regularly analyse the pH and degrees of sugar and acidity to determine the optimum moment for picking. When this moment comes the finest bunches of grapes are selected and hand-picked to be sent to the winery, where we make them into a high quality cava.
The Mas Gatell property is situated in an area of foothills in the Catalan Coastal range, to the south of the Macizo de Bonastre and between the plains of Alt Camp and the Baix Penedès.
The subsoil in our vineyards is made up of multi-coloured clays with interbedded carbonates (limestone and dolomite), formed some 220 million years ago (Upper Triassic geological period) in an environment emerging from but close to the sea, consisting of a great alluvial plain dotted with lakes and marshy areas.
The subsoil shapes a landscape of very varied colours, such as yellowish ochre, whitish grey, greenish grey and purplish red.
Depending on the colour we can see what position the land occupied in the past:
The reddish clays were exposed to the air more or less permanently. Those of ochre, grey and greenish tones were below a layer of water carpeting the floors of small and ephemeral lakes.
The carbonates present indicate that the little lakes evolved at some point in geological history to become more developed lakes. That these lakes contained life is evidenced by the presence of bioturbation (tubes of small diameter and varying length excavated in the sediment by living organisms).
The evaporate crystals composing the carbonates were formed by the evaporation of water rich in solutes and their subsequent precipitation. This phenomenon suggests that the climate during the sedimentation of the subsoil material at Mas Gatell went through stages of extreme aridity.
The prehistoric heritage of the subsoil provides our grapes with an exceptional cultivation medium in which the minerals deposited in the land through millennia combine to perfection with environment and climate in this part of the Mediterranean.
Mas Gatell, lying between the municipal districts of Bonastre and Vespella de Gaià, is bounded by extensive woods of Aleppo pine and just a few kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. This gives the property a sunny microclimate, mild and a bit windy, ideal for growing vines. The area has average annual rainfall of 450 L/m2 and 3,000 hours of light, with an average temperature of 15.5ºC.
The climate acts in a unique way year after year, producing differentiating nuances in the grapes each season and, consequently, making the cava a liquid summary of what has happened in our particular microclimate. For this reason we do not water our vines and we allow the weather to give our cavas their own special characteristics. If nature is not always the same, why should wine have to be so?
The contours of the property are typified by natural slopes with gentle hillsides predominating, a beneficial factor in taking the best advantage of sunlight during the day. The slopes also help in draining rainwater so that it does not accumulate in the subsoil where it would be detrimental to the roots of the vines.
True followers of organic agriculture, we believe that balance in the ecosystem is fundamental to preserving biodiversity and establishing a symbiotic relation between nature and quality grapes. That is why we care for the land with devotion, craftsmanship and environmental knowledge, since a wine could not embody the essence of the land if we did not look after and respect the landscape itself.
Our reward comes with the harvest, when the vines reward our dedication and care with bunches of grapes which excel in their maximum potential.
|Varieties||Xarel·lo, Macabeo, Parellada and Malvasia|
|Alcohol by vol.||12%|
|Free sulphur||17 mg/l|
|Total sulphur||84 mg/l|
|Volatile acidity||0.27 g/l|
|Total acidity||4.6 g/l H2SO4|
Bubbles: Very fine, abundant forming a persistent crown.
Colour: Golden yellow.
Aroma: Orange blossom, honey and chamomile, nuts, spicy, creamy, toasted, sweet spices, ripe fruit, brioche.
Mouth: Tasty, toasted, creamy, fine bitterness.
|Varieties||Macabeo, Xarel•lo and Parellada|
|Alcohol by vol.||12%|
|Free sulphur||18 mg/l|
|Total sulphur||85 mg/l|
|Volatile acidity||0.25 g/l|
|Total acidity||4.7 g/l H2SO4|
Bubbles: Fine, abundant forming a persistent crown.
Colour: Pale yellow with greenish hues.
Aroma: Citrus fruits (lemon and grapefruit), tropical fruits (lychee and pineapple), ripe, balanced fruit, dried herbs; In the end, the vanilla and the roasting of the wood that reminds the coffee with balsamic aromas of fresh mint.
Mouth: Good acidity, tasty, ripe, long fruit.
|Varieties||Garnacha and Pinot Noir|
|Alcohol by vol.||11,5%|
|Free sulphur||19 mg/l|
|Total sulphur||86 mg/l|
|Volatile acidity||0.30 g/l|
|Total acidity||4.8 g/l H2SO4|
Bubbles: Fine and abundant forming a persistent rosary.
Colour: Coppery, pale onion with violet hues.
Aroma: Dressing herbs, ripe fruit, nuts.
Mouth: Fresh, tasty, fruity, powerful, with slight acidity and fine bitterness.
FINCA MAS GATELL
43884 - Bonastre
Ctra. T-202, Km 10,5 (entre La Nou de Gaiá y Salomó)
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