Interview with Ramón Parera from the winery Pardas

This time, we met Ramón Parera, winemaker and oenologist at the Pardas winery. We talked on how the winery was founded and on his philosophy regarding the terroir and his wines. Really interesting!

Pardas winery1.    Can you please explain the origins of the winery? How did everything start?
Pardas is a project that started in the year 1996, when Jordi Arnan, winemaker and agricultural engineer and I, also winemaker and oenologist at the winery, decided to produce the best wines possible in our property, Finca Can Comas, within the municipality of Torrelavit, in the D.O. Penedes.
Therefore, we are not investors in the world of wine; we are winemakers and we produce wine and Pardas is a project based on our own vineyards grown by ourselves.
We conduct a strictly unirrigated vine growing. We do not work the land or use fertilizers in our vineyards. No synthesis products, herbicides or insecticides are used. We do not conduct an organic or a biodynamic agriculture; we have our own working methods and we use ideas from both disciplines according to what we consider more interesting.

2.    Which is your flagship wine? What are you working at now and what future projects do you have?
Without any doubt, the Aspriu range as it is fomed of terroir wines.
White Aspriu: A Xarel.lo varietal wine made of grapes from “La Lola”, a 1.2 ha property oriented to the South. The vines are very old. We do not even know their age.
Red Aspriu, like Pardas Aspriu Criança 2007: made of grapes from “La Barraca”: a 2.5 ha property with clay and gravel soils oriented to the North.
Aspriu is only produced in good vintages, and therefore, when it is released to the market is because we are very much sure of its potential.

3.    In your winemaking procedures, which are your winery’s differentiating elements with regard to others?
Our grapes are manually harvested in 20 kg crates. They are strictly selected in the vineyard and, in case of doubt, a double selection is conducted in the winery in the selection table.
One of our winery’s most important assets is our hundred-year-old concrete deposits, which have been kept and restored. They allow introducing the grapes by gravity with no mechanic means. They also allow big extractions as their 0.5 m walls provide a perfect temperature for macerations.
The work in the winery is basic, with a low intervention. We think that this is the way of reflecting the terroir and the climate at its utmost expression in the wine taste.
We want to vindicate the job of the cellarman. At our winery, the works that can be conducted by persons will always be carried out by persons, never by machines. This is the way we personalise all our processes.

4.    Wine culture is in constant evolution. What should a winery do to adapt to these changes and to stay alive in the market?
Lifelong learning. However, the instinct and following your own way is also very important. It is a personal and untransferable way of working.
Our winery is a small one and we cannot listen to the market. We have to produce personal wines and, in this way, I am sure that the market will react positively to them.

5.    What do you think of the situation of the Spanish wine culture in the international market? What is the position of the Spanish market?
When the intention is to sell wine around the world, one realises the relevance of the most traditional wine regions in Europe: France, Italy and Germany, mainly. For many consumers, Catalonia and thus Spain, is conceived of as an emerging country, with a short tradition.
We still have a long way in front of us.

6.    And in the case of your winery, do you bet for the international market? Is it easier than struggling for the national market at the moment?
We sell our wine in Catalonia and all over the world. However we are committed to exports and we do not sell that much in Spain.

Define yourself. 5 quick questions that will help us know you better:

1.    What do you prefer: red, white, rosé wine, cava or champagne?
Absolutely all kinds and colours. It depends on the moment, the person with who the wine will be shared, etc.
2.   Which is your favourite designation of origin?
Bourgogne
3.    What is your favourite grape variety?
Speaking on varieties is being a few sandwiches short of a packed lunch. In many occasions, the variety is only a vector to reflect the climate and the terroir.
4.   A young or an aged wine?
Never a young one. A good wine, with or without ageing in barrels. The barrels are used to help the wine express itself to the full, not to provide the wine with the barrel’s flavour.
5.   An oenologist whose wines are a must.
Josep Queralt, from Heretat Montrubí. He is producing wines with the variety Sumoll at center stage. He has got to produce unique, very particular wines, with a high varietal character, out of this variety.

And to end up, just three wine or cava recommendations, under 10 euro, under 30 euro and under 50 euro.

Under 10 €
Pedradura de Ràfols del Caus

Under 30 €
Recaredo Brut de Bruts Brut Nature 2002

Under 50 €
Gaintus de Heretat Montrubé

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