Give cava and champagne Brut Reserva. Winery: Raventós i Blanc. VT Conca del Riu Anoia. (Catalonia) Variety: Monastrell, Xarel·lo, Macabeo and Parellada.
Since 1872, when Josep Raventós Fatjó made the first sparkling wine from a second fermentation in the bottle, all generations have been dedicated to the cultivation of vines and the production of sparkling wines. To give meaning to this winery and this farm, we must go back to Josep María Raventós i Blanc, son of Manuel Raventós i Fatjó and Montserrat Blanc i Tintoré, the eldest of six brothers and therefore, the "hereu" (meaning heir in Catalan) of Can Codorníu.
In 1946 he married Isabel Negra i Valls, and a year later they welcomed their son, Manuel Raventós i Negra, the new heir of Can Codorníu.
Josep María Raventós' history in Codorníu is quite long and rather intense. He held the management position in Codorníu and, in his effort to attain quality, and as a winegrower and heir of Can Codorníu, he largely contributed to the integration between the winegrower and the producer of wines and cavas. He was convinced that without quality grapes there would be no excellent cava. And without profitable winegrowing, there is no investment, no new vines, no quality and no future.
This tension at work linked to a long line of family problems, caused him to have a heart attack in 1966. After his swift recovery, at the end of the 1960s he received a proposal from Mr. Torcuato Fernández Miranda; he was asked to chair the Branch in Barcelona. After the Board of Codorníu had decided that such position was not compatible with the management of Codorníu, Josep María resigned as the Chair of the Branch. However, in 1970 bad news struck again: the board of Codorníu decided to prohibit the addition of the children of the managers to the company. In this case, Josep María sees a clear intention to cut back with the "línea de l'hereu" (literally meaning "the line of the heir" in Catalan).
His father, Manuel, died in 1977. From this time on, the situation at Codorníu becomes more difficult and intense, until on June 30 of 1982 he is invited to waiver his powers as the Manager of Codorníu S.A. However, this fact did not make him leave the family house, nor the farm Can Codorníu. He then presented himself, individually, as a candidate for the chairmanship of the Cava Regulating Council, and he is elected as the chairman.
From this moment, he dedicates almost his entire activity to the cava industry and to fight for D.O. Cava. In April 1985, with his son Manuel, he concluded the feasibility study for the construction of new cavas in the farm, and on March 4 of 1986 he founded the company Josep María Raventós i Blanc, S.A.
The farm Raventós i Blanc, with 90 hectares of woodland and vines, located in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, belonging to the Raventós family since 1497, has remained undivided, from generation to generation until the present days, thanks to the Civil Code of Catalonia, where the heir is the person appointed to receive an inheritance. This Catalan institution, which grants the family properties to the eldest son, or heir, arises in the Middle Ages from the need to avoid the division of the family heritage and to maintain the family economy, which was back then based on agriculture. Josep María Raventós passed away in 1986, and that same year, a new cava with his name was born: cava Josep María Raventós i Blanc, now called Raventós i Blanc.
History of the winery
In 1986, Josep María Raventós i Blanc and his son, Manuel Raventós i Negre, founded the winery Raventós i Blanc. They create the architecture of the winery around the famous century-old family oak tree that presides Can Codorníu, which they also use as their symbol and logo. This way, they represent their faithful commitment to the land and the loyalty to ideas they have been perfecting for more than 500 years.
The winery's architecture is innovative and blends in with the functional design of the winery, the oak tree, the vineyards, and the ecosystem of the Serral. The entire design of the building was performed by architects Jaume Bach and Gabriel Mora (FAD architecture award 1989), and it is conceived to combine functionality and aesthetics.
After the death of his father, Manuel Raventós i Negre became the chair and oenologist of Raventós i Blanc, and the heir of Codorníu, as he is the eldest of 11 children. He was born and raised in the farmhouse of Can Codorníu, in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. He is an Agricultural Engineer, specialising in Agricultural Industries by the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and graduate in Oenology by the Higher Council for Scientific Research.
The early stages of the winery were accompanied by great sadness, but they were also filled with excitement and enthusiasm. With the support of his mother, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and friends, he managed to release on the market the first coupage of his creator: cava Josep María Raventós i Blanc. IN the 90s he created the first cava of the farm: Raventós i Blanc.
During the 90s, he had to make a great effort to keep the winery running. The difficult financial situation and internal problems forced Manuel to sell the property that Raventós i Blanc had in Bordeaux, Chateau d'Aiguille, as well as the family house at Can Codorníu, which belonged to him as the heir of the Raventós family. Today, he continues to lead this winery, loyal to his own ideas, travelling around Spain and the world, doing tastings and preparing each new vintage with the same enthusiasm as with his first coupage.
Currently, and since 2001, the son of Manuel Raventós, Pepe Raventós, joined Raventós i Blanc taking on the position of manager, oenologist and winegrower.
Pepe is passionate about the wine industry and winegrowing. Since very young, he is linked to the world of cava, but he also shared work hours on the lands in Saint Emilion, learning how to make red wines. He became an oenologist at the Complutense University of Madrid. He gained experience in the preparation of terroir wines working with Didier Dagenau in Pully Fume, Olivier Lamy in Saint Aubin, Herald Hexamer in Nahe, and Phillippe Blanc in Alsace.
In 2012, Pepe Raventós decided that Raventós i Blanc must leave the D.O. Cava to start a new journey, Conca del Riu Anoia, the name of a small geographical area that will help them transmit and know more about the winemaking tradition, the strength of this land, the characteristics of the grapes and of the soils, to create sparkling and still wines, with the personality of the farm and the terroir. From this moment, Raventós i Blanc starts its own journey to praise its own terroir, without official designations that support it, even keeping labels with the geographical location "Conca del Riu Anoia", a new sub-area inside D.O. Penedès.
Raventós i Blanc's philosophy is to respect the balance of each plot to the maximum extent, with the obsession of "understanding" it to achieve its best expression. Therefore, according to its different soils and microclimates, the farm is divided into 46 plots and 5 large areas.
La Plana, el Llac, Clos del Serral and Barbera, are destined to sparkling wines, while the area of el Serral, is for still wines. The pillars of Raventós i Blanc's current philosophy are the organic and biodynamic cultivation, the exclusive use of local varieties, working with at least 80% of their own vines within the valley of Anoia, making all of their own wines and exclusive production of vintage wines. And in the case of sparkling wines, they are aged for a minimum of 18 months.
Also other factors like pruning with the number of buds, "green tasks" such as suckering, deleafing, removing lateral shoots or the vegetation covers, which are subject to study each year. They do not use herbicides, and the land is tilled or vegetation covers are left to grown, depending on the possibilities of the plot.
Since 2007, they are registered in the Catalan Council of Integrated Production. From this moment they started using pheromones to control moths. They also have a system for the recovery of rainwater to feed the lake that waters the woods and pastures, taking part in the microclimate and multiplying the farm's biodiversity. To maintain the woods of Serral, they have also recovered the agricultural philosophy of combining the agricultural cultivation and the livestock activity, incorporating local cows from the Alberas, as well as sheep that graze the vegetation cover in the winter months.
Wines from the winery Raventós i Blanc
We must remember that, in all its winegrowing process, Raventós i Blanc. Applies biodynamics. Also, both sparkling and still wines are always marketed with the vintage, so the percentage of mixes and origin of the plots may vary considerably from one vintage to another.
The current range of sparkling wines by Raventós i Blanc kicks off with two basic labels that come from the youngest vines of the farm: L’Hereu, its premier sparkling wine, with a classic coupage of Maccabeu as a structural base, Xarello and Parellada, and 18 months of ageing; and De Nit Rosé, which is born from a selection of Maccabeu, Xarello and Parellada plots, with a touch of Monastrell that gives it personality and colour, with 18 months of ageing in stacks.
These are followed by Textures de Pedra, which is born from a selection of plots of Xarello and Bastard Negre from the highest vineyard area of the farm, located at the top of the mountain Turó del Serral, with a touch of Sumoll and Parellada, and a minimum ageing of 42 months in stacks.
Raventós i Blanc de La Finca is a sparkling wine aged for 3 years that comes from a historic vineyard. It has a selection of 8 plots from Vinya dels Fòssils, located on the sloping terraces of the river Anoia, facing north and north-east, between the woods of Serral and the lake, where we can find the coolest temperatures throughout the entire growth cycle.
The collection of sparkling wines ends with Manuel Raventós, with a minimum ageing of 72 months and the personal selection of the best wines of the vintage by Manuel Raventós. There is a selection of Xarello from the vineyard El Clos, which faces north, and with the coolest and most humid mesoclimate of the farm, which causes very slow ripening. Xarello is accompanied by Parellada from La Creueta, planted on sandy soils, and Maccabeu from Vinya dels Fòssils, the lowest plot of the farm, which provides freshness and a certain minerality.
Since a few years, they also market old vintages under the label Enoteca Personal Manuel Raventós, where each vintage has a unique and different coupage chosen personally by its creator, always with a very limited production.
The range of Raventós i Blanc wines, which has also been restructured recently, has mainly focused on Xarello whites, with the new version with reduced sulphur dioxide launched in 2015.
Their white Extrem is a natural wine made from 100% extremely authentic Xarello, which reflects the extremes of the terroir of the farm Viña del Serral, divided into several plots from where the collect Xarello with distinctive features. An intense work process takes place on its lees, which give them a longer life, more volume in the mouth, and they protect the wine from oxidation. This means they can work with a reduced amount of added sulphur dioxide.
It is followed by their traditionalSilencis, a white wine made from Xarello, acid and with an increased salty expression, given by soils with marine fossils from the Miocene and 50-year-old vines. This wine has been produced on its lees and bottled without stabilising nor filtering.
Raventós i Blanc produces other young still wines. Like Perfum de Vi Blanc, an easy to drink white made with Maccabeu (60%) and Muscatel (40%). The first one provides freshness and vibrancy, while Muscatel gives it a subtle aromatic profile with strong notes of vine blossom and a hint of table grape flavour.
And La Rosa, a new generation pale rosé, produced with Pinot Noir grapes, which show the freshness and luminosity of a Mediterranean-style wine.
To close this range, we have their red Isabel Negra, aged for 12 months in French oak barrels and born from the coupage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and a touch of Monastrell.
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