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Raimat is a winery that belongs to the Grupo Codorníu, the oldest family-run company in Spain, and one of the oldest ones in the world, as well as the creator of cava. It has had its own vineyards since 1551, and it can boast about having over 450 years of experience in the production of quality wines and cavas. Currently, the Group has 10 wineries, eight in Spain (Bodegas Bilbaínas, Legaris, Scala Dei, Raimat, Bach, Nuviana, Abadía de Poblet, and Codorníu), Artesa in the Napa Valley, in California, and Séptima in Mendoza, Argentina. But if we have to date the rise of Codorníu Raventós as a business group, this would be 1914, when Manuel Raventós himself founded Raimat. The majestic Raimat project started to take shape when Manuel Raventós, once the Codorníu cava became consolidated in the market, bought 3,200 hectares of barren land in the surroundings of Lleida, in El Segrià. At the time, the Raimat farm was a start and stony desert, with a castle that was almost in ruins. Therefore, it was truly impossible to think that those lands could yield any produce. However, the construction of the canal of Aragón and Catalonia in 1910, increased the irrigation area by 43,400 hectares, returning the fertility to the lands of Segrià. Manuel Raventós decided to open more than 100 kilometres of watering ditches that branched from the canal to take the water to the lands of Raimat. Next to the farm, located on a hill that looks over the town, was the Castle of Raimat, which was also acquired and later refurbished by the Raventós family in 1914. A coat of arms engraved in stone above the entrance to the castle explains the possible origin of the name Raimat. It shows a bunch of grapes and a hand, which correspond to the words “raïm” and “mà” in Catalan, also referring to the presence of vineyards in the lands around the castle of Raimat in ancient times. This coat of arms was taken by Raimat as a symbol of the brand, and it can be found on the label of all its bottles. This castle is more of a residence than a fort, so the style of its construction lines is very austere. In 1914, it was once again refurbished inside. Currently, it is used as a dwelling or residence for the guests of the Raventós family.
History of the winery
In 1918, they decided to create a winery, the project of which was designed by Joan Rubió i Bellver, disciple architect of the renowned Gaudí. In fact, it was the first building to be constructed with reinforced concrete in Spain. It was soon given the name “cathedral of wine” for its harmonious structure of arches and the atmosphere that was created under them. Later on, in 1988, they built the new winery. This time, the person in charge of the project was architect Domingo Triay, who ordered the removal of thousands of tons of earth from a hill and dug in the land to build the winery. In this huge underground hollow, they located the ageing warehouses, and on the surface, the rest of the facilities were erected. Then, it was all covered with the same lands that have been removed, so that the hill was rebuilt with its original appearance. The land that covered the winery was planted with a vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the winery’s flagship varieties.
Currently, Xavier Farré is Director of the Viticulture Area, creating a great partnership between the viticulture team and the new oenology team, led by oenologist Elisabeth Figueras. On the other hand, Joan Esteve is the Technical Director of Viticulture. His goal is to gather more information about the vineyards to get to know in detail the qualitative potential of each of the plots and the varieties planted on the farm.
Raimat believes that viticulture is a process of continuous improvement. A global vision where the vines and the natural environment are part of the same whole, and where the care of the environment leads to a better production. This is why they practice a sustainable viticulture, to achieve high-quality products, minimising the use of agrochemical products, reducing waste and optimising production methods through the full integration of the available resources. A philosophy that materialises in a large number of gestures that are based on four basic cultivation pillars. Plant covering, which has several functions: it reduces erosion, it creates organic matter and nutrients for the vines, it improves falter filtration, and it is also a reservoir of insects that are beneficial to the vines. They also use irrigation through gravity instead of pumping, which saves a lot of energy. The PRD system (Partial Root Drying) alternately irrigates two areas of the same vine, which causes a false signal of stress. Therefore, the plant has a lower water intake and produces grapes of higher quality. They also apply precision viticulture using harvest and vigour maps, which allow them to water and treat each plant individually. Raimat has developed a monitoring system that allows for a comprehensive monitoring of all pests and diseases. This allows them to treat the areas of each plot only when they exceed a threshold that would cause qualitative damage to them. Sexual confusion is a method to control Lobesia, or grapevine moth, by using the pheromones that this pest uses when it reproduces.
For Raimat, the health and the balance of the ecosystem are also essential factors in the production of the best grapes. This is why they avoid the loss of nutrients using humidity sensors at different depths, making the most of fertilisers. This way, the fertilisers do not end up in the drainage system and the rivers. Instead, they are absorbed by the roots of the vines. Waste is also managed by minimising its production, recycling them to the extent possible, classifying them and managing them. All of this has made it possible for its vineyards to hold the Integrated Production certificate granted by the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Catalan Council for Integrated Production. In addition, the entire Raimat farm has the Integrated Production certificate from Bureau Veritas, an internationally renowned entity that strictly complies with the European Standard (EN-45011).
Organic viticulture is also the fulfilment of Raimat's environmental awareness and its sustainable practices. This is why the Raimat Terra range is made with grapes from the organic viticulture that they practice on the farm, accredited by the CCPAE (Catalan Council for Organic Agricultural Produce).
Wines from Raimat
Below is the list of wines made by Raimat:
·Colección Clamor includes three wines with a common characteristic: the coupage. Clamor Tinto Roble is made with Merlot (35%), Cabernet Sauvignon (35%) and Tempranillo (30%). It goes through the malolactic fermentation in the barrel, where it remains for a few more months. This wine has a bright and intense red colours with purple reflections, with aromas of red fruit, ripe cheery and some notes of chocolate. A combination of wild berries, like black currant or blackberry, dark chocolate and a note of tobacco. Clamor Blanco is a young wine that combines the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Xarello varieties. It has intense aromas of citrus and tropical fruits, accompanied by white flowers. All assembled with tasty notes of intense, fresh fruit. Citrus, tropical flavours, and other sweeter notes such as peach and nectarine. Clamor Rosado is a wine that combines the varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with aromas of cherry and strawberry, as well as citrus notes of grapefruit that give it freshness. When tasting it, the strawberry and ripe cherry flavours come around, as well as its tropical aromas. A citrus-like, clean acidity that contributes to its length and freshness.
Colección Abadía is comprised of a series of wines that combine two varieties. Abadía Tinto is the perfect alliance between the shades of red fruit, liquorice and spices of the Tempranillo, and the aromas of blackberries, plums and red currents of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Clos Abadía is made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, and it has aromas of ripe fruit, berries, cherries, strawberry compote, a small amount of black olive and spices. Generous and clean in the mouth, acid, with black berries, dark chocolate, spices and sweet oak flavours. Long finish, with hints of wood and sweet tannins. Abadía Blanc de Blancs is made from a unique combination of varieties and flavours, combining the aromatic richness of the Chardonnay, tropical fruits and citrus, with the freshness and intensity of the Albariño and its notes of white flowers and peach. Abadía Rosado is a refreshing proposal that gathers the liveliness and the aromas of strawberries and cherries from the elegant Tempranillo, with the spicy and floral notes of the intense and exuberant Cabernet Sauvignon variety.
·Colección Terra are the wines that are born from organically cultivated vineyards. Terra Chardonnay is born from organic Chardonnay vineyards, using natural and recyclable materials for the bottle, the cork and the label. A wine of great elegance that combines the freshness of citrus and the richness of the ripe fruit.
·Colección Castell de Raimat includes a series of single-variety wines. Castell de Raimat Chardonnay is a wine with intense aromas of tropical fruits and other subtle ones of pineapple, or sweet ones like melon. In the mouth, juicy green apple flavours stand out, all wrapped with the silky texture of the Chardonnay and with the perfect balance that provides a refreshing acidity. Castell de Raimat Albariño offers endless subtle and unexpected characteristics. A refreshing wine to enjoy the aromas and flavours of dried flowers and lemon peel, accompanied by shades of sour apple and wet grass. Castell de Raimat Xarel·lo has citrus and apricot aromas, with subtle nuances of vegetation notes and a certain earthiness. The small amount of Chardonnay gives it freshness and body. Castell de Raimat Chardonnay Barrica is a single-variety that gathers the best virtues of the New and Old world of wine. It offers succulent aromas of green apple, bananas and tropical fruits, all assembled with tasty notes of fresh almond, golden apples and a touch of caramel provided by its ageing in French oak barrels. Castell de Raimat Cabernet Sauvignon is a subtle wine but of great character, with body but silky and with pleasant tannins, full of flavours of black fruit, redcurrants and blackberries. Castell de Raimat Tempranillo was aged for 10 months in new and second-use oak barrels, mainly of French oak and to a lesser extent, American. It evokes flavours of cherries, liquorice, fresh grass, cedar, tobacco, spices ... Castell de Raimat Merlot is transferred to the barrels, where the malolactic fermentation takes place and where it will rest for 12-15 months. It is a soft and pleasant wine, with a subtle acidity and tame tannins. A sensory fruit mixture of raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, cherries, redcurrants, and blueberries. Castell de Raimat Syrah offers intense aromas of plums, blackberries and floral notes, and balanced aromas of the ageing that are reminiscent of vanilla, spices like pepper, and cedar. Refined and velvety.
·Colección Vallcorba are wines that come from a farm called Vallcorba. Raimat Vallcorba is made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, with an ageing of 20 months in barrels. The Syrah is characterised by a respectful winemaking process that seeks fruit expression and freshness of the primary aromas of the vineyard. It provides aromas of ripe red fruit, such as plum and cherry, along with nutmeg. The Cabernet provides subtle aromas of black olives, and the barrel provides the cinnamon, vanilla and spicy notes. In the mouth, chocolate and coffee stand out, combined with sweet and soft tannins that create unctuousness and persistence.
·Colección Cava includes sparkling wines. Raimat Brut Nature is made with Chardonnay (70%) and Xarello (30%). When it has been aged for around a year, it is disgorged to get rid of the yeasts that have caused the froth. The main characteristic of this cava is the great limpidity of aromas: peaches, ripe spring fruit with refreshing and lively citrus notes. Raimat Brut is made with Chardonnay (60%) and Pinot Noir (40%). Its aromas of acid fruit, ripe melon and perfumed floral notes stand out. In the mouth, it is complemented by creamy notes, apart from fresh citrus, cherry, flowery notes and ripe melon. Raimat Brut Chardonnay is a varietal cava with lively aromas of citrus fruit, green apple and apricot, complemented by creamy notes. Its flavour is refreshing, with fresh citrus fruit, green apple and sweet green melon. Its creamy texture and its acidity contribute to a long finish. Raimat Brut Nature is made with Chardonnay (70%) and Pinot Noir (30%). It has aromas of fresh grapefruit and floral notes, complemented by sweet creamy aromas. Flavours of fresh grapefruit, melon and notes of ripe cherry, with a creaminess derived from its contact with yeasts, with a clean finish and persistent citric acidity.
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