Red wine Reserva Respectful agriculture. 12 months in French oak barrels. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Merlot
Red wine Crianza Respectful agriculture. 6 months in French oak barrels and 30 months in bottle. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Pinot Noir
Red wine Crianza Respectful agriculture. 12 months in French oak barrels. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Garnacha Tinta.
Rosé wine Young Organic. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Merlot
Rosé wine Young Organic. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Sumoll.
White wine Barrel Respectful agriculture. 5 months in French oak barrels and 24 months in bottle. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Chenín Blanc
White wine Barrel Respectful agriculture. 5 months in French oak barrels and 24 months in bottle. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Incrocio Manzoni
White wine Barrel fermented Respectful agriculture. 4 months in chestnut barrels and 24 months in bottle. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Xarel·lo
White wine Young. Winery: Can Ràfols dels Caus. D.O. Penedès. (Catalonia) Variety: Xarel·lo and Riesling.
Can Ràfols dels Caus was inhabited by the Ràfols family until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1930, Jacinto Esteva Fontanet bought the property where he spent some time in the summer.
The cultivation of the vine and the production of the wine had never been abandoned during all these centuries. In fact, there is a prize granted to a red wine of Can Ràfols dels Caus of the Universal Exhibition of Madrid of 1888.
In 1979, Carlos Esteva, the grandson of Jacinto Esteva, decided to go to live on the farm of his grandfather. He renovated the house (that dates from 1634), he reconditioned the the vineyards and started to made wines under the philosophy of the terroir, of the satisfaction for things done properly, of the wisdom of nature and of maximum quality.
Currently, Carlos Esteva and his family continue to live in the country house. Inside the farm we can also find Can Piula, which was the original house of the shepherd of Can Ràfols dels Caus. This house dates back to the 17th century. For many years, Carlos Esteva lived in Can Piula while restoring the main house. As a result, Can Piula has also been restored with the same attention to detail, aesthetic and respect for the environment.
History of the winery
Can Ràfols dels Caus has always been a pioneer and even a creator of tendencies, and twenty-five years since the beginning of his oenological adventure, Carlos Esteva decided to take a big step forward with the construction of a new winery.
The goal was not to accommodate more vats, hectolitres and bottles, but to work better.
With this project, the house multiplied its qualitative potential, since everything was already oriented to work with microvinifications, to further separate the batches, and to continue investigating.
The winery is embedded in the mother rock of the Garraf, the dolomite, invisible from the outside, fully integrated with the landscape.
It has a spectacular vinification and microvinification room, and an ageing room at the same level for maximum control. The new winery is designed on different levels in order to facilitate the winemaking by gravity. It has vats of different capacities to be able to separate the production of the different plots, ages, maturity, types, etc.
This allows them to perform long ageings in bottles to develop complex aromas, smoothly, and without the fashionable hyperoxidations.
The farm of Can Ràfols dels Caus is located at around 300 metres of altitude, between the valleys of two torrents, surrounded by vineyards planted on the hillsides. From the highest plots, such as "la Calma" or "el Rocallís", which name two of its wines, you can see the sea, at a distance of around 15 km.
This location is the key to attain healthy grapes, since they are protected from the humid air of the areas that are very close to the sea. They are also protected from the hail of the Ordal or the Sistema Prelitoral.
The farm and the winery are located within the Macizo de Garraf , limited by the Sistema Prelitoral, the Sierra del Ordal, the plains of the Penedès, the Litoral, the Garraf and the Mediterranean, and it is a great calcareous mass.
It is a succession of high hills —some up to 500 m high— that start with gradients of 30% and up to 50%, leaving torrents and rambles marking narrow and deep cuts. This limits the amount of agricultural land.
The area is dominated by the low species of scrub and plants with concentrated aroma like thyme, rosemary, pennyroyal and marjoram. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the wines from Can Ràfols dels Caus have aromas of mountain bush.
The soil is formed by layers of dolomitic limestones settled on subsoils of dolomite rocks and white, blue and pink clays. It is not very deep, around 40 cm, and with contents of up to 40% of active lime. These characteristics limit the production.
Due to the marine origin of the area, we can find different types of fossils in plots like "la Calma" or "El Rocallís". The main grounds of the property are the "white" calcareous soils or clays with lime nodules, called "cat's brains". Its richness in fossil provides many microelements and minerals that can be absorbed by the plant, giving the wine greater personality. The calcareous material prevails in the producing areas of great wines that have a very pronounced character, much more ageing potential, more profiled, and that retain their acidity very well.
Of a farm of 455 hectares, only 50 hectares are dedicated to the cultivation of the vine, 2 are for olives and 1 for almonds. The rest is forest, scrub and stones. The extension of the plots ranges between 0.15 hectares for the smallest one, and 2 hectares for the largest. They till the vineyards only in the winter to aerate the soil, leaving grass in the vineyard for water efficiency and nitrogen. This sets the little soil they have and promotes the proliferation of earthworms, insects and other beneficial fauna. The pruning is quite short, leaving a few fruitful buds, only the few that the vine can take on.
No insecticides are used, and they carry out green pruning in the late spring and trimming of the branches in the late summer. The harvest is exclusively manual. It only takes the grapes 15-20 minutes to reach the winery since they are picked. This prevents oxidation, loss of turgor or uncontrolled fermentation.
In Can Ràfols dels Caus they believe that the important thing is to preserve the thousand-year-old culture and the natural spaces, respecting and improving the place where they live, and seeking balance to be able to make the best possible wine. The cultivation is , without irrigation, adjusting the productions in order to balance the wines in the vineyard. They cultivate the vineyards using the biological method, reason why the few fertilisers they do use are organic. The vines are trained in vase-shape (25%) and the rest in high trellises to expose the maximum leaf surface to the sun. They apply sulphur on the vines, using the minimum amount of phytosanitary products, and only when necessary. The green pruning is carried out by hand, just like the harvest, and the grapes are selected in the vineyard.
A great wine, in addition to good grapes, needs sensitivity and good taste when it comes to making decisions that affect its production and ageing, so in the winery they do not use chaptilisation or use selected yeasts. The essential thing is to make the most of what the plant offers, to benefit from the quality of the grape and current knowledge, without using additives.
Wines from Can Ràfols dels Caus
Currently, they produce a collection of 5 whites, 2 rosé, 5 reds and 3 cavas.
Gran Caus Blanco is made with 50% Xarello, 22% Chardonnay and 28% Chenin, from the farms Pomares, La Calma, El Cirerer and Pou Sec. The careful selection of the grapes at the optimum point of ripeness allows the Xarello to be felt on the nose. The Chardonnay builds the structure, and the Chenin Blanc provides a nice touch of freshness thanks to its acidity.
Xarel·lo Pairal is a varietal that comes from vines that are over 60 years old, where this local variety gives its best in the stony, dry and poor lands of the farm El Cirerer, 0.86 hectares. It is fermented in chestnut wood barrels.
El Rocallís is a single-vineyard wine made with Incroccio Manzoni grapes, planted in 1988, on stony, clayey and shallow calcareous soils. It is a fresh wine, penetrating on the nose, with aromas of jasmine, lemon grass, lime and exotic fruits. Creamy and very long in the mouth, with notes of acid honey, orange peel, peach stone, and an almond background.
La Calma is another single-vineyard wine, from an 0.89 plot planted in 1982 with Chenin Blanc, on extremely calcareous soil with seashell fossils. Unctuous, fatty, mineral, floral, ample, deep and persistent, fully expressing its terroir.
Petit Caus Blanco is born from a varietal puzzle: 43% Xarello, 25% Maccabeu, 15% Chardonnay, 2% Muscat 10% Chenin Blanc and 5% Parellada. On the nose it is fruity, with prevalence of the Xarello, while in the mouth it is tasty, fresh and balanced.
Petit Caus Rosado is born from 30% Merlot, 30% Tempranillo, 10% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. It is a young wine, fruity, sweet and balanced. Sweet fruit, freshness and candy.
Gran Caus Rosado is a Merlot single-variety wine from the vines of Pals de Fusta, Fondo and Vinya Negra. Fruity, powerful and tasty. A rosé with structure and colour, powerful and complex.
Gran Caus Tinto is made with 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, from the vineyards of La Corbata (1982), La Creu and La Pujada (1984) and Pals de Fusta (1987). It is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. Balanced and elegant, fruity and mineral, with aromas of aromatic plants and Mediterranean shrubbery. Subtle and serious, long, persistent and smooth. Powerful, but not so tannic, with prevailing fruit aromas.
Ad Fines is a single-variety of Pinot Noir from the farm Pere Pau, with six months of ageing in French oak barrels. Soft aromas, red berries, freshness, earthy, medium mid-palate with soft tannins.
Petit Caus Tinto is made with Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. Sumptuous and spicy, balanced, powerful and with good acidity.
Caus Lubis is a Merlot varietal from the farm La Calma del Ros, planted in 1984. It is aged in French oak barrels of 1 and 2 years for 12 months. A rich wine, complex and with marked aromas of local plants. Ample and long in the mouth, tasty and pure with hints of black fruit. It stands out for its character. It is intense and warm.
Cava Gran Reserva is a coupage of 50% Xarello, 25% Chardonnay and 25% Maccabeu, with three years of ageing in stacks. Intense aromas of white fruit, baked apple, must and terroir. Unctuous, creamy and persistent, with hints of toasted almond.
Cava Rosado Gran Reserva is exclusively made with Pinot Noir from the farm Pere Pau. Skin-contact maceration for 15 hours, spontaneous fermentation at 15⁰C for 38 days, and second fermentation for 45 days at a controlled temperature. Aged for 3 years in the bottle. Sweet, balanced and elegant. Cherry and onion skin colour. Soft and fresh aromas, medium mid-palate, creamy carbonic.
Cava Parisad is made with 7.5% Xarello, 80% Chardonnay and 7.5% Maccabeu, with fermentation in French oak barrels and ageing in barrels for 3 months. Fine and persistent bubbles with fresh aromas of custard, honey, white fruit and toastings. Very mineral. Very balanced, elegant and fresh. Dry on the palate, with good acidity. Easy to drink, subtle, complex and with a great intensity.
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