The Raventós family are deeply rooted in Catalonia viticulture, with their roots dating back to 1497. It is thought that the first cavas were created here in 1872 by their ancestor Josep Raventos Fatjó using Xarel.lo grapes from their estate. The winery was linked to Cordoníu until 1984, when Josep Maria Raventos i Blanc and his son Manuel Raventós decided to start their own project with their own 90 hectare historic estate, where they built a new winery around an old family oak tree, symbolic and iconic of the project: Raventos i Blanc winery.
Ever since Josep Raventos Fatjó made the first sparkling wine with a second fermentation in the bottle back in 1872, following generations have decided to dedicate themselves to grape cultivation and the production of sparkling wine. But to make sense of this winery and estate, we must go back to Josep María Raventós I Blanc, son of Manuel Raventós I Fatjo y Montserrat Blanc I Tintoré, the oldest of 6 brothers, and therefore the heir of Can Codorníu.
In 1946 he married Isabel Negra i Valls and a year later is his Manual Raventós I Negra, the new heir to Can Codorníu, was born. The story of the relationship between Josep Maria Raventós at Cordoníu is long and intense. It was highlighted by the direction of Codoroníu and their struggle for quality. As a wine grower and heir to Can Codorniu, Josep made a considerable contribution to bringing wine growers and winemakers together. He was convinced that without quality grapes there would be no good cava, while without profitable winemaking there would be no investment, no new vines, no quality and no future.
His intense pace of work together with a long series of family conflicts led to a serious stroke in 1966. After a rapid recovery, towards the end of the sixties, Torcuato Fernández Miranda proposed that he head the Barcelona provincial authority. When the board of directors of Codorniu decided that this position was not compatible with running the firm, Josep María renounced the official position. 1970 brought a further blow. The Codorniu board decided to prohibit sons of managers from joining it. Josep María saw in this decision a clear intention to cut the family line off for good.
His father, Manuel, died in 1977, and from that point on the situation at Codorniu S.A. became increasingly difficult, until on 30 June 1982 he was invited to give up his powers as general manager of Codorniu S.A. On 22 July 1982 he finally left Codorniu S.A., unwilling to stay in the firm as a figurehead with a salary but no executive role. His departure from Codorniu S.A. did not mean that he left either the family home or the estate of Can Codorniu. From there he stood as an independent for the presidency of the cava regulatory council and was elected.
From then onwards he threw most of his energies into the cava sector and in April 1985, together with his son Manuel, he completed the viability study for the building of new cellars on the estate, and on 4 March 1986, the firm of Josep María Raventós i Blanc was set up.
Thus the Raventos i Blanc estate of 90 hectares of woods and vineyards in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, which belongs to the Raventós family since 1497, and has been passed down from generation to generation indivisible until today, thanks to the Civil Code Catalunya, where the heir is the person designated to receive an inheritance. This Catalan institution that grants the family property to the eldest son or heir, emerged in the Middle Ages by the need to avoid the division of family assets and maintain the family economy, then based on agriculture. Josep Maria Raventos died in 1986, and that year comes a new cellar that bears his name: Josep Maria Raventos Cava i Blanc, Raventos i Blanc today.
History of the Winery.
Josep María Raventós i Blanc and his son Manuel Raventós I Negre founded the Raventós i Blanc winery in 1986, and chose the oak tree that stands in the middle of the winery as the symbol of Raventós i Blanc. The company logo and the architecture of the winery feature the oak, a symbol, the old family oak tree, of the winery and our brand. It is the steadfast witness to a commitment to the land and the fidelity to ideas which have been refined over more than 500 years.
The innovative and ground-breaking architecture at the winery harmoniously brings together the functional design of the winery and cellar, the oak tree, the vineyards and the ecosystem of El Serral. The whole design of the building, the work of the architects Jaume Bach and Gabriel Mora, (winner of the FAD architecture award in 1989) is seen to be the perfect combination of form and function.
After the death of his father, Manuel Raventós i Negre became the president and oenologist of Raventós i Blanc, as well as the heir of Cordorníu, as the oldest of 11 sons. Manuel was brought up in the family home at Can Codorniu, in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.
The early days were a time of great sadness, but at the same time filled with hope and enthusiasm. With the support of his mother, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends from all over Spain, the Josep María Raventós I Blanc sparkling, the first coupage of its creator, was launched. Manuel Raventós created the first single estate cava in the 90s: Raventós i Blanc.
During the 90s he had a hard struggle to keep the winery afloat; a difficult economic situation and internal problems forced Manuel to sell the property owned by Raventós i Blanc in Bordeaux, Chateau d'Aiguille, and the family home of Can Codorniu (which belonged to him as heir to the Raventós family). Today he remains at the head of the winery, true to his ideas, travelling all over Spain and the world to organize tastings and preparing each new vintage with the same enthusiasm as the first coupage.
In 2001, the son of Manuel Raventós, Pepe Raventós, joined the Raventós i Blanc winery, as director, oenologist and vintner. Pepe has been part of the world of sparkling from an early age, spending his summers picking grapes in Sant Sadurní, he also spent hours working on the land in Saint Emilion, learning how to makered wines. Pepe trained as an oenologist at the Complutense university in Madrid, he gained experience in making terroir wines working alongside Didier Dagenau on Pouilly Fumé, Olivier Lamy at Saint Aubin, Harald Hexamer in the Nahe region; and Phillippe Blanc in Alsace.
In 2012 Pepe Raventós decided to leave the DO Cava to launch a new project: CONCA DEL RIU ANOIA. Conca del riu Anoia, the name of a small geographical area, which helps better portray and understand and convey the winery’s viticultural traditions, the strength of the land, unique grape varieties and the characteristics of the terroir, to help produce sparkling wines with the character of where they came from. Raventos i Blanc is currently on the path of work under the “Conca del Riu Anoia” label, as one of the new swubzones within the DO Penedès.
The philosophy of Raventos i Blanc is to fully respect the balance of each plot with the aim of ensuring that each plot reaches its maximum potential. The winerys vineyards are divided amongst 46 plots across 5 large areas, all with slightly differing soils and microclimates.
Of these, the Plana, Llac, Clos del Serral and Barbera are used for sparkling wines, while the area Serral is used for still wines. Raventos i Blanc also follows the principles of organic and biodynamic farming, uses exclusively native varieties, works with at least 80% of its own vineyards in the Anoia valley, and in the case of sparkling wine, ages their wines for a minimum of 18 months.
There are factors, such as the clone of the grape variety or the rootstock (161-49, SO4, 41B and so on), which are decided conclusively at the time of planting but there are others such as pruning
(number of buds), types of “green” work (disbudding, removing leaves and shoots, tipping, thinning out grapes and so on), vegetable cover (single, double or none) which we discuss every year depending on our observation of the vineyard over the year, the quality of the harvest and the annual analysis of petioles and musts. We do not use herbicides; the soil is ploughed or we leave vegetable cover depending on the characteristics of the plot.
We have been registered with the Catalan council for integrated production since 2007. This is why we areimplementing a sustainable management plan throughout the estate. We have a rainwater collection system to replenish our lake. This waters our woods and riverside pastures, playing a role in our microclimate and boosting biodiversity on the estate.To keep up our woodlands on El Serral and in the stream bed we have taken up the old farming philosophy of combining cultivation with livestock, bringing in traditional Albera cattle as well as sheep which graze on our vegetable cover in the winter months.
Wines from the Raventos i Blanc Winery.
As stated, Raventos i Blanc follows and carries out the principles of biodynamic viticulture, with both their sparkling and still wines marketed with their vintage. Therefore, the percentage of grape varieties and plots used many vary significantly from one vintage to another.
The current range of sparkling wines by Raventos i Blanc begins with two basic brands that come from the younger vineyards on the estate: L´Hereu, a premium sparkling wine, with a classic blend of Macabeo as a vase along with Xarel.lo and Parellada, aged for 18 months. Then there is De Nit Rosé, again a blend of Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada, with a touch of Monstrell that adds personality and colour, aged for 18 months.
Following these is the Textures de Pedra, made with Xarel.lo and Bastard Negre taken from various estates located at the highest altitudes of the winery, located at the summit of Turó del Serral. This wine also contains a touch of Sumoll and Parellada, and is aged for a minimum of 42 months.
Raventos i Blanc de la Finca is another sparkling wine that has been aged for 3 years, made with grapes from historic vineyards, a selection of 8 plots in Vinya dels Fossils, situated on the terraces of Anoia River in the north and northeast, between the Serral forest and lake, where there are cooler temperatures throughout the growing cycle.
Next is their sparkling Manuel Raventos, which is aged for a minimum of 72 months and is made with the best wine from the vintage. The Xarel.lo grapes are taken from the Clos plot, with a north facing orientation, the plot has a humid yet cooler microclimate that causes extremely slow ripening, complemented with Parellada from La Creuta, grown on sandy soils, and Macabeo from Vinya del Fòssils, the lowest plot on the property which brings a certain freshness and minerality.
Also, for a few years, the winery produced old vintages are marketed themunder the brand Enoteca Personal Manuel Raventos, where each vintage has a unique and different blend personally chosen by its creator, always with a very limited production.
The range of wines from Raventos I Blanc as also been restructured in recent times. The winery focuses of producing wines using the Xarel.lo grape, releasing a reduced sulphur version in 2015.
Their natural white wine Extrem is 100% Xarel.lo is radically authentic, expressing the terroir and character of the Viña del Serral farm, which is divided up into several plots, producing Xarel.lo grapes with different characteristics. The wine undergoes intensive work on its lees which gives it a longer life, more volume in the mouth and protects the wine from oxidation. The wine is made with a reduced amount of sulphur.
Then there is Silencis, a white wine made with the Xarel·lo grape, acidic and saline expression, which comes from soils with Miocene marine fossils. The grapes used for make this wine come from 50 year old vines. The wine undergoes work on lees and bottled without being stabilized or filtered.
Raventos i Blanc produces another 2 still young wines. Perfum de Vi Blanc, a white wine made with Macabeo (60%) and Moscatel (40%), where the Macabeo brings freshness and liveliness, while the Moscatel gives it a subtle flavor profile of marked floral notes and a hint table grape flavour.
Then there is La Rosa, a new pale rosé, made with Pinot Noir grapes, which shows the freshness and lightness of a very Mediterranean style wine.
And to close of their range of wines is Isabel Negra, aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, born from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and a touch of Monastrell.