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In the world of sparkling wines, there are also great stories, and Recaredo is one of the greatest ones. This project began in 1924 with Josep Mata Capellades as a master of disgorgement and with his desire to be a professional wine producer. With nothing but the use of peaks and shovels, and the help of his family and some friends, he started the construction of the underground caves (cavas) right under his house, in the historic centre of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. This is where the current Cavas Recaredo are located. However, it was not until 1944 when he started to make sparkling wine in his own style.
Recaredo is one of those family-run wineries that best express the relation between wine and the Mediterranean landscapes of the Penedès region (Barcelona), providing us with a clear idea of what making quality sparkling wine is, taking the natural elements of the vine.
Recaredo Family is pioneer in certified biodynamic viticulture in Penedès and they are characterized by the solidity of their philosophy: they only make Millésime Brut Nature Corpinnats under the seal of the long aging.
Their commitment to terroir - and we could say almost obsession - drives them to cultivate 100% family-owned vineyards planted only with traditional varieties from the region, specially Xarel·lo grapes.
At Recaredo they practice dry farming and all the grapes are harvested by hand. The yields are around 6,000 kg / ha, taking into account that the maximum allowed by the regulations of use of Corpinnat is 12,000 kg / ha.
They also committed to the use of natural cork stoppers for bottle ageing. Cork comes from a regenerative activity, which means its use is 100% sustainable and supports responsible land management. What’s more, cork is ideal for retaining the original sense of Recaredo’s long-aged wines. Recaredo family keeps alive the tradition of manual disgorgement to remove sediment from aged wine and perform an organoleptic check on each bottle.
And this is why the best wine aficionados and critiques extremely admire the effort and the passion that the Mata family has put into it throughout its winemaking history. Among other things, they have known how to respect, within their business project, the conditions of the natural environment, of the area, the geography and the climate, and they have been attentive to the inevitable progress of the oenological culture.
In a clear commitment to honesty and transparency towards consumers, Recaredo has been auditing and certifying its practices in viticulture and oenology for over 15 years.
History of the winery
He founded the winery in honour of his father, Recaredo Mata Figueres, born in 1878 in a family of pottery craftsmen. He began without his own vineyards, so he bought grapes from vine growers of the area. However, back then he was already a pioneer in the production of Brut Nature, in working with oak barrels and with long-ageing sparkling wines, with the Xarello variety as the main character. In 1992, with the complicity of his sons, Josep and Antoni Mata, he collected his first harvest that started to define the genuine style of the Recaredo sparkling wines: the first Reserva Particular de Recaredo was born, with a personal seal, made with Xarello and Maccabeu, with fermentation in oak barrels and long ageing. In 1975, with the second generation of the project, Josep and Antoni Mata Casanovas, they consolidated the projection of Recaredo throughout the years as a synonym of rigour, quality and, above all, passion for excellence, marking a genuinely unique style. Commonly known as Can Credo, the winery specialised in true terroir sparkling wines, with a vineyard of their own as a fundamental element, and their clear will to make long-ageing sparkling wines capable of connecting with the landscapes of Alt Penedès. Since the decade of the 90s, the third generation started to join progressively in an enriching process. Some of them provided their experience and know-how, and some provided new ideas and their effort to progress and learn. More recently, in 2006, they were integrated into biodynamic agriculture. Therefore, Recaredo was the first vine grower of D.O. Cava and of D.O. Penedès to attain the official Demeter certification in biodynamic agriculture. Their success is consolidated, but Recaredo is still able to write a new chapter with the 1999 harvest of Turó d’en Mota. This single-farm sparkling wine (sparkling wine de finca) was launched in 2008 and it became the first sparkling wine to be made from a single vineyard and a single variety (100% Xarello). It is also the sparkling wine that is aged the longest, with over 120 months in contact with its lees.
Today, at Recaredo they sill maintain their firm commitment to making terroir wines, capable of showing the landscapes of Alt Penedès in the most honest and transparent way possible. Fro the vineyard, through the winery and the underground cave, all the processes at Recaredo are audited and certified by the independent body Bureau Veritas. This only reaffirms their vocation, unique in the world, as vine growers and winemakers.
At Recaredo they work with 50 hectares of the family’s vineyards, located on the bank of the Bitlles river, known as Costers del río Bitlles, in the region of Alt Penedès (Barcelona). The Bitlles river meanders through forests, hills and streams, showing us sites of a great beauty, protected by the imposing presence of the Montserrat mountain. The vineyards are divided into 24 hectares of Xarello, 18.5 ha of Maccabeu, 2 ha of Parellada, 1 ha of Malvoisie, 3.5 ha of Monastrell, and 1 ha of Grenache, all of which are always harvested by hand. We must highlight that, since 2014, al the vineyards are planted with native Mediterranean varieties. The soils are of a loamy texture, with a balance between sands and clays, which enables drainage when it rains a lot and help to retain the water in drought seasons.
In all their vineyards they carry out rainfed agriculture, following the criteria of biodynamics and cultivating the vines without herbicides or insecticides, only with elements of natural origin. Biodynamic agriculture is a farming system that focuses on the balance of the ecosystem and on biodiversity in the vineyard. Also, from an essentially biological point of view, biodynamics gives Recaredo the possibility to produce sparkling wines that are highly expressive, with a great ageing capacity and, above all, respectful with the landscape where they come from. They also work on the vineyards leaving a plant cover that grows between the vines. This vegetation cover is essential to keep the soil moist, regulate the retention and drainage of water, and to promote biodiversity in the vineyard’s ecosystem. At the same time, the vegetation cover is the perfect ally to prevent the erosion of the land. They also cultivate the vineyards applying vegetal extracts made from horsetail, nettles and chamomile. They use these medicinal plants, through infusions, decoctions and macerations, to regulate the presence of fungi and stimulate the immune system of the vines.
In the fallow farms they plant sainfoin for the cattle and Cigronet de l’Anoia chickpeas, two legumes that are very useful for the recovery of the soils. Legumes have the ability to set the atmospheric nitrogen to the soil and transform it into nutrients for the strain. Respecting the natural cycle of nitrogen helps them discard the use of chemical fertilisers.
The commitment to research takes place in parallel to the time and course of the history of Recaredo. Therefore, since 2011 they have incorporated the technique of sensitive crystallisation applied to wine, which allows them to compare the vital quality and make predictions to anticipate their evolution. The results of these trials are pure crystals that are organised in a precise way and that show the balance, or imbalance, of the wine samples that are studied.
Once they arrive at the winery, the bottles of Recaredo remain in the dark, inside the caves (cavas) for a minimum of 30 months (2 and a half years) until they reach an exceptionally unique personality. In the case of the most exclusive family enotecas (special wine repositories), some of the sparkling are aged for almost 30 years, preserving the gentleness of time and an elegant complexity of nuances.
At Recaredo, they are also convinced of the fact that cork is an ideal material for long ageings. This is why Recaredo is the first sparkling wine producer in the world to obtain the Aged with Cork certification, awarded by the European Cork Confederation. It is one of the few that uses cork stoppers for the entire process, which involves having master disgorgers that are very precise, to free the lees of the ageing by hand without freezing the neck of the bottle, at the natural temperature of the cavas. Without exception, all the bottles from Recaredo are manually disgorged. Nowadays, the professionals at Recaredo keep this trade alive. A trade that was started by the founder, Josep Mata, and that is now an example of craftsmanship professionalism and respect for the environment.
Sparkling wine by Recaredo
We must highlight that the common denominator of all the Recaredo products is that the entire vinification, production and ageing processes are totally carried out at Recaredo’s facilities. The prise de mousse (literally ‘foam creation’) and the ageing in the bottle of all their sparkling wine is exclusively carried out with a natural cork stopper. The disgorgement is done by hand, without freezing the neck of the bottle. The are all fermented dry, without sugar and liqueur d’expédition.
Intens Rosat Brut Nature Gran Reserva is made with 71% Monastrell, 23% Pinot and 6% Grenache, although these percentages may vary depending on the vintage; some of them may even disappear. This sparkling wine chooses authenticity in a dry, lively and deep journey that defines a Mediterranean style, and essentially, gastronomic.
Terrers Brut Nature Gran Reserva is made with 52% Xarello, 32% Maccabeu and 16% Parellada. It is a deep and clear sparkling wine, with luminosity and freshness, and with the most sincere expression of the mosaic of calcareous lands of Alt Penedès.
Subtil Brut Nature Gran Reserva comes from the grapes of the farm Finca Serral del Roure, with 71% Xarello and 29% Chardonnay. The subtleness is broken down into mineral nuances and creamy reminiscences that outline a sensory profile of authenticity. This sparkling wine enhances its complexity, with notes of a fine ageing and highly-integrated bubbles.
Brut de Brut Gran Reserva Brut Nature is a sparkling wine made with 51% Xarello and 49% Maccabeu from the farm Finca Serral del Vell. This sparkling wine suggests sobriety and elegance, strength and plenitude. The extremely calcareous soils and the microclimate of the saddle point Collado Serral del Vell, give an unmistakable seal to each one of the vintages. The notes of candied fruit blend elegantly with the notes of more ripe citrus.
Reserva Particular Brut Nature Gran Reserva is a sparkling wine thought as a tribute to Josep Mata Capellades, who created it in 1962 with the initial idea of transmitting the delicacy and subtle complexity that a sparkling wine of long ageing can reach. This sparkling wine represents the Mediterranean in its purest state. It interprets the calcareous lands of oriental Penedès and shows the deep character of the oldest Xarello and Maccabeu vineyards.
Turó d’en Mota de Recaredo is a Brut Nature Gran Reserva. It represents the elegance of simplicity: a single vineyard, Turó d’en Mota, a single variety, Xarello, a single vintage and a very limited production. The Xarello vineyard of Turó d’en Mota was planted in 1940, with a surface area of 0.97 hectares and trained in vase-shape. It is located in the northwestern side of the municipality of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, in Alt Penedès (Barcelona), on the north side of a hill called Turó d’en Mota, which gives it its name. The terrain is extremely calcareous, with a loamy-silty texture and with some calcareous nodules. The first fermentation took place in oak barrels. Then it was aged on its lees for 45 days, with daily battonages, followed by an ageing in the bottle for over 8 years. Robert Parker says its bouquet reminds him more of a dry Burgundy white wine than a sparkling wine, with notes of honeysuckle, dried apricots, lemon zest and a touch of jasmine. It is perfectly defined and very complex. In the mouth, it is long and completely harmonious.
The Recaredo winery produces sparkling wines that tell stories and describe landscapes. A true obsession for the terroir, in the best sense of the word, which leads to the search for excellence through the biodynamic cultivation of traditional varieties and a long aging process. Sparkling wines full of character that are pure craftsmanship, a unique style that treasures elegance and subtlety. A demanding way of working but with a reward of opening and enjoying something great.