vinyes tortuga - rabós, emporda, girona
This charismatic young winemaker couple (Dido and Jurriaan) fell in love with winemaking whilst a then 24 year old Dido was doing her masters in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on the independent winemakers of the Swartland.. The couple spent the next 4 years travelling around the world working for winemakers they loved before they finally settled in the Alt Emporda, in the north of Catalunya. They found 11 hectares with a tiny shack of a house and 9.5 hectares of vines and quite ambitiously crowdfunded enough money to buy it all plus some old winemaking equipment.
They made their first ever vintage in 2018 and were surprisingly happy with the result. In their own words, every day they discover more and more about the land, the climate and terroirs in their new home and they will surely get more and more insight with each new vintage. The vines are located within view and 15 mins drive from the Mediterranean and the sea influence here is strong. The salty sea breeze brings humidity whereas the gale force Tramontana that funnels in from the Pyrenees is cool and dry and, though at times destructive, is essential in preventing mould and mildew. The soil here is almost identical to that of Priorat, the famous licorella, a blend of slate and graphite. The vineyard is relatively low elevation, 150m at its peak.
The grape varieties that Dido and Jurriaan work with are the indigenous Garnatxa, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera and they have recently grafted one hectare of white varietals – Garnatxa Blanca, Malvasia, Macabeu and some Chenin Blanc from their friend Joan Ramon Escoda of Escoda Sanahuaja. Dido and Jurriaan are dedicated to making wine as naturally as possible. They don’t pump their wines, opting to move them solely by gravity. They never fine and filter and they try to avoid using any sulphur, using only very small amounts if and when needed. They are currently in the process of converting their entire estate to biodynamic.