Ramon Almazora is a dental technician by day. By night and weekend, he runs the minuscule 1-hectare Corbatera vineyard, located in the small village of Cornudella de Montsant. Ramon's grandfather established his magnificent parcel, co-planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Grenache in the 1930's. For more than 80 years the wine has been made just one way--Picked all on the same day and fermented together to make just one wine--a Montsant of remarkable depth and purity.
Ramon Almazora took over the
All of what the senior Almazora grew was sold to the cooperative wineries and then returned to the family as generic wine. But...it paid the bills and along with the production of olive oil, the tending of bees, and a few other
He convinced his father that they should begin making their own wine and began renovating a small old bakery next to their house into an intimate winery. I counted 9 barrels and would put the whole thing at about 600 square feet. They make just one wine and at the elder's insistence, they pick co-ferment all the grapes on the same day. Tradition dies hard.
When I tasted his Corbaterra Montsant 2011 just last month my eyes bulged from my head. What a wonderful and complete red wine, ready to drink right now and perfect during wintertime. And at just $22, hard to beat!
The Finca Mas de L'Abella is an old farm located near the village of Cornudella de Montsant. Before WWII Ramon Alzamora's grandmother was taken to L'Abella when she was a little girl in order to protect her from what was to come. In later years he often heard her speak of the "
In 1999 Ramon learned that L'Abella was available for purchase and was surprised to find out that it was only about 10 minutes from his village! All those years he had never actually known that the farm was literally in their backyard.
Such is the pace of life of and the movement of information in Catalunya, and specifically in the Priorat. This is a rugged, high elevation place only 90 minutes from Barcelona by car, but
Last year I drove with Ramon to
The vineyard is a dry-farmed wonderland of black slate--locally called