CAPÇANES, a village hidden away in the Priorato hills inland from Tarragona is the source of many fine wines today but has a long wine growing history.
Prior to Phylloxera at the turn of the 19th century was very densely planted but after the devastation caused by this insect only about 1/5th of the original vineyards was replanted predominantly with Garnacha which was the popular grape variety. Some of those vineyards, approaching 100 years old, still exist and are in production although yields are low.
To compete in the wine market change was needed and in 1933 five families from the village collaborated to establish a Cooperative that would handle large quantities of grapes economically and efficiently. The foundation of the Cooperative led to a change in the commercial prospects for Capçanes; suddenly they could offer large volumes of wine at competitive prices for bulk sales. The cooperative processed the village´s production and the wine was sold off in bulk until 1980 when they started to sell their grapes off prior to fermentation. This state of affairs continued until 1998 when the decision was taken to process all the village´s grapes at the cooperative.
However the real changes had begun in 1995 when, in a mirror image of activities just down the road in Priorat D.O. processes were started to realise the quality of the grapes they were growing. The impetus for the change came about when the Jewish community of Barcelona asked Capçanes if they could produce a kosher wine. This demanded the installation of new equipment allowing the winemakers to identify, isolate and vinify under controlled “Lo Mebushal” conditions small parcels of high quality fruit. The ground was laid for production not only of Kosher wine but also limited quantities of a range of fruit driven wines. The Kosher wine was a success and the Capçanesbrand, Flor de Primavera, enjoys a reputation amongst the highest in the world. Nowadays, the total production comes to 800.000bottles, 200.000 liters local bulk wine sales plus bag in box.
At Capçanes two winemakers pool their talents. Anna Rovira is the most experienced winemaker in the winery and she is in charge of the vineyard control, too. Jürgen Wagner, having studied at Geisenheim and University of Tarragona, brings his experience to composing and styling the blends.