Celler de Capçanes
Capçanes is a small village tucked into the Priorato hills, inland from Tarragona, about 100 miles south-west of Barcelona and 20 miles from the Mediterranean. Viticulture has a long but chequered history here, beginning in the 13th century but undergoing many trials over the years, not least in the 20th century.
The first attempt to overcome the years of depopulation and phylloxera came in 1933 when a co-operative was formed to pool the limited resources of five local farmers to produce bulk wines. However, the accession of Spain to the European Union in 1985 and the influx of funds for investment somehow bypassed Capçanes and it was reduced to growing grapes for other producers.
An upturn in fortunes arrived in 1995 when the Jewish community of Barcelona asked the co-operative to produce a Kosher wine for them, something which was done with great success, earning a reputation as one of the best Kosher wines available. The members set about updating the cellars and soon the co-op became an ambassador for the region of Montsant, at that time still languishing in relative obscurity.
Today Capçanes has two winemakers, Anna Rovira and Jürgen Wagner, who pool their experience and skills to great effect. A wide range of grapes both native (tempranillo, carignan, garnacha) and international (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir) are grown on three main soil types, clay, sand and the fragmented slate called locally licorella. They still make an applauded range of Kosher wines, and many others too!