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Jean Natoli [oenologist]:

We worked together successfully and for a long time. She was always very pleasant, respectful, full of empathy and humour. She Wine Portraits often took the initiative in her job.

Sergi Colet

DO Pla de Bages M I Q U E L PA L A U Gerard Jané [oenologist]:

He’s observant, enthusiastic, committed and knows what being part of a team means. He’s prepared to take risks by re-inventing Wine Portraits techniques and working with grapes that nobody else works with but he’s practical and expeditive (…) He’s in love with the region and its history.

Roser Amorós

W I NE P ORT R AI TS / M I QUEL PALAU

DO Conca de Barberà ROSER AMORÓS

WIN E P O RTRAIT S / R O SE R AM O R Ó S

W IN E PO RT R A I T S / S E R G I C O L E T

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Wine Portraits

Miquel Palau

#wineportraits April 2017


THREE NEW TEXTS EXTEND THE SERIES ON URV OENOLOGISTS TO SIX Roser Amorós, Sergi Colet and Miquel Palau relate their personal and professional in three new volumes in the series Wine Portraits, published in Catalan, Spanish and English, and in paper and electronic format. The series Wine Portraits has been extended to six volumes with the recent addition of three new books written by the journalist and sommelier Ruth Troyano Puig with photography by Maoz Eliakim. The publications describe the personal and professional experiences of oenologists trained at the URV’s Faculty of Oenology in Tarragona. The new volumes in the collection, published by Publicacions URV and Arola Editors, were put on sale last March and they give an in-depth account of the lives of three quite different oenologists – Roser Amorós, Sergi Colet and Miquel Palau – who work in different winegrowing regions: DO Conca de Barberà, DO Montsant, DOQ Priorat, DO Penedès i DO Pla de Bages. The books have been published in Catalan, Spanish and English, and the electronic version has also been made available on the website of Publicacions URV. Some of the bottles of wine produced by the wineries have a label with a QR code which gives clients access to the electronic version of the book on their mobile phones and allows them to get in touch with the producer. The books are in-depth reports based on personal interviews and visits to the vineyards and the wineries. The three volumes are the result of hours spent in the company of the oenologists in an attempt not only to understand their connection to the land and their wine-making style but also to trace their careers since they finished their degrees at the university in Tarragona and to determine the extent to which their interest in wine has forged them as people and given them creative freedom in oenology. The texts and the pictures represent just one moment in their professional careers, but there is also room for their thoughts and impressions on the world of wine and their professional plans and challenges. The project began in 2016 with a visit to the vineyards of the Carlania Winery during the grape harvest, where the oenologist Roser Amorós works as a wine specialist; it continues by focusing on the end of the harvest and the first musts at Colet Wines, and Sergi Colet’s plans to produce sparkling wines; and it finishes with Miquel Palau showing us the autumn landscape in the vineyards of Abadal, on the plain of Bages. It is, therefore, a collection that traces different moments in the yearly cycle of the vineyard and the change that the vines undergo, as well as each oenologist’s thoughts and reflections about each season.


Josep Anton Ferré Vidal Rector of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili This new series by the URV’s Publications Unit, Retrats de Vi (Wine Portraits), focuses on several oenologists, all trained at the URV, who use their professional and personal experience to explain what their work consists of, their objectives and the challenges they face. But, above all, they show us their love of a profession that has deep roots in our land. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Faculty of Oenology, this series is also a tribute to the lecturers and the administrative and service staff who have worked there. During this period, the various courses on offer have trained more than a thousand professionals, more than half of whom graduated in Oenology. Particular mention should be made of the staff, who have always responded to the changes introduced and adapted the courses and the research to the new social and economic challenges. The latest example of this is the introduction in the 2015-2016 academic year of the new Erasmus-Mundus Master’s Degree in Wine and Tourism, the first one to be coordinated by our university. The university in the 21st century has three main missions: the first, to teach top-quality courses that provide people with knowledge, abilities and skills; the second, to carry out cutting-edge research that generates knowledge and is transferred through the first mission – training – and the third, to boost economic, social and regional development and lead the way to the knowledge society. The URV consciously combines its clear role in the region as the main expression of its commitment to society with the international scope of its research. This connection between top-quality education, cutting-edge research, and the social and economic reality of the southernmost regions of Catalonia has become the driving force behind the development of the University. In particular, oenology has been one of the roots that has linked the URV to the region. The protagonists of Retrats de Vi will certainly provide this joint vision.


From the Barberà Basin to the Bages Plain, passing through Penedès The three new books describe the reassessment of Trepat grapes in the Barberà Basin, the plans to make quality sparkling wines in Penedès and the return to making vat wine in the Bages Plain, where there are thousands of dry-stone constructions The voice that dominates all the publications is the oenologist’s and it is constantly reflected in the quotations. Roser Amorós is a flying winemaker with more than 20 years of experience, and an enviable way of putting her profession into practice. “My job is to guarantee that the wine is good and of high quality,” she says. Born in Barberà de la Conca, the book describes her personal and professional connection mainly to Trepat and the DO Conca de Barberà but also the numerous projects in which she participates in Catalonia and beyond. She often argues in favour of using phytotherapy and biodynamics, because she believes that that they have positive effects not only on people but also on wine. Sergi Colet is the oenologist at Colet Wines in Penedès and also the owner. He produces sparkling wines of extreme delicacy and subtlety. “Our project is based on the vines and the land,” he argues from his standpoint as a competitor to the cava industry. “We sell the vineyard and the vintage factor,” he claims from El Romaní, the family property in Sant Martí Sarroca, where he designed his project surrounded by hundred-year-old olive trees. Finally, Miquel Palau, is an oenologist who is well-respected by the Roqueta Origen group where he works and many other groups who value his knowledge and humility. “If we have an objective, that is to reinforce our identity,” he says, convinced that Abadal has to work not only to produce quality wines but also to recuperate the wine heritage of the DO Pla de Bages, as he demonstrates every year by producing vat wine. The three oenologists speak sincerely and transparently, which is also how they work in the vineyard and the winery. They express their concern for the challenges facing the world of wine today and they explain how they rise to them (especially climate change). They also share a challenge: to recuperate and preserve the landscape of wine and the vineyard, maintain the customs and traditions that have been handed down, use autochthonous varieties and aspire to making a wine that reflects the times, without losing the essence of what they feel a wine should be, a taste of the vine and the vintage. They all agree that one of the most positive aspects of the time they spent at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili was the ‘family atmosphere’ created by the lecturers and students during the first years that the degree was taught in Tarragona. They also highlight the importance of the viticulture classes with the lecturer Agustí Villarroya, with his in-depth knowledge of the vineyard, and the inspiration of the biologist, Josep Lluís Pérez, then a lecturer. Roser Amorós, Sergi Colet and Miquel Palau have in common that they are young and passionate about making wine in Catalonia, in quite different wine regions with enormous potential all marked by geography, climatology, varieties and the hand of man. The three oenologists have all taken different paths, but they feel quite satisfied with how they practise their profession despite the intensity and the sacrifice it involves. And, over time, they have learned how to combine this dedication to their work with their personal and family lives.


Places of inspiration All the books have the same structure and are intended to form a complete cycle. It is the first collection to be published by Publicacions URV and is a journey through the wealth diversity and quality of Catalan wine. At the beginning of each volume there is a short piece of poetry or prose reflecting the winemaker’s way of thinking and doing. After this there is a summary written in a literary style that reveals the oenologist’s way of approaching and understanding wine. The main body of Retrats de Vi are its chapters, which centre on the oenologist’s first contact with wine, the URV, life and the cultural framework. Wine Portraits includes a section on one of the oenologist’s most important tools: his hands. The section also features poetry and musical references in praise of wine. The end of each book offers a brief guide to restaurants and wine bars recommended by the oenologists. These are often places that have inspired them and where wine is a central element. The series also has a section in which oenologists, sommeliers and other people who have followed the careers of the protagonists of the books can appraise them and provide some context. Short texts have been written by the oenologists Jean Natolí, Gerard Jané and Anna Gallisà; the sommeliers Joan Lluís Gómez (Restaurant Sant Pau de Carme Ruscalleda) and Xavi Nolla (Grup Codorníu), and the vine growers Jaume Sabaté (Mas Plantadeta) and Jordi Castellví (Can Grau Vell). JEAN NATOLÍ, oenologist, about Roser Amorós “The first time I met Roser was in her village, Poboleda. We were tasting a neighbour’s wine, a range of Priorat in fact. [­…] At the time I was looking for an oenologist to help me in a consultancy project for a winery in Navarre, so I asked her. It was a long way from Priorat but she said yes! That was in 2001. We worked together successfully and for a long time. She was always very pleasant, respectful, full of empathy and humour. She often took the initiative in her job. We tried to work together with other wineries in Spain. We did, but the jobs never lasted long. In our work you have to let time take its course (dar tiempo al tiempo as Cervantes would say). So after 10 years, we stopped. But I hope we can work together again one day.” JESÚS BARQUÍN, co-founder of Equipo Navazos, about Sergi Colet “We decided to work together because of what I believe was a mutual admiration for what we were both doing in our respective areas. As far as the sparkling wines and caves from the Penedès are concerned, we believe that Colet is one of the three or four leading companies in terms of quality even though it is a small family business. Particularly interesting is Sergi’s attachment to the vineyard and the concept that wines come from the vine (of course!). We believe that the wines we work on together are truly exceptional […]. And when I say they are exceptional, I mean just that. It’s no surprise to me that the Extra Brut has been selected as one of the great wines in the world by the book 1001 Wines You Should Try before You Die.” GERARD JANÉ, oenologist at Jané Ventura, about Miquel Palau “He worked at Jané Ventura for two harvests and I can only say positive things about him. He’s very hard working. He’s observant, enthusiastic, committed and knows what being part of a team means. He’s prepared to take risks by re-inventing techniques and working with grapes that nobody else works with but he’s practical and expeditive, both qualities that are needed to take decisions, and lead projects and teams. He’s in love with the region and its history. I believe that he is really making a difference at the company he works for now because he’s one of the most romantic oenologists and he’s heavily involved in the region’s heritage. He’s giving the company greater soul and connecting with the most passionate consumers.”


Each book costs €8.00 in paper format and €3.99 in electronic format. The books can be found in both standard and specialised bookshops, wine museums and other cultural entities related to the sector. The collection will soon be completed with the portraits of three more oenologists who studied at the URV Faculty of Oenology and who lead wine projects in the Penedès DO, the Conca de Barberà DO and the Pla de Bages DO, among others. They can be bought online at www.publicacions.urv.cat. The activities relating to this collection can be followed at www.retratsdevi.cat and on the social networks Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #retratsdevi #wineportraits [You can download the covers and the press kit on the following link: http://www.publicacions.urv.cat/noticies-sp-742790655/34-noticies/638-en%C3%B2legs-de-la-urv]


ROSER AMORÓS – CARLANIA CELLER

“We should not be surprised by the fact that phytotherapy and biodynamics have positive effects on wine and people” Literature_ “Sometimes when he came upon a shrivelled grape that had been missed by the pickers, he salvaged the Fer Sevadou raisin and relished its spicy sweetness. Whenever he reached the end of the row, he made a pile of the prunings and took a flaming vine from the previous burnings to ignite a new fire, the bitter stink of the smoke adding to his pleasure in the work.” (Noah Gordon, The Winemaker) Written Portrait_ “In Barberà de la Conca everybody knows her and her family. She is a discrete and careful woman. “Shy,” she says, not wanting to beat about the bush. Roser Amorós warmly greets everyone she passes in the town, which she visits quite regularly because her parents and brother still live there and she has a small but very special plot of land. She was born in the rectory of the town, which today has about a thousand inhabitants. However, she has lived for years in Poboleda, where the Carthusian monks are said to have settled to find out whether they were suited to living in silence in Scala Dei. The Montsant mountains are just a stone’s throw away. They are a mystical place, full of light even when the day is overcast, as it often is in Barberà. In both places, you can discover faith without having to become a believer. She is convinced that the land marks the people born there. It is hardly surprising that the peace reigning in Barberà and Montsant has had an impact on her. She graduated in Oenology from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili as one of only the second year of students to graduate although she actually registered in the very first year the degree was offered. The course has now been run for more than a quarter of a century. She was admitted after going through an amusing interview, which she still remembers to this day. She has been self-employed since 2001 and she likes to make wine and share it with her friends. She has the great ability to adapt to different wine regions and their different sensitivities, perhaps because of her affable and empathetic nature.” What people think_ “She was very precise in her judgment. In some cases, she demonstrated great technical knowledge […] I always think that women are perfect for oenology consulting. Roser is a model!” Jean Natoli, oenologist He recommend us_ El Portal 19 (Barberà de la Conca). “Gastronomically speaking it’s a great place and they have a good selection of wines from Conca de Barberà.” One thing with which Roser certainly agrees is the owners’ slogan; “Our food conveys sincerity.” http://www.retratsdevi.cat/cat/perfils/26/roser-amoros


SERGI COLET – COLET VINS “We have to sell vines and the vintage factor” Poem_ “In perfect balance, our castles of dreams slowly reach skywards. Oh, Sense, could we not shelter for ever more within you?” “Nosaltres tots, castellers”, Salvador Espriu

Written Portrait_ “On the Romaní farm there is an impressive avenue of olive trees; two lines of Menyas; 47 trees in total. Just before the Olympic Games in Barcelona, in 1992, we were offered one a half million pesetas for each tree. They have been in Sant Martí Sarroca for 200 years and my father and I thought that we couldn’t really justify moving them from where they belonged. We humans don’t have the right to change nature.” Sincere, humble, clear, direct, Sergi Colet is as respectful of trees as he is of wine. He is an oenologist but he likes farming in general. Since 1783 his family has been working in viticulture in the heart of the Penedès region and he is at the head of a new, university-trained generation who have inherited the experience of their fathers and grandfathers and who are eager to hand it down to future generations. He has two sons of 6 and 10 years old and he is already getting them to play games so that they can discover the aromas of wine. Last night I was drinking a Xavier Clua (DO Terra Alta) and I asked them first if they noticed fruit or flower and then if the fruit was melon or fig.” As a young boy he also used to taste wine with his grandfather and he recalls that on Sundays, on the Romaní farm, they would open as many bottles of cava as of fizzy water with his grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts.” What people think_ “As far as the sparkling wines and caves from the Penedès are concerned, we believe that Colet is one of the three or four leading companies in terms of quality even though it is a small family business. Particularly interesting is Sergi’s attachment to the vineyard and the concept that wines come from the vine (of course!).” Jesús Barquín, co-founder of Equipo Navazos He recommend us_ Cal Lluís (Sant Martí Sarroca). “The wine list is full of old, well conserved wines and I almost end up in tears whenever I pay them a visit. There are no hot dishes. It’s all cold meats and cheeses. But they are very sensitive and they have a fantastic wine list with Riedel glasses. Once I tasted a 1979 Jean León for 39 euros. Wine is very important for them.” You can even find wines and caves from the town itself. Their awareness of wine is summed up in the quote by Victor Hugo at the top of the menu: “C’est Dieu qui créa l’eau. Mais l’homme fit le vin.” http://www.retratsdevi.cat/cat/perfils/31/sergi-colet


MIQUEL PALAU - CELLER ABADAL “When I think about wine I like to go beyond the product and get to know the people behind it” Poem_ “We must overcome this fog, this onion skin, that pierces our belly and dampens our soul. We must overcome so that we can graft our children with the wisdom of the mother plant” Poemes de pedra seca, Nati Soler Alcaide Written Portrait_ “He’s all attitude, hope and honesty. It’s not particularly difficult for him because he’s imbued with the land and the product. As an oenologist, he breathes sincerity, attitude, commitment and involvement. He’s an asset that we value greatly.” Valentí Roqueta, president of the group Roqueta Origen, is talking about Miquel Palau, the director of oenology. It is obvious to everyone that he is inquisitive and humble. His organizational skills are good and he is always eager to learn. Miquel – Micky to his friends – works in a family business that is not his, but where he has been made to feel quite at home. He is driven by one particular ambition: “I want to bring back the winegrowing tradition that gives us value and meaning. We’ve still got a lot of work to do if we’re going to find the identity of the DO Pla de Bages and that is what spurs me on.” Miquel made no bones about this in a tasting that he organised in Monvínic with traditional varieties that have been brought back into use. He does not make the vat wine for Mas Arboset just because he is a romantic. “Thank you for the lesson in historical heritage,” tweeted Toni Massanés, the director of the Fundació Alícia, after attending the first racking of the wine, an initiative of the sommelier Josep Pitu Roca in 2013.” What people think_ “He’s observant, enthusiastic, committed and knows what being part of a team means. He’s prepared to take risks by re-inventing techniques and working with grapes that nobody else works with but he’s practical and expeditive, both qualities that are needed to take decisions, and lead projects and teams. He’s in love with the region and its history. I believe that he is really making a difference at the company he works for now because he’s one of the most romantic oenologists and he’s heavily involved in the region’s heritage. He’s giving the company greater soul and connecting with the most passionate consumers”. Gerard Jané, oenologist at Jané Ventura He recommend us_ Pizzeria Restaurant Al Punt (Artés). “Dami Vila is constantly surprising us. There’s a special feel to his selection of wines and I taste everything he recommends. I let him surprise me. He’s the life and soul of the place and he encourages the customers to consume. Whenever I go I see wine on every table, even though there are other things to drink.” http://www.retratsdevi.cat/cat/perfils/22/miquel-abadal


SERGI COLET Fredi Torres [oenologist]:

Colet is all about delicacy. The wines have a unique personality (...). Colet reminds me of Champagne because of the delicacy, the personality and the sensitivity. They are delightful wines and an example of a job well done.

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DO Conca de Barberà ROSER AMORÓS Jean Natoli [oenologist]:

We worked together successfully and for a long time. She was always very pleasant, respectful, full of empathy and humour. She Wine Portraits often took the initiative in her job.

Sergi Colet

W IN E P O RT RA IT S / R O SE R AM O R Ó S

DO Penedès-Clàssic Penedès

W IN E PO RT R A I T S / S E R G I C O L E T

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DO Pla de Bages M I Q U E L PA L A U Gerard Jané [oenologist]:

He’s observant, enthusiastic, committed and knows what being part of a team means. He’s prepared to take risks by re-inventing Wine Portraits techniques and working with grapes that nobody else works with but he’s practical and expeditive (…) He’s in love with the region and its history.

Roser Amorós

#wineportraits April 2017

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