D.O. Alella vineyards overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

Alella is the name of a small city near Barcelona (Cataluna) situated on the coast on the southwest side of the granite Catalan Coastal Range. It gives its name to a small Spanish DO (Denominació d’Origen in Catalan), the D.O. Alella. This D.O. produces mainly white wines.

During the 90s, this wine region suffered from a growing urbanization. To compensate from this loss of ground, this D.O. has been enlarged northwards. The wineries are usually urban mansions that are built on the slopes overlooking the sea. This region enjoys a totally Mediterranean climate (mild winters, hot summers). The height level above sea of each vine parcel determines the variety selected to be grown and thus the type of wine produced.

This wine region was historically known for its traditional, oak-aged, medium-sweet white wines.

D.O. Alella soils

At 60 meters above sea level, the lowest vines are on dark soils over igneous rocks in an open valley facing the sea. The highest, in a new neighborhood called Vallés, are built on lime-bearing rock protected by mountains.

The most interesting feature of Allella DO is the distinctive topsoil which is known as sauló in Catalan.It is essentially a white granite-based sand that is extremely porous and holds heat effectively. This promotes ripening of the grapes, while the nearby humid microclimate compensates for the low water retention capabilities.

D.O. Alella grape varities

The emblematic grape of this area is the Pansa Blanca which is in fact the local name for the Xarel-lo grape variety. Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are also grown in this area mainly to make Cava (together with Pansa Blanca) and some non-sparkling dry white wines.

D.O. Alella producers

Parxet/Marqués de Alella, which pioneered a new wine style focused on quality, saved Alella’s reputation. In the late 1990s, the local co-operative and a newer private manufacturer, Roura, joined this fight for higher quality.

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