Celler Bouquet d’Alella: tradition and innovation
Bouquet of Alella, is located in the DO Alella. It is a winery located in one of the two farmhouses of the owners, the Masia Can Boquet, from the 15th century, in Gothic style, next to the town of Alella. The Cerdà brothers are in charge of this estate that has been in the hands of the family for 14 generations.
The Boquet family has been in charge of lands located in the Maresme and the Vallès (DO Alella) for 5 centuries. Ten years ago, after seeing how the work done on the land was not valued, as the price of grape was very low, Toni Cerdà, viticulturist and winemaker, and his sister Teresa, economist, both grandchildren of a Boquet, decided to continue their father’s work of replanting vineyards and making -with the grapes grown in part of their land- wine, bottling and marketing it. This idea came to their minds after they observed how difficult it was to make a living from selling grapes and after realising that the future of the farm was in danger due to the strong urban pressure that the area supports because of its proximity to Barcelona.
A romantic idea
Teresa Cerdà explains that the project was born from the romantic vision of maintaining the family legacy of Can Boquet. In fact, they built the winery on the ground floor of the 15th century manor house, Can Boquet, which is surrounded by vineyards and from where you can see the sea, so present in this DO, denomination of origin.
Their production is small, with 35,000 bottles per year, which are mostly consumed in Catalonia, specifically in the counties of Barcelona and Girona. They only export a small part to Holland. “We have a very small production” – says Teresa, who adds that there is a lot of competition, and it is difficult to reach customers because there are good wines everywhere. Increasingly, however, house wines are becoming more popular. Despite this, the consumption of local wine needs more wide-spreading and understanding, because our job is not just to make good wines, but to take care of the territory. As my brother says, we are the gardeners of the region, because we maintain the territory and give shape to the landscape ”. It is easy to deduce that the name chosen for the winery, Bouquet, is a clear evocation of the family name Boquet, which was lost in the lineage, when, according to the Catalan tradition, the descendant having been a woman, a pubilla, their children stopped carrying her surname.
Sea and mountain
The vineyards of Bouquet d’Alella are scattered. Some are by the sea, others are over 400 meters high, and others in between. “This diversification of location is what ends up giving our wines its own character, because each terroir, despite having been planted the same variety, gives a different taste.” The division into small plots, of the 14 hectares they cultivate, allows the Cerdà brothers to make a careful selection of the grapes from which they make two different product ranges: “We have two types of products: the most general, which follows very similar vinification parameters, and another, which we call micro vinifications ”, explains Teresa Cerdà, who adds that her brother likes to explore different ways of vinifying varieties, which allows them to obtain different products, with little intervention, and which are very natural, such as ancestral wines. The varieties that they work on are indigenous to the area. For years his father had planted international varieties, but the Cerdà brothers have only preserved the Syrah variety, “because it has adapted very well and is Mediterranean” and have opted for lifelong local varieties, such as white raisins, black grenache and the Mataró-monestrell. Their wines, the result of work based on organic farming, together with their specific location, with a sandstone terrain, mild winters and hot summers, near the sea, turn out soft, light and with a salty point.
The winery is 15 minutes from Barcelona. This proximity has made them firmly believe in the enotourism that they have launched since the creation of the project. Although the pandemic has reduced the presence of visitors, they believe that the wine tourist must be one of the mainstays of the business. To increase the awareness of the work they do, added to the fact of being a natural space so close to the big city, which has been able to resist the urban pressure, spurs them to work on proposals designed for people who love wine, nature and local produce.
The Cerdà brothers speak proudly of the family legacy and therefore work the land thinking about the environment and future generations. They manage 60 hectares of land: between forests, crops and vineyards and have two farmhouses of high historical value: Can Boquet d’Alella, from the 15th century, where they have the winery, and Can Boquet from Vilassar de Dalt, of Romanesque origin, from the 10th century. The motto that guides them is “Live tradition, experience innovation”.
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