Celler Mas Vicenç, the world of wine embraces you
Celler Mas Vicenç is located in the highest part of the DO Tarragona, in the north of the Alt Camp region. It is a small, family-run winery that is being built day by day, with a steady pace and taking advantage of the opportunity to be the fifth generation of farmers.
A few years ago, explains Xavier Ferré Morató, the youngest son and co-owner of Celler Mas Vicenç, his older brother, Vicenç, studied oenology in Falset (Priorat) and in France. He liked the world of wine so much that he went to work in a winery in the region. At home, meanwhile, they continued doing what was the family tradition: working the land where they have vines, olive trees and nuts (hazelnuts and almonds) and selling the fruit to the Vila-rodona cooperative.
“We are the first generation to have made wine at home,” Xavier Ferré says, who is in charge of the commercial, communication and wine tourism aspects of the company. “In fact, it was my older brother who started the project, who turned the dream of making quality wines from the best family estates into a reality. As a result of his experience and with our parents, in 2004 we decided to take the plunge and so we converted some warehouses we had in the family farmhouse, where we still live, and adapted them as a winery.”
35 hectares of vineyards
Celler Mas Vicenç cultivates 35 hectares of vineyards. Ferré explains that they would never have dared to make wine without family vines. “We grow different varieties, in a formidable terrain, very well located because of the ventilation it receives, and because of the different types of soils we have. Today, we continue to sell fruit to the cooperative, as we only use 50% of the harvest. This allows us to make our wines with the selection of the best fruit from the best family vineyards,” he explains.
The winery has been growing slowly, “with our feet on the ground and prioritising quality over quantity.” “At first it was a weekend dedication. But the world of wine is a world that embraces you, that you are passionate about, that gives you new opportunities, that allows you to meet new people, new customers, new ways of doing things. All this meant that in 2009 my brother decided to dedicate himself 100% to the family business,” Ferré continues. In 2011 he himself joined the company, after having studied Business Studies and International Business. “We have been growing very naturally. We are now producing over 70,000 bottles,” he says.
Xavier Ferré explains enthusiastically that they have recently launched a new wine that they are “very proud of.” “We have been pursuing this idea for many years. We have made an estate wine that comes from a single piece of land. Beyond this, we grow the variety that most identifies the DO Tarragona: 100% Macabeo,” he explains. The vineyard was planted by Xavier’s great-grandfather in 1912. “It’s a vineyard with a lot of history, it’s the treasure of the house. Castell Tallat is a voluminous wine, a Macabeo from a centenary vineyard, embellished in an amphora,” he praises proudly. With this wine, the Ferré family wants to pay tribute to the Roman wine-making past of the Tarragona countryside.
The type of cultivation practised at Mas Vicenç is 100% organic, although they lack the certification seal. “The difficulty of obtaining this seal due to the management of the conversion from conventional to organic, of 35 hectares in different markets, means that for the moment we haven’t asked for it,” Ferré argues. He also explains that Mas Vicenç winery has never been in favour of using pesticides and herbicides. “And even less so when the vines don’t ask for it. Mas Vicen’s philosophy is not to demand the maximum yield from the vines. Now we are looking for an extra effort, a suffering of the vine, a higher competition between the vines to obtain a better quality. We know that behind a bottle of wine there is work in the vineyard,” he explains patiently.
Local market, a sincere product
The winery’s priority market is the local market: “We mainly sell in the Tarragona region and then to the rest of Catalonia,” Ferré explains, adding that exports represent between 5 and 10 percent of total sales. “It is more the result of a friendly relationship than a business relationship. Our main objective is to sell on the domestic market. If local customers like the wine, it will make us produce a more sincere product,” he remarks.
For Ferré, the success of this local market is thanks to wine tourism. “Wine tourism has been the winery’s main focus for many years and it brings us a lot of direct sales and even customer loyalty. People come home, have a good time, and explain it to their friends. In the end, this word-of-mouth is magnificent, as it leads to a good level of direct sales to the winery, both in the physical shop and in the online shop,” he says.
This young winery, as Xavier Ferré says, moves forward slowly and with its feet on the ground. They are optimistic about the future, although they are concerned about the effects of climate change, which they want to combat by planting native varieties, such as Macabeo, the flagship of the Tarragona DO.
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