During the phylloxera crisis, Joan Albet i Rovirosa arrived in the Penedès in 1903 to work the vineyards at the Can Vendrell de la Codina estate. For five generations, the Albet family, tenant farmers of Can Vendrell, have farmed, loved and watched over the vines that now produce the fruit for Albet i Noya.
Albet i Noya has organically farmed wines since 1978, when a Danish wine company knocked on the family’s door looking to find an organic wine grower in Penedès. The organically farmed vineyards have expanded with time to include plots in Lavern and Mediona and the cellar now features modern technology to handle the wine gently.
Most of the vineyards are located in the mountains of Ordal, arranged on terraces, slopes or in small plots that are farmed differently depending on the orientation, the hours of sunshine, the humidity and the altitude. Like all good vineyard soils, those of Can Vendrell are poor in organic matter, with variable contents of clay and sand on a limestone bed, a permeable soil but with a good moisture retention capacity.
All vineyards include ground cover to aerate the soils and are maintained by adding green and organic fertilizers. Pest control is never treated with insecticides; instead sexual confusion and the introduction of bat colonies throughout the vineyards. An R&D project has been in the works to eliminate the use of copper completely and reduce the use of sulfur by 90% in the next few years.
Albet i Noya produces two lines of traditional method sparkling wines from the Penedès, neither of which are classified as Cava. The Petit Albet Rosé and Brut are fresh and youthful versions of "Clàssic Penedès" with the rosé being a Pinot Noir and Garnatxa blend and the brut being a traditional blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada.
A superior source of white grapes for the production of Spain’s prized sparkling wine, Cava, the Penedes region is part of Catalunya and sits just south of Barcelona. Medio Penedès is the most productive source of the Cava grapes, Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. Penedes also grows Garnacha and Tempranillo (here called Ull de Llebre in Catalan), for high quality reds and rosès.
Primarily associated with the Penedès region of Spain, Xarel-lo plays an important role in most Cava blends along with Parellada and Macabeo. Prized for its high levels of acidity and polyphenols, Xarel-lo adds strength, body and a distinct greengage or earthy character to these blends. Somm Secret—Just a few miles northeast of Barcelona, Xarel-lo vineyards around the town of Alella produce highly regarded still wines with fresh lemon and stone fruit flavors.