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.
Spanish red wine is known for being bold, heady, rustic and age-worthy, Spain is truly a one-of-a-kind wine-producing nation. A great majority of the country is hot, arid and drought-ridden, and since irrigation has only been recently introduced and (controversially) accepted, viticulture has sustained—and flourished—only through a great understanding of Spain’s particular conditions. Large spacing between vines allows each enough resources to survive and as a result, the country has the most acreage under vine compared to any other country, but is usually third in production.
Of the Spanish red wines, the most planted and respected grape variety is Tempranillo, the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Priorat specializes in bold red blends, Jumilla has gained global recognition for its single varietal Monastrell and Utiel-Requena has garnered recent attention for its reds made of Bobal.