PRIORAT - SPAIN
“Among the best in Priorat.” - Wine Advocate
Ester Nin and Carles Ortiz met in 2007 at a biodynamic seminar in Catalonia. Carles was an organic grape grower in Priorat seeking to better understand his vineyard, while Ester was winemaker at Daphne Glorian’s Clos Erasmus in Gratallops, already following biodynamic principles and beginning to work her own vineyard. This first encounter eventually led them to bring together their vineyards, efforts and lives. Now they are family with two children and a small company called Familia Nin Ortiz, that manages 13 hectares of vines. The ground floor of their home is packed with wooden vats, amphorae and barrels. There isn’t a great deal of separation between their work and private life!
Familia Nin Ortiz is one of the few Spanish producers who are members of La Renaissance des Appellations, the biodynamic association led by Nicolas Joly (La Coulée de Serrant) with strict quality criteria for its affiliates. Ester and Carles also promoted a group of biodynamic producers in Penedès. Ester and Carles think of wine as an organic soil-yeasts-fermentation cycle. “Only a living soil creates the conditions to obtain yeasts capable of developing fully spontaneous fermentations” they say. They plough their vines with their four mules and pick grapes in late August, which is rather early for the area. Harvest dates are set based on pH levels —their ‘top commandment’ - and they never tweak with their wines. “Rectified wines are soul-less wines” says Carles.
Planetes de Nin red is a blend of young Cariñena planted in coster (terraced slopes) with de-stemmed, amphorae-aged Garnacha also sourced from terraced vines. Nit de Nin is a powerful, structured red with bright acidity and minerality which benefits from cellaring. Grapes are sourced from Mas d’en Caçador, a 112-year-old vineyard planted with Cariñena, Garnacha and Garnacha Peluda.