Rutas de vinoVintage Spain
Visitas a Bodegas . Enoturismo
CAN JONC
ALELLA VINÍCOLA
Rambla Ángel Guimerà 62. 08328. Alella. Barcelona.
Tel: 93 540 38 42 - Fax: 93 540 1648
Web: www.alellavinicola.com - E-mail: marfil@alellavinicola.com


HISTORY:

1886 That was the year the Phylloxera plague reached Alella and by 1894 it had affected the local vineyards with extreme virulence. Many owners were ruined and had to sell their properties.

In 1888, the first American stemmed vine was planted in Alella. The first harvest after the Phylloxera plague was in 1894.

On July 15 1906, Alella Vinícola was founded as a co-operative with the character of an agricultural trade union, and its first 54 member associates contributed, at the beginning of the business, around 513,000 vines. In September of the same year, Jeroni Martorell was commissioned with the building of the wine cellar and Alella Vinícola s company headquarters in a modern style.

By 1911, 800.000 vines had already been re-planted. The recovery of the vines and of production was complete. Of all the vines in Alella, 513.000 belonged to the Alella Vinícola union. The founders of the co-operative were concerned about authenticity and certification of origin. This is why the labels carry the wording Alella Legítimo (Genuine Alella). Alella Vinícola became a guarantee of the authenticity of Alella wine, operating de facto as a Regulatory Council for the Guarantee of Denomination of Origin (Appelation Controlée), by pursuing any illicit use of the name Alella.

In 1918, the most exclusive stores offered to represent our wines on important markets: Argentina, Cuba, London, New York, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, etc. These exports increased the prestige of our wine.

In 1923, 900.000 of the one million vines throughout the Alella municipality belonged to the union.
In 1928, the trademark MARFIL was registered and the co-op's wine came to be known as Marfil Alella. The name arose because of the colour of the wine and the caps that sealed the bottles.
The 1920's and 1930's saw significant growth in the wines of Alella Vinicola. The prestige of MARFIL wine reached its peak: and Alella Vinícola received its ultimate blessing when in 1928 a Spanish king - Alfonso XIII  gave Marfil Alella the distinction of his royal seal of appointment, in preference over a very famous foreign brand. The co-operative's wine has been awarded national and international prizes, prominent among which is the gold medal received at the Barcelona World Fair in 1929. This distinction was the only one awarded unanimously to a Spanish brand.

During the post-war years, demand was twice as high as capacity. Alella Vinícola had to restrict the number of deliveries. Unscrupulous shopkeepers became wealthy thanks to the name of Marfil Alella by selling wine from anywhere except Alella.

In 1942, the cooperative took the initiative of asking the town hall to take suitable measures to protect Marfil's good name. Four years later, measures were taken to create a Regulatory Council for the protection of Alella wine.

In 1947, Jeroni Martorell oversaw the extension of the building, taking advantage of the slope of the land to improve the wine-making process. The grapes were received in the higher area while the wine matured in the lower area.

1953 On 13 May of that year, the Regulatory Council of the Alella Denomination of Origin was established.

In 1956, the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of Alella Vinícola was celebrated and the Bye-Laws of the Regulatory Council for the Guarantee of Denomination of Origin was approved. Between the 1950 ' s 1970 's, the co-operative kept up its good results.

At the end of the 1970 's, increasing pressure by urban development led to the destruction of many vineyards, which were converted into plots on which second homes for people from Barcelona were built. The lack of Alella wine in the shops during certain periods led to disappointment among loyal customers.

During the 1980 's, part of the wine cellar installations were renewed. Many of the wooden vats were replaced with stainless steel tanks in which to commence the production of young wines following the introduction of new varieties.

On 23 June 1998, the Alella Vinícola co-operative became a private company. It was the beginning of a new era!

1999 saw the birth of the 50 hectare plantation of home-grown vines and the renewal of the installations to adapt them to new wine production systems.

Starting with the 2002 grape harvest, MARFIL wines were presented in a Bordeaux bottle and the classic Rhine type bottle was abandoned. In addition, a new brand was born in the cellar: IVORI, a white wine fermented in oak barrels and whose production is based on a local variety.

The 2003 grape harvest initiated the production and renovation of the vintage VIOLETA wine, a sweet wine produced with Garnacha Tinta (red Garnacha) from old vines, which had been made for many years in the cooperative. Pansified white raisins (pansas blancas) are also vinified to obtain sweet white wines. A new brand appeared on the market that year - VALLMORA. It was a red wine produced with Garnacha Tinta from old vines from the Rials Valley, the only ones remaining in the area!

In 2005, MARFIL wines were marketed with a very innovative image and quality. The wine cellar produced and sold a total of nearly twenty products between wines and Spanish Cava (Champagne)


VINES

QUALITY FACTORS

Climatology
 
Alella Mediterranean climate is characterised by hot and dry summers, with occasional storms, mild winters, and with spring and autumn being the rainiest seasons. Winter frosts are almost nonexistent, particularly in the areas closer to the sea.
The coastal mountain range, parallel to the sea, plays a very important role in the environmental conditions of our vineyards. With a height of 500 metres, it acts as a screen because it condenses the east wind, allowing for a fairly constant humidity level in the climate (annual average of around 72%) that helps to restore the precarious water balance in the plant caused by the 'sauló'.It also blocks the north easterly winds, common during winter on the sea side of the D.O. area.
The annual rainfall of 546 mm makes Alella the least rainy place in Maresme.



Geology
 
The orography and geology are two distinguishing characteristics of this region and therefore of Alella. The short distance between the sea and the mountain forms an important topographic slope, a condensation barrier against the sea humidity and, logically, very effective run-off for surface rain water (Autumn floods are typical in Maresme). The geology, typically granitic, mainly consists of leucogranites, with various types of porfirious stone.
Mechanical meteorisation of the granite takes place due to the orography and the composition of the bedrock, forming sandy soil in the lower zones - very loose, poor in organic substances and with light shade: the Sauló. It is the main pedological characteristic and is considered to be one of the quality factors in the production of our grapes.
Because of the Saulos tendency to erode, the top soil has moved down the valley several times and, as many of our vines are planted on slopes, the bedrock appears. Because of high permeability, its water retention capacity is very low. The Sauló's white colour allows the soil to retain solar radiation, the light and heat that help in the ripening process of the grapes.
The soil mostly comprises quartz, feldspar and mica, though one can also find other minerals such as hornblende. This mineralogical formation in a Mediterranean climate goes through a process of meteorisation and becomes the Sauló.
The soil is slightly acid or neutral, with a sandy texture low in clay and organic matter.



Varieties
 
Several varieties have traditionally been cultivated in the Alella area: The white varieties are:- Pansa Blanca, Garnacha Blanca, Pansa Rosada, Picapoll and Malvasia. The red varieties, which have a longer tradition in our zone are: Tempranillo, Garnacha Negra and Garnacha Peluda. A few years ago, new varieties were introduced, such as Parellada, Macabeu, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, among others.

Pansa blanca:
From the enological point of view, this is a variety that offers a high degree of alcohol, adequate acidity and good bodied wines with a high ageing capacity. It usually displays aromas of honey, ripe grapes, white fruit and fennel.
It is a plant with medium fertility. Pruning is performed using the 'Double Royat' method in order to encourage vigour throughout the plant. It is quite sensitive to Oidio and ripens at the end of September.
It is THE variety of Alella and is the basis of our entire white wine production.

Garnatxa negra:

This variety is quite rich in alcohol, as the Sauló causes it to keep good acidity and an appropriate phenol content that ripens properly if the plant's balance is correct. It is possible to produce wine with a suitable aging capacity.
The wines produced with Garnacha of Alella display very tasty floral aromas, and also of red or black fruit, that according to the grape's ripening may be anywhere from strawberry to dry figs.

It is a variety with good fertility, well suited to the poor Sauló soil. It is quite sensitive to diseases such as MILDEW. In our vineyards, harvest is usually from the end of September to the middle of October. For the Violeta, we work with the Garnacha of over-ripe old vines and carry out harvesting in November.
All our red wines have a high content of red Garnacha.

Cultural habits
 
Each of our wines is produced from very specific vines, that is why we adapt the plants to the type of wine we want to produce.
We work with the same philosophy as if we were producing ecological wine: minimum but highly selective farming. We want to create a balance between the vines and their environment.
The old vines are still arranged 'in glass shape', whereas the younger ones are cultivated on pergolas 'en espalda', to profit fully from their exposure to the sun. We monitor the work carried out on the vines thoroughly in order to obtain homogeneous and healthy ripening of the fruit.

Our vines

Only 14 kilometres from Barcelona, we have 50 hectares of old and young vines which allow us to produce nearly 80% of the grapes needed for the production of our wines. As well as a guided-tour through the wine cellar, it is also possible to have a walk through the vines along the Rials Valley, with their spectacular views of the sea, our vineyards and the city of Barcelona behind them.


PRODUCTS:


White wines


Ivori Blanc 2007
White wine fermented in french oak barrels. It has a full, silky, well-balanced palate with a persistent finish.
Chardonnay 2007
Wine in wich the fruity varietal aromas blend very well with notes of the wine's ageing. This wine has an especially appealing texture with a very personal finish.
Marfil Clàssic 2007
Fruity, very personal (with the typical qualities of an "Alella white"). elegant with a surprising finish.
Marfil Blanc Sec 2007
This is a pleasant, elegant, fruity white wine with character.
Chardonnay Selecció 2006
Interesting, complex and very elegant!


Rosee Wines



Marfil Rosat 2007
A rosé wine with an attractive colour, fruity, with a very pleasant nose and a fresh palate.
Mayla Rosat D'agulla 2007
It is delicate, fresh, informal and very pleasant!


Red Wines

Marfil Negre Criança 2006
Ripe bunches both by nose and on the palate, 100% Mediterranean character!
Vallmora 2006
The Red Grenache personality of old Alella vineyards. Very pleasant!
Marfil Negre 2007
A new style of wine without wood... Just all fruit!
Ivori Negre Criança 2006
Structure and balanced flavours of black fruits. With a long, elegant finish. To enjoy!


Sparkling wines


Cava Marfil Brut
Fresh and elegant cava with fruity, ageing aromas. Very balanced!
Cava Marfil Rosat Brut 2006
A fresh, elegant cava with fruity and ageing aromas. Very balanced!
Cava Marfil Brut Nature
Golden, an elegant aroma, dry and fresh on the palate. The best aperitif!
Cava Ivori Brut Nature 2006
An elegant, personal and balanced cava. For accompanying a large variety of dishes.





Sweets And Originally Dry


Marfil Originally Dry (Solera 1976)
Intense aromas and much flavor.
Marfil Violeta (Solera 2003)
Color cherry, hard, vinoso and extended.
Marfil Molt Dolç (Solera 2003)
A glass of this wine is the best dessert!
Marfil Generós Semi (solera 1976)
Amber wine balanced, very versatile

GUIDED VISITS:

Do you want to know how we produce wines in MARFIL ALELLA VINICOLA. Are you interested in the world of wine? Do you want to have some fun?. Come and discover our modernist winery in the centre of the DO Alella, 20 km from Barcelona.

For nearly two hours we show you how we work in the winery, all the proceses for making red and white wines. And for ending... we will taste three of our wines more significant. Are you goin to miss it?

The tours are aimed at those who want to know the process of winemaking in a unique environment, a modernist winery. We do the visit on foot, through an easy way, taking approximately two hours. Explanations can be given in Spanish, Catalan or English.
The visit is composed of: Marfil Museum. Presses Zone. Lab. Winemaking zone. Bottling. Wine tasting.
The tours are by arrengement for groups of at least eight people (for more reduced groups, please consult our programme of visits open to the public. Free Parking.


Text and pictures cortesy of Alella Vinícola Can Jonc.





Vintage Spain can help you organize visits to this winery. Contact us for more information info@vintagespain.com
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