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.
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
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
In 1923, 900.000 of the one million vines throughout the Alella municipality belonged to the union.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ivori Blanc 2007
White wine fermented in french oak barrels. It has a full, silky, well-balanced palate with a persistent finish.
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!
Marfil Rosat 2007Red Wines
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!
Marfil Negre Criança 2006
Ripe bunches both by nose and on the palate, 100% Mediterranean character!
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!
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
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.