The second strand to the “Ángel de Viñas” initiative aims to restore and preserve two vineyards in Xarel.lo and Macabeo located in Espiells, an historic wine-growing area of Alto Penedés. 40 and 50 years old respectively, they are located in a small rural enclave blessed with great natural and viticultural capital. Both plots, worked by several generations of a family of winegrowers from Espiells that has had links to Vilarnau for many years, are set to be the focus of our second venture to support old vineyards.
The first plot, planted with Xarel.lo grapes, covers 1.2 hectares. Oriol Roig, a member of a family of winegrowers with links to Vilarnau, has been tending this 40-year-old vineyard since 2019. The vineyard is divided into two plots, one on the upper part of the hillside, where the vines were grafted on in 1982, and the second lower down, where the vines were grafted on in 1984. The soil throughout the vineyard is calcareous clay with a superficial layer of silty loam, which ensures the rain drains away well. Another notable feature is the structure of the gobelet-trained vines and the fact that they have very long arms at the centre of the trunk – two features that reflect the age of the vines.
The second vineyard, where we grow Macabeo grapes, is just 0.4 hectares and was planted in 1972 by Roig’s grandfather. Half a century later, it boasts vines trained in a style typical of the time, measuring 13 by 5 ‘palms’ (literally palms of the hand). The soil is clay loam and drains extremely well. The rootstocks are Rupestris du Lot, which was widely planted after thee phylloxera epidemic and has now fallen out of use in the Penedés region.