Through a mutual acquaintance with this microwinery, Juan S. Cascant Vicent, I visited Celler la Muntanya in April of 2014 with some relatives who are wine connoisseurs. Our party was made up of a total of five people, including my wife and three cousins. Juan was expecting us as we had made a prior appointment. What we did not expect is that he would be prepared with some food and three different wines for us to taste: one white and two reds. Juan told us the story of how he came upon the idea of developing something new: not a wine with a designation of origin, but an entirely new concept which he captured in the term "Microvinya". The "micro" portion has to do with the fact that all his grape suppliers are very small farmers who have recovered wine varieties that used to be grown by their grandparents. None of them were viable to produce grape commercially, but Celler la Muntanya is paying them about three times what they would get for the raw materials from commercial bodegas or wineries. The wines this celler is making are so good that the UK's The Guardian, the London newspaper, has published at least two articles about them. Among other things, these articles tell the story about how members of the aristocracy in England used to be very fond of wines from this region about four centuries ago. Many of these varieties were virtually extinct, but now that the Microvinya concept has been launched, hopefully they will not only be recovered but also thrive. There are 27 minifundios or very small farms supplying the winery and there's a list of other candidates who must fulfill fine standards. All in our group was highly impressed with the wines and also with Juan's kindness. If you happen to be in this part of Spain, don't miss it.
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