Eudald Massana Innat cava without sulphur Penedes Spain

The estate of the happiest wild boars

Celler Eudald Massana and its biodynamic paradise

The family estate has cultivated the vineyards in organic ways for more than two decades, started biodynamic practice in 2010 and last year Demeter certified them, the whole official procedure has been completed only recently. At least it gave me a reason to finally visit the estate. What an honour – Oriol Massana, the representative of the 10th generation took me around the estate.

Taking notes in the garden of the estate when tasting Innat

Innat – cava with zero sulphur

After the walk in the vineyard and winery tour I had no time left (it was my fault), only for one sample. Oriol suggested Innat, and it was a great choice. I could taste it alone, with full attention dedicated to the wine, with a view of the vineyard.
This cava is made of the usual trio grapes of Penedés: Xarel•lo, Macabeu and Parellada, it was aged for 18 months on the lees, and it is brut nature – there was no dosage added. And neither any sulphite, yet the wine is perfectly clear, there is no sign of “funkiness”.
(Recently funky has become a synonym of “it is a natural wine with some strange and unclear not, but I am proud of it and you should like it just because it is natural”.) What is more, tasting Innat, my first impression was “infinite purity”. Then freshness, fruitiness with green apples, a hint of fennel, some lovely notes of the aging from the lees, probably walnut, and some exciting mineral, slightly saline tone in the aftertaste. Innat means ‘innate’, ‘natural’.

Living in piece with whatever from Noah’s Arc

“We could have cut that little forest, could have planted mote vines instead, but that piece of wild life has special importance for us.” The birds, insects and other living creatures help maintain biodiversity, facilitate pollination and the circle of life. Wild boars used to be a problem, their rambling through the vineyards caused damage occasionally, but since there are so many wild boars in the region, it would not be wise to fight with them. A better solution by the Massana family is to somewhat tame them. What? Indeed, the owner of an estate (in this case Eudald Massana, Oriol’s father) should mark his territory with his presence, since the boars have perfect sense of smell, they began to avoid the places where more human presence was sensed. And another key to success: they received a vineyard with the sweetest berries and with hardly any human presence. The hairy-grunting “shareholders” seem to be satisfied with their Moscato plantation, and let the rest of the estate alone.

Oriol Massana, the 10th generation of the winery (explaining about the wind)

Since the 12th century

“This constant wind is crucial for the health of our vineyards” says Oriol when we reach the top of a hill. The view is stunning indeed with all their vineyards surrounding us. And it is also a great spot to capture the sense of history: we can see some part of the Monastery of Sant Sebastià dels Gorgs, an important abbey linked to the Massana family. Monks knew that a moderate amount of good wine helps find God, and there are written evidences as early as the 12th century mentioning the estate in the tax records of the monastery. “It was something like 2 chickens and 3 bottles of wine given to the monastery as tax.” Oriol’s ancestors were farmers working on this land, however Oriol’s great-grandfather had the chance to buy some of the land and with his son they turned it into a prosperous winery. And it was Eudald, who introduced organic and biodynamic viticulture in the estate, though the fathers also cultivated the land in the most natural way, they just did not label their method.

Oriol Massana and the biodynamic preparations

The wooden box of secrets

“Have you ever seen a biodynamic box?” Telling the truth, I haven’t, even though I have visited several biodynamic estates and talked to experts on the topic many hours. As Oriol explains, they have a circle of like-minded farmers (not only grape growers, but also farmers of orchards and others), and they make their biodynamic preparations together – it makes more sense. On the day of my visit Eudald was away on working on their manure plant to make it ferment. “It is really amazing, first it is just a hill of shit, but after a year it gets absolutely odorless, it looks like the fertile soil you buy for flowers.” The preparations are then kept in the wooden box along with the horns, and I am surprised again to see how tiny amount of things are kept in the jars. The fermented manure of one single, previously buried then unburied horn can radiate microorganisms and revitalize a whole hectare, isn’t it astonishing? And Oriol mentions another, similar miracle. “Can you imagine that only one teaspoon of silica can dry a whole hectare in case of too much rain? It functions as millions of mirrors when mixed with water and sprayed. Just like the sun protective lotion containing silica to reflect the sunshine.” Needless to say, the estate uses solar panels to make clean energy and to work in the most sustainable way. The family lives on the property, which is a few hundred meters away from the road, I can’t hear any cars, only bikers chatting as they ride by. Tranquility and harmony is tangible here.

My son and his friend in Hungary back in 2020 – with a bottle of Eudald Massana cava

A sunny memory

You can find Eudald Massana wines and cavas in several countries from Japan to Sweden, even in Hungary. Actually, I first tasted Eudald Massana cava in Hungary, during Covid. I was voluntary promoting International Cava Day back then, and when the day arrived, I realized that even myself, the creator of this online event was left with no cava, far from Cava Land. Thank God there was a great wine shop nearby my Covid-era-shelter, and the Eudald Massana bottle was the most temping of the range (and more or less unknown by me back then). I can’t remember the details, but I can recall the sunny morning, when we enjoyed that bottle with my family.

Winery on the bike route

Undoubtedly the best place to enjoy Eudald Massana wines is the estate itself. The wine bar is open every day (consult opening hours here), but it is highly advised to book a table, since the place is really popular! They offer diverse estate visits from the fancy breakfast in the garden of the estate to professional masterclasses and vertical tastings. Harvest experience is also available.

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