Celler Batlle: Sustainability
and biodynamic winemaking

Winery

CELLER BATLLE

The family built its first winery, Celler Batlle, in 1881, and was to make wine there for 120 years.  Gramona “reinvented itself” in 2001, with the construction of a new winery, where it has since been exploring various eco-sustainable development-related themes.  The family’s first step was to design and build a winery respecting the norms of bioclimatic architecture, ensuring that it integrated harmoniously within the landscape.  Most of the building sits 8 metres underground, providing the winery with thermal insulation along with the associated savings in energy consumption.

Since then, the project has continued with the incorporation of a purifier for treatment and recycling of our wastewater, as well as the harnessing of renewable energies such as geothermal power – carried out with the support of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili – in addition to the use of solar energy.

In 2014 we carried out a solar photovoltaic installation at Celler Batlle with which we have reduced our electricity consumption by 15%. Shortly afterwards, we replaced the traditional lighting for the latest generation LED system, which allows us to save 6% of energy per year.

Each step towards sustainability is fundamental. The fifth generation of Gramona has started the way waiting for the next generation, already incorporated, to continue in the same direction.

BIODYNAMIC WINEMAKING

Once the grapes are picked, the process of winemaking in Celler Batlle begins.  At Gramona we assume responsibility for each and every step involved in the winemaking process, from the vine to the bottle.  The grapes are picked by hand, go onto a sorting belt, are transferred by gravity, and pressed whole bunches.

At Gramona, not only do we respect the principles of biodynamics in the vineyards, but we do in the winery too. Biodynamic winemaking is not about applying specific preparations, as it is in the vineyards, but is about reducing or disallowing the use of certain oenological products, such as enzymes. This is why we press the grapes whole, which gives us much cleaner musts that do not require any filtering; we do not use commercial yeasts, because the fermentation should start spontaneously (with the exception of cava, where you have to add yeasts to bring on the second fermentation); and we have reduced the use of sulphur to the minimum.

It is worth mentioning that, even before adopting biodynamics, Gramona’s philosophy in the winery has always been based on respect for the wine and, therefore, based on as little intervention in the winemaking process as possible.

HARVESTED BY HAND

Manual picking ensures that the fruit is handled with greater care.  The bunches are individually cut by hand so that they reach the winery intact.  A first sorting of the grapes is carried out in the vineyards. We use small 20 kg crates to ensure that the grapes do not burst and are not crushed before their arrival at the winery. It is important that we pick the grapes at their optimum point of maturity depending on the varietal and the wine being made.  Good planning of the reception of the harvested grapes at the winery  is also vital, which is why we employ specialized staff.

SORTING BELT

Sorting is an important step in the process of quality wine production.  The grapes are spread over a moving belt, where a team of up to six people carries out another quality check, making sure that any stones, stems, leaves, unripe grapes or insects – earwigs, bees, ladybirds, etc – that may have been brought in from the vineyards, are removed.  The goal is to ensure that there are no unwanted herbaceous flavours in the wine.

HANDLING VIA GRAVITY

We rely on a basic law of nature when receiving the harvested grapes at the winery: that of gravity.  We use gravity to ensure that the grapes are treated gently.  As a result, there is no organoleptic loss to the grapes and we improve the quality of the musts.  We also use non-contaminating and environmentally-friendly equipment.

Pressing

We press whole bunches* to very low extraction and we separate the must into different portions.

We were the first winery in Spain to acquire a Coquard press, for the 2014 vintage. This press enables the pressing of the whole grapes and the subsequent classification of the musts, innovative processes in cava production. We take into account the grape  varieties, their maturity and their burst point (elasticity of their skins).

WHOLE-CLUSTER PRESSING

Pressing the grapes whole prevents premature oxidation and contamination of the must. We obtain clean musts without having to employ any filtration or settling techniques, and we preserve the “heart” of the pressing through this natural filter. As a consequence, we use less sulphites and no antioxidants, because there is no oxidation and no contamination of the must.

PRODUCTION


The vinification techniques used will then differ according to the style and personality of each wine.