One of the most exciting regions in Spain when it comes to natural wine has to be the Penedès region. It may sound a bit strange considering the amount of plonky Cava being made, but this is actually part of the reason young winemakers are trying to do things differently. At the forefront of this movement is Ruben Parera and his father Jordi.
Ruben was born into a family of farmers. He is currently in the fourth generation of farmers (since 1892) and heads his family's small winery Finca Parera (production is less than 1,500 cases annually). The family's vines are planted alongside their certified organic cherry orchards – the first to become so in Penedès. It wasn't until Ruben finished his viticulture and oenology studies that they started making wines under their label.
Their vineyards are located in the Upper Penedès. Upper Penedès is by far the furthest inland and is defined by its relatively high-altitude, mountainous characteristics. Grape yields in this area tend to be small, but quality is excellent. This area also enjoys the most rainfall and has the greatest temperature fluctuations. The Pareras' vines are planted in mostly calcareous-clay soil. They have young vines as well as vines around 78 years old.
Ruben converted his family's 10-hectare estate from organic to biodynamic (2013). In addition to grapes and cherries, the family also farms almonds and olives. They have a vegetable garden as well as a bee hive for personal honey. Everything on their land is farmed according to biodynamic principles. Ruben has continued the natural process into the cellar. Grapes are manually harvested. Fermentation occurs spontaneously with native yeast. Low to no SO2 is added. Ruben is crafting wines of the terruño (terroir). He is seeking drinkability without compromising depth and complexity. Other objectives of Finca Parera are recovering autochthon varieties such as Sumoll and Xarel-lo.
Certified organic and biodynamic by Organic Agriculture in Catalonia: CCPAE.
Certified biodynamic by Demeter.
Finca Parera Facebook
All Those: Interview with Rubén Parera
Knowmad Lab: Drone Shot of Finca Parera