Can Sumoi

Visitors to the farm is always good news. There are those who, sometimes, bring you pastries from the other side of the world with labels that you’re not even capable of understanding, those who give you their best smiles and those who pass by without saying anything, but at the end – like everything in this life –  reward you as much as the others.

Last February we had a visit from our friends and partners of passion and profession, Mario Reyes, Agustín García and Carlos González, of Vinofilos, a wine distributor in the Canary Islands. We don’t want to pass up the opportunity of sharing with all of you what is, perhaps, the most precious gift that a visitor has ever given us, after the fact, here goes:

Josep Mateu will soon be 82 and will be able to celebrate his birthday in the farmhouse where he was born in 1936. It will definitely be a very special celebration for him. His family has been rooted to this estate for almost a century as “masovers” or farmhands and he remembers perfectly that during his infancy the Baix Penedès area was a vibrant place, full of work and dreams.

Although he doesn’t trust his legs, he always leans on his cane, his head works perfectly well. Straight away he tells you that in 1934 “a tremendous storm” tore the house down and it had to be rebuilt stone by stone. He grew up in that culture of daily effort just like any other farmer in the area. Now that the forest has been gaining ground from the vineyard, between the trunks of the holm oaks you can see the white pines and tall oak trees, the old dry stone walls that man built years ago to facilitate the cultivation of the vines in terraces. His expectant gaze is more alert than ever.

Raventós i Blanc has now bought this estate which was down on its luck for so many years. Josep once again sees the sun shine through the open door. People pruning the vines. Cars that go up and down the narrow path between the olive trees. And he comes every day with his dog Junsa, which is also old and finds it hard to walk, so he can see it with his own eyes. He explains everything. He remembers everything.  He wants to see how Pepe Raventós and Francesc Escala will recover this landscape between the towns of Sant Jaume dels Domenys and Pla de Manlleu. Let’s hope he sees many more harvests.

 The estate has 400 hectares of land of which 20 are vineyards planted with Parellada, Xarel·lo and Sumoll. With a maximum elevation of about 600 meters above sea level, northern, southern, eastern and western orientations in the case of Parellada. A land full of marine fossils dated at up to 113 million years. The influence of the sea, which can be seen in the east. On clear days when there is no wind you can see Mallorca and the Ebro Delta from Can Sumoi. While we toured the vineyard we all imagined gathering for a wine tasting session at this unparalleled location one late evening in May, or perhaps in June.

Can Sumoi dates back to 1645. It has a main winery and three farmhouses dating back to the end of the 17th century where wine used to be made; a house for the tenant farmers; a poultry yard; 20 hectares of vineyard planted with Parellada and Sumoll and 380 hectares of woodland. Here in this place, which Pepe Raventós has been searching for for years, a new era for the family begins. Pepe goes back to his origins to continue his work that will last generations. And he manages to lead a project that respects the environment, natural vinifications and biodynamics.

In this regard, he says he does what he feels like doing. “I’m not a great specialist in biodynamics but I observe the countryside and I see how it responds. If we apply its methodology and in a few years I see that the earth is more alive, more balanced and we are getting better wines, I continue to apply it. Of course”.

As we toured the estate with Francesc I thought that this was the embryo of something big.

Leave your comment

Your email address will never be shared. The fields with * are required.