The Spring of Futuro Viñador

– Mediterranean Mosaic –

“Mediterraneanism is the most poetic attitude to inhabit a landscape.”

In February 2020 we announced that FUTURO VIÑADOR was no longer just a dream: the association that 16 Spanish producers had spent more than a year enthusiastically drawing up; all those meetings, trips, and lengthy talks was finally a reality: Futuro Viñador was born.

And so, that same month, this group of winegrowers – who had come together to work and improve our viticulture, our cultural practices, to inspire others to follow a path of honest viticulture, attached to its landscape and its people – met as a group in London, within the framework of the VIÑATEROS fair.

A non-profit organization was set up with the desire of being a group that seeks improvement and transformation. We want to learn, to be inspired and to inspire others to work better. We were all agreed that one of our priorities was, moreover, to share knowledge through workshops, conferences or events. And we dream of having a unique voice and collaborating with institutions and organizations in the future.

Futuro Viñador Landscapes: 1. Valle de la Orotava, Suertes del Marqués, Tenerife 2. Cal Roig, Les Alcusses, Celler del Roure, Valencia 3. Bodega Pegaso, Finca la Piñonera, Ávila 4. Raventós i Blanc, Sant Sadurní D’Anoia, Catalunya

The tumultuous months that followed this initial meeting prevented us from reaching more people and continuing our activity outside the organization; until the first signs that we are returning to some semblance of normalcy encouraged us to get back to work, and Futuro Viñador Spring was born.

On 20 and 21 May, we hosted the first meeting of the Futuro Viñador Association, Mediterranean Mosaic, with a series of workshops and conferences held on our estate. The meeting focused on stressing the value of the mare nostrum territory, a natural area with a biodiversity that is unique in the world.

Let us tell you about this wonderful experience.

What is the Mediterranean Mosaic and how can we, as wine-growing farmers and consumers, help alleviate the situation of degradation that one of the ecosystems sculpted by the richest man in the world is facing? Renowned experts from different disciplines such as geology, biodiversity, landscape and viticulture, as well as guests from different sectors and members of the Association, gathered at Raventos i Blanc in order to explore this question.

By 7 a.m., with bucketsful of enthusiasm and determination, the team had already started working on preparing every detail. The conferences were to be held outside, in the area of the farm covered by the porch to protect us from the bright sun that was resplendent that morning. The sound team, Custom Project, had everything ready, and we could only hope that the connection would not fail even for a second so that the live conference on the Futuro Viñador web could be followed without interruptions.

Welcome breakfast at the “Plaça de Roure”.

The guests and speakers started to arrive, familiar faces met again, friends gathered, and on that day the first official event of Futuro Viñador was inaugurated by members of the association. Francesc Grimalt, Sergio Caballero, Pep Martinez and Mar Giné from the 4 Kilos winery, Telmo Rodríguez and Pablo Eguzkiza from Bodegas Telmo Rodríguez, Antony Terryn from Dominio del Bendito, José María Vicente of the Bodegas Casa Castillo, Pablo Calatayud, Vicente Ferrero and Paco Senís from the Celler of the Roure and Gonzalo Ostatu from Bodegas Ostatu.

A walk around the estate was mandatory before broaching the matters at hand: Manu Gómez was going to start by explaininghow the geological history shapes a landscape. He told us about the characteristics of the soils from the basin of the river Anoia; it was fascinating to learn how geology clearly determines the landscape and soils of wine-growing regions.

When we work the field, we find soils of different origins and compositions, and we are aware of how these formations affect the crops and the profile of the vineyards. His explanation about the relationship between geology and wine was extremely interesting.

We continued with the biologist Guillermo García, a leader in research to conserve Mediterranean ecosystems, and the nature photography expert Ferrán Aguilar, and they affirmed that wine and viticulture are key to preserving our mediterraneanism and the landscape on which it is based (“the ecosystem of wine”).

Marc Castellnou, chief inspector of the forestry area of the Generalitat de Catalunya and president of the Pau Costa Foundation (world leader in forest fires and emergencies) ended the morning with his speech,Responsibility of the consumer in building a resilient and living landscape, warning us that climate change is capable of destroying an entire ecosystem in just one season. It was very interesting how he explained that the management of the landscape and the continuity of agriculture, for example, vines and other crops, contribute to preventing forest fires from reaching extreme proportions and destroying everything.

Castellnou defended investment in the territory and the diversity of ecosystems. He explained why viticulture can have an active and vital role in generating these ecosystems.

If we raise our awareness, perhaps, as farmers or consumers, we may be able to construct landscapes resilient to climate change.

Conferences at Raventós i Blanc 2. Ferran Aguilar, photographer and disseminator 3. Cesc Grimalt, winegrower and owner of 4 Kilos 4. Custom Project, streaming the event

Do not miss any of these conferences, all of them offer valuable lessons towards building a more sustainable viticulture.

A picnic lunch served as a break to recharge, comment on the content and even to taste wines from the different wine regions of our landscape.

After the break, we continued with Rafael Mariné, agricultural technician, who proposes a return tothe masía, or Catalan farmhouse as a means of restoring biodiversity. He defends the coexistence of crops and working with the environment in the integrated way that was the norm in the traditional Catalan farmhouse. Mariné talks about the return of the Catalan farmhouse: “a building, a philosophy of life and agriculture that seems to belong to the past can, however, have a lot to tell us about the future.”

The afternoon continued with Francesc Grimalt, winegrower and winemaker in Mallorca for more than three decades, who said that last year he planted more trees than vines on his property. Has he gone mad? No. Grimalt has observed the relationship between the vineyard and its surroundings. He came to the conclusion that viticulture as a whole is inevitably connected to the environment. It is precisely the nature of these relationships between the vineyard and, for example, the trees that are in the vicinity, that determines the character of the crop and makes the vineyard unique.

Onvineyards and orchards” in the conference by Francesc Grimalt.

The day ended with a round table entitled: vineyards and Mediterranean landscape: restoring the mosaic”, moderated by an expert in sustainable viticulture, Jordi Domingo, technician of projects in this area in the Fundación Global Nature; with the participation of Pablo Calatayud (Celler El Roure, Valencia), José María Vicente (Casa Castillo, Murcia) Francesc Grimalt (4Kilos, Mallorca) and the host, Pepe Raventós (Raventós i Blanc) to discuss the Restoration of the Mediterranean mosaic with actions seeking to protect the territory and its biodiversity such as the recovery of ancient cereals, the planting of fruit trees and vines together, the conception of the winery as a complete estate or setting up an authentic Catalan farmhouse.

In the photo from left to right: Francesc Grimalt (4 Kilos), Sergio Caballero (4 Kilos), Pablo Eguzkiza (Bodegas Telmo Rodríguez), Antony Terryn (Dominio del Bendito), José María Vicente (Bodegas Casa Castillo), Pepe Raventós (Raventós i Blanc), Pablo Calatayud (Celler del Roure) and Gonzalo Ostatu (Bodegas Ostatu).

A day full of knowledge and hope for a better future for our crops, landscapes and viticulture.

The practical workshops took place on 21 May. Mediterranean Mosaic held an animal traction workshop with the expert in this field and president of the Catalan Association of Animal Traction, Bernat Torres; the connection between man, animals and the soil was addressed.
The workshop was followed by a practical conference on biodynamic agriculture with Joan Munné and Josep Tarrida (Technical Director and Director of the Vineyard at Raventós i Blanc).
We feel immensely fortunate to have been able to host and attend these conferences and workshops.

Guillermo Gracía’s phrase left a lasting impression:

“Mediterraneanism is the most poetic attitude to inhabit a landscape.”

The conferences can be heard on Spotify or you can see them all on Futuro Viñador’s website or on their YouTube channel.

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