Micro Vinifications in the Garage

Vins Pepe Raventós, the power of expressing a terroir

It was around 2014 when Pepe was living in New York and he was impressed by some wines that took him back to his childhood days, when -sometimes on the sly- he could taste wines in the farmhouses of peasant friends in the Pyrenees. Surprisingly, those wines he tasted with partners, sommeliers and other people from the world of wine, were bottles of great masters of natural winemaking that he had never tasted before.

This was the vision that gave birth to his natural wines: :Vins Pepe Raventós. These are the fruit of a passion for viticulture and the selection of native varieties in unique and singular soils that give these wines the breadth and complexity that we seek.

The plots

Seven years ago, Pepe Raventós set his sights on four unique vineyards on the estate, all with similar characteristics that would be expressed through the purest possible wines. He decided to take things to the limit and, in the garage of his house, called Mas del Serral, he began to ferment these four plots separately and naturally:

  • Vinya del Mas,
  • Vinya del Noguer,
  • Vinya de Les Terrasses del Serral
  • El Clos el Serral, the most historic plot



Terrasses del Serral, Vinya del Mas, Vinya del Noguer Alt and Clos del Serral.

What makes these plots unique?

These plots are small, covering less than two hectares, with old vines between 60 and 80 years old, planted in goblet with two native varieties, Xarel·lo and Bastard Negre. Xarel·lo is the white variety that reigns supreme in the Penedès and Bastard Negre is a red variety that is rediscovered. Another common feature of the plots is that they all have lime, clay soils, rich in marine fossils.

To preserve these unique vines and plots, the vineyard is cared for in a strictly organic and biodynamic way, respecting the soil, the vines and their ecosystem in order to develop and maintain a balanced environment. All work in the vineyard is done manually and, when necessary, with the help of animal traction.

The harvest 2021

The harvest was dry, with one of the lowest rainfall levels in history, with only 300 ml. However, thanks to the abundance of water in 2020, with 808 ml, the vines withstood the stress well. The heatwave in July and August brought the harvest forward more than expected but gave us a good result: a healthy grape, very concentrated and well-balance, which was surprising in concentration and acidity.

The four plots are harvested by hand with 15kg boxes and in the vineyard, an initial selection of the grapes made so that only those of the best quality are taken to the winery.

Harvest at  Clos del Serral.

This year the Xarelos del Clos el Serral  were the first to be harvested on August 27th, fruit day according to the biodynamic calendar. This is the moment when the entire Raventós i Blanc team joins together to harvest the most historic plot of the estate. A festive day that began at eight o’clock in the morning, harvesting the grapes in the vineyard manually and ended at midday with a grape by grape selection in the Mas del Serral garage.

This is our most emblematic plot where our most special sparkling wine is born, Mas del Serral, which was the first Catalan sparkling wine to receive the maximum score of 99 points. In this 1.92 ha plot, we find vines of over 80 years old, the varieties Xarelo and Bastard Negre planted together.

The harvest continued with the two Xarelo plots:

Vinya del Noguer Alt and Vinya del Mas, both of which were harvested on the same day. That same morning the harvest team started early, with an eye on the sky in case of a storm. It was a wet and rainy end of August and beginning of September that delayed the calendar

The day began with harvesting in the Noguer Alt vineyard, which is the one with the largest surface area, 1.48 ha. This vineyard was planted with Xarelos vines in 1970, with calcareous and clayey soils. The white wine that bears its name comes from this vineyard:  Xarel·lo del Noguer Alt.


The Vinya del Mas was harvested next, due to its proximity. It is located next to the Mas del Serral garage. This plot has Xarelos of more than 40 years old and a surface of 0,57 ha. The sparkling wine Ancestral Vinya del Mas comes from the fruit from this plot.

Finally, the last variety to be harvested was Bastard Negre, the red varieties have a later ripening than the white varieties. These vines were harvested in the legenday Clos del Serral plot and in Les Terrassas del Serral.

This last plot, Les Terrassas del Serral, has a chalky soil, with a clay-loam texture, planted only with the Bastard Negre red variety, old vines of more than 50 years of age. This vineyard has a surface area of 0.63 ha. From these grapes comes our red wine: Bastard Negre de les Terrasses del Serral.


Once the grapes are in, the vinification process is fast, precise and demanding. The winemaking process is carried out with the minimum of intervention: no yeasts, no sugar, no chemicals or temperature control are used in the winemaking process, which makes the process completely natural.

This wine project began with the pursuit of innovation and experimentation, so ancestral techniques are used combined with new technologies, such as the use of ovoid eggs, oak barrels, qvevir or ceramic amphorae.

Ceramic amphora, ovoid tanks, oak barrels.

  • Vinification in Ovoid-shaped Cement Tanks

The fruit from the old vines of Clos del Serral, once racked, is stored in two 1,800-litre ovoid-shaped concrete tanks. This technique is used because the must benefits from the micro-oxygenation of the concrete, maintaining the temperature of the wine. Spontaneous fermentation occurs with native yeasts from the vineyard at a controlled temperature.

In this egg-shaped tank, the lees are continuously raised by an internal vortex current. This vinification tank does not require pumping over due to its ovoid shape. This type of vinification provides wine with volume in the mouth.

This is where Mas del Serral sparkling wine is fermented. Once fermentation is complete, it is bottled for a second fermentation in the bottle. It will be aged on its lees for 100 months.

Mas del Serral on lias, boots of roure i qveri.

  • Vinification in Amphorae

After a light racking, the Xarel·los de la Viña del Noguer Alt is fermented in two large ceramic amphorae in the Mas garage. The clay has a microporosity that enhances the aroma of the wine in the elaboration process and in the ageing process. The amphorae show the wine in its natural state in comparison with the wood. With these amphorae, we obtain more rounded wines that reflect the territory, the cultivation and care of the vineyard.

  • Vinification in Qvevri

A qvevri is an amphora that is placed underground. It is a method used in the past in winemaking that we are recovering. The temperature is constant underground and the must ages better. This type of vinification gives us more complex aromas and flavours.

After the grapes are harvested, they are skimmed and mixed with solid CO2 to prevent them from oxidising in the qvevri. Vins Pepe Raventós uses two qvervis for the fermentation of the Xarelos de la Vinya el Mas and the Bastard Negre de les Terrasses del Serral.


  • Vinification in oak barrels

The Bastard Negre, after fermenting with its skins in the qvevri, is bled and placed inside the oak cask for ageing. This type of vinification is one of the most traditional in Catalonia. Its oxygenation brings wood aromas to the must, thus obtaining interesting wines that are more reductive and tannic.


Welcome to this garage of INNOVATION AND LEARNING: taking things to the limit in the purest way possible!

A laboratory where we are constantly working on natural winemaking, using only with local grapes, some unknown; and with the newest and oldest recipes we know, but always looking towards the future.

Taste Vins Pepe Raventós wines visit our Wine Store

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