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Celler Vell
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Celler VellSummary: Located on a slight hill of vineyards, overlooking Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, Celler Vell is an innovative tour attraction. In addition to quality wines and cavas, a visit to the winery includes a large and detailed HO model train display for adults and children to enjoy.

We discovered Celler Vell in the outskirts of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. The winery is housed in a white building with arched windows. With only vineyards surrounding it, the winery building sits at the crest of the property. Celler Vell offers an unusual attraction for model train enthusiasts of all ages.

Celler VellCeller Vell winery is a two-story, tall building standing amidst hectares of vineyards. While the more mature vineyards are not part of their property, newly planted grapevines down the hill from the winery will produce grapes in a few years. The hillside leading to the vineyards is landscaped with several plantings including olive trees. The vineyards were planted in 2015. Currently the owners purchase the cuvée for producing cavas. We met Josep Ma. Estruch at the winery where he told us that as their vineyard grows, they will use their own grapes in making cava.

The story of Celler Vell goes back to 1954 when Pere Estruch Casanovas established the winery. Today his sons, Josep and Pere, continue in their father’s footsteps. Josep and his brother Pere, a banker, became interested in continuing the winery after their father could no longer carry on the work. Josep led us on a tour of the facility.

The Cellars

Celler VellThe cellars are two levels below the surface measuring 10 meters (33 feet) deep. The lowest level of the cellars is cool and dark. The walls, floor and ceiling are made with unadorned gray cement. The lowest level cellar houses the gyropalette capable of riddling two crates of cava bottles at the same time. Also on this level, bottles are in the vertical position waiting for disgorging.

Unlike the cool gray of the lowest level, we found the first level of cellars, although cool, to have a warm feeling associated with it. The arched ceiling of red brick casts a warm light surrounding the dark colored cava bottles aging on their sides. In the center of the cellar, traditional riddling racks or pupitre are made of cement. They were filled with cava bottles at various angles. Josep demonstrated riddling the bottles.

Model Train

Most unique for a winery and cellar is the large HO model train displayed at the end of the cellar. The model display has 12 trains. We were surprised at the amount of detail. Josep noted that some of the parts for the model train scenery came from Germany and Switzerland. The scenery is stunning with roads, train tracks, a village and even the winery with a cutaway to view the cellars. The details are so acute that there is a scene of bungee jumpers off of one of the bridges. The details also include the recycling bins in the streets of the village. Josep gives credit to Pere for the idea of the model train display. The model train display will entertain children and train lovers of all ages.

Celler Vell     Celler Vell

Tasting Rooms

The first floor of the winery is the major production area. The bottling line is on this level as well as storage of cases ready to ship. A loft above the first floor is the location of the tasting rooms overlooking the winery production area. We enjoyed talking and tasting cava with Josep here. The area offers circular tables with chairs. Windows allow views of the vineyards and landscaping. Beyond the first tasting room, a second tasting room is enclosed with rectangular tables and has windows overlooking the production area and vineyard.

Cavas

Celler VellJosep and Pere work together with an oenologist to make a consistent blend. Their goal is to make a consistent house blend each year. Each year Celler Vell is producing 60,000 bottles of cava. They will personalize labels for people who are celebrating special events including business and family events.

The Extra Brut Rosé was an equal blend of Garnacha and Pinot Noir. The rose colored cava had a reddish/orange hue. Active beads of bubbles formed a mousse on the surface. The cava offered notes of raspberries, strawberries and mineral.

The 2011 Extra Brut Gran Reserva was a light yellow color. A lively bead of bubbles formed a mousse on the surface. Green apple and citrus dominated the aroma and taste while apple notes were on the finish.

The 2010 Cuvée Les Solanes Brut Nature Reserva was a blend of equal amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Xarel.lo. The yellow colored cava had lively beads of bubbles forming a mousse on the surface. The aroma and taste offered green apple and mineral with a lively mouthfeel. The finish was fruity.

The 2011 Estruch Brut Nature Gran Reserva is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The light yellow colored cava showcased a lively bead of bubbles forming a surface mousse. Apple and freshly baked bread highlighted the aroma. The taste was dominated by green apple, a hint of lime and bread dough. This cava had a creamy texture and lively mouthfeel. Apple and citrus were on the finish.

Wine Tourism

Tours and tastings are available on Saturdays and Sundays. Wine tourists should request an appointment to visit Celler Vell. The HO model train display is a must see.

Celler Vell

Celler Vell
Josep Rovira, 15 - 17
08770 Sant Sadurní d’Anoia
(Barcelona), Spain

 

 

Article written June 2015



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