“Over 1,000 years of history”
4×4 trail around the vineyards!
The vineyards are located in Catalunya, just an hour drive from Barcelona. In the countryside of the northside of Spain. Were some people run a winery, this was not enough for the ambitioned Heretat family. They run a true ‘experience center’ on the 600-hectare estate, the vineyards make up 55 hectares.
You can take breakfast in the vineyards, go more active and do a bike, a buggy or even a 4×4 trail around the vineyards. Or take a swing at the golf course, play a game of padel tennis, roll in the sand during a game of beach volleyball or take a dive in the pool! After a day of enjoying the surroundings you can have a great diner at the quality restaurant or sleep at the eco-hotel. Concerning the vineyards, At Oller del Mas they have chosen to produce our wine organically and have been certified by the Catalan Council for Ecological Agrarian Production (CCPAE).
History of Heretat Oller del Mas
So let get more into the history of this fasination family. Heretat Oller del Mas has more than 1,000 years (36 generation) of history. Surrounding the mediaeval castle that dates back to the 10th century and was completely restored from 1981 to 2008.The place exudes the captivating history of the Oller family: knights, noblemen, leaders, religious men and master craftsmen, who have left their mark on the country’s history.
The wine made in this part of Catalunya
Oller del Mas forms part of the Designation of Origin Pla de Bages, a beautiful area set near the mountains of Montserrat and the Parc Natural de Sant Llorenç de Munt i l’Obac. The soils in the area can be differed in two, the first is the central part of Pla de Bages, with with clay and marl soils at an altitude of 200 m above sea level.
The second type of soil in this area is called Alt Bages, where marl and lime bearing soils with a high carbonate content are present, at an altitude of 500 m above sea level. The climate can be classified as Mediterranean with strong continental influences due to its inland location quite far from the sea.
Within this area there are several grape varieties allowed. Next to the well-known international varieties there are also native varieties available. At Heretat Oller del Mas they have some amazing wines with those varieties, see here below.
Within my tasting I had the privilege to taste a whole range of the wines made at the winery.
Bernat Oller Blanc de Picapolls 2019 (91 Parker points)
A blend of Picapoll white and Picapoll red and named a so-called ‘Blanc de Picapolls’. The wine is partially fermented in French oak and acacia barrels. Why use acacia barrels? It gives a lot rounder and creamier feel, less dominant then oak, and acacia has an unusual, very distinctive, lemony-herb aroma. It is ideal for grapes with softer aromas, which will not be ”exceeded” by the dominant wood aromas. After the fermentation the wine is put on the lees for 6 months for more creamy texture.
‘’A clear wine with a straw yellow color with golden reflections, that attract you to take your first sip. An intense nose does a good effort to unlock the full fruitiness of this wine, think of peach, pear and a hint of a creamy lemon curt. On the palate, the wine well-structured with a well-balanced acidity in line with the creaminess, hint of spice and the central core of fruit. A wine with plenty more to discover and with a silky aftertaste.’’
Bernat Oller negre 2018 (91 Parker points)
This wine is made as a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Picapoll red and Picapoll white. A thing to mention is that this wine is fermented with a wild yeast. After the fermentation the wine is aged in different French barrels for minimum 8 months and has a total aging period of 15 months.
‘’A clear ruby red color with aromas of red and dark fruit like red cherry, blackberry, bramble, black plum and a hint of white pepper. The hints of toast and vanilla are resulting from the use of wild yeast and the aging in soft French oak. The wine is multilayered with plenty of tannins and a comfortable long finish.’’
The first thing you notice about this wine is the well-designed informative front label. The bottling date, bottle number, parcel, maturation method, laboratory measurements and the course of the temperature over the months are stated on it! Ingenious and very well done!
This wine consists of the varieties of Garnatxa, Sumoll (native grape from the Penedès region), Samsó (local name of Carignan) and Syrah. The winemaker decided to do a fermentation of 20 days with its own yeast and let the skins in the tank for almost a month. This will create more color, tannins and dept in the wine.
A full plan of aging was developed which stated with 5 months in French oak barrels, then 6 months in cement egg and at the end 6 months in bottle in the cellar for final development of aromas.
‘’The wine has a color between ruby and garnet and at the nose it is intense with floral and small berry aromas. On the palate we have cherry, blueberry and blackcurrant. Nice tannins are present and introducing a core of spiciness, little bit of toast and herbs, which strikes the right balance with the other flavor features.’’
Els Flautats 2018
With only 810 bottles produced we have entered the ‘experimental-wine department’ of Heretat Oller del Mas. The grape variety is Mandó, which is a synonym for the indigenous Spanish red wine grape called Garró, which is in danger of extinction. But not at Heretat Oller del Mas, they make a wine that is made on a ‘Body armored’ Beaujolais way!
It all starts with harvesting by hand and start a 10-day semi-carbonic maceration and to start up a spontaneous fermentation, afterwards the grape juice aged on the lees for 5 months and is bottled without any form of filtration to keep the natural characteristics! The period of bottle aging is at least 12 months.
‘’Without any doubt you can see the comparison with a Gamay / Beaujolais ruby tinted wine, extraordinary color. The aroma’s that are started to hit your ‘odor sensors’ are a clean mix of fruitiness and freshness. Exciting and suppleness are word that describe this wines nose in full. An explosion of fruit also texture from the lees with a yogurt hint. Absolutely a wine that has flavors that attract and are vivid in the finish.’’
Arnau Oller 2016
Arnau Oller Estate Wine is an expression of a region where the natural environment plays a leading role.
The blend consists of 90% Merlot and 10% Piquepoul Noir. During the winemaking process the winemaker uses native yeast and is pumping over the juice twice a day. An important fact is that the tanks are drained without any pressing of the grapes to preserve quality. The aging of the wines is for a period of 12 months in new 500-liter French oak barrels – the so-called Puncheon – and finally the wines age for 12 months on bottle finished with a natural Catalan cork.
‘’Dark red colored wine with a fragrant nose of black fruit and flsoral notes. On the palate the fruit and the herbs make their return in a great way. A full body wine which multilayered flavors. With every sip the wine is more interesting and the complex, smooth and subtle characteristic are getting your attention along the way. All the aromas are well balanced, dried dark fruit like cherries and plums are in full harmony with hints of rosemary, lavender and thyme. In the finish there is a subtle hint of licorice’’
‘’At the Older they sum it up as ‘a high quality, noble and complex wine’, and I can only agree on that!’’
Oller del Mas Especial Picapoll negre 2017 no.0543
With this wine we are in the ‘Champions League’ of the estate. Only the most value grapes of the highest quality are selected for these wines. Only 2.077 bottles are made, and I had the privilege to taste no.0543. The winemaker only used the native Pica poll red grape for this premium wine. Carefully handpicked grapes are selected in the vineyards and at fermentation the winemaker uses a natural yeast and carries out an open pumped over method, when alcoholic fermentation started. He closes the tanks at the end. All for a higher value of taste experience. At the end they use French oak barrels (500 liters) to mature the wines for a period of 9 months.
‘’The winemaker succeeded in making a wine that reflects the authentic terroir of the Pal de Bages area. The aromas of the native Picapoll red variety are well integrated with the acidity and the aging in the French oak barrels. Blackberry, bramble, cherry, raspberry and also some flowery hints, herbs and spices (like pepper and cinnamon with earthy hints and a vanilla) touch in the finish. A delicate wine with complex and harmony as a backbone. Accessible flavors that linger and the wine has a friendly aftertaste that last long.’’
But there is more!
Did you know that 5 years ago the team of Older del Mas started a completely different project? A venture called Celler Bellaserra, that give the opportunity for the team to own their own company and create a concept to make great wines at another price rate and with own idea.
They just `began starting to make natural wines also…to be continued!
This article has been realized through the cooperation from FRANK MARGENAT, CEO & owner.
Frank (47) was born in Barcelona studied Economics in the IQS (Chemical Institute of Barcelona), later studied a grade of enology and wine marketing in Vilafranca del Penedes (Barcelona). Next of being the CEO of Oller del Mas and Celler de Bellaserra he is active in touristic apparments and real state and is recently become President of the Catalunya Wine Tourism Association.
‘’At a moment I decide to increase the experience of our visitors, we have a golf course, a restaurant, a gym, swimming pools, paddle tennis, a horse riding but we needed something that we hadn’t, some cabins inside the forest to give the opportunity of any wine lover to enjoy our environment and the best views of Montserrat mountain that you can see, and its peace. 22 cabins are going to open next month of June 2021. With all our knowledge and experience I think I can do something for my country, to create the Wine Tourism association, Cataluny. We want to find wineries or DO’s cooperating all together to give the best value to Catalunya brand. In other parts of the word, like France, Italy, USA, Canada… anywhere… the brand is the big region, like Boudeaux, Borgogne, Toscana, Piedmont, Napa, Sonoma, Ontario or Rioja in Spain… But, in Catalunya we don’t make brand of it with the wines. Then the purpose of the Association is to give the best value to Catalunya by the wine tourism.’’
The wines of Oller del Mas and Celler de Bellaserra are avalable in France, Belgium, the Caribbean, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, China (including Taiwan), New Zealand, Canada and several other countries. For more information click here.