Irene Alemany, a Catalan, and Laurent Corrio, a Breton, met while travelling the world on various winemaking explorations, first in Burgundy and next in California. Returning to Cataluña to her home town Vilafranca del Penedes, Irene was fortunate enough to have a father who owned some vineyards but so little interest in cultivating them that he handed them over to these two wandering oenologists. Practicing what they thought they had learned on their travels they began their work on converting these vineyards from the typical Penedes high yields to something very different.
Abandoning all forms of chemical treatment and fertilizers, applying a fierce green harvest they rapidly reduced the yields to around 2500 tons per hectare and made their first wine, Sot Lefriec in 1999. Building on these same principles they created a simple cellar in an old unit on the industrial side of Vilafranca, just behind the Torres installation (where Laurent moonlighted working on the bottling line for a while). They are basic and organic which means you have to build your own tanks – they did – and although they rely on skills of coopers in Burgundy for their barrels much of the construction and equipping of their cellar has been “home made”. Production remains small yet as they identify further small vineyard sites that they can work with their range has extended to include some Xarel-lo. Laurent continues to keep his life complicated by accepting commissions to work and advise at other wineries.