My family have been winegrowers for many generations. I was born next to the vineyards in the family home called Cal Tiques (“Cal” means “House” in Catalan).
I was very close to my grandfather, who told me endless stories when he sensed my interest in winegrowing ever since I was 14 years old.
Although I would have loved to study philosophy, I studied enology, and -as a 25-year old- started working our own fields, selling the grapes to local wineries. After a while I went to work for a prestigious Cava producer, climbing the ranks to become Technical Director. I am very grateful to them, as I have learnt a lot during my career.
Pleasant and comfortable as my position was, I had the deep-down desire to return to own fields. So, together with my wife Àngels Margalef and with the help of a friend of ours, Aart Jan Hemmink, I made the jump in 2015. Tiques Vins was born, right in the middle of the Penedès. And ‘our baby’ is growing up fast.
Our cellar is small and functional. It has an old part from the mid-nineteenth century and a recent part built in 2015.
Our philosophy in winemaking is based on the conviction that we should show our full respect to nature, and in return receive marvellous gifts..
Agriculture as such is not ‘natural’ because we intervene and modify the natural order. What is important is to do this in concert with the rhythm that nature dictates. Nature teaches you how to do this.
We want to create wines that go straight to the essence, not dressing them up. It’s a matter of removing rather than adding when trying to find the true nature of a wine and discover its elegance and subtleties.
If we regard the four pillars of winemaking as the soil, the care of the vines, the harvest and the vinification, my approach is as follows:
Our vineyards are a collection of relatively small parcels of land which have one thing in common; a very calcareous limestone clay with a great diversity of compositions.
Industrial agriculture has brought high yields, however without taking the negative and very costly side effects into account. Artificial fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides and erosion are the main cause of the biological death of any soil.
We strictly work according to the principles of ecologic and biodynamic farming and therefore exclusively use natural home-made compost and avoid any artificial fertilizers and herbicides. In addition, we allow a variety of spontaneous plant covers between the vines, to try and create a symbiosis. All this translates into a balanced and healthy soil that is regenerates itself, providing yields for the long term. We take a long-term perspective rather than focusing on short-term yields.
Our way of working resulted in obtaining the CCPAE Certificate of Organic Farming.
Care of the vineyards
We apply phytotherapy to the plants and work with horsetail and nettle decoctions that we harvest and dry ourselves.
To me, the backbone of wine is acidity. Much of our efforts in the vineyard are aimed at finding the right leaf-fruit ratio to obtain the acidity that each wine needs.
I think one can feel how the wines start their process in the vineyard and when they are ready to be guided. Precisely while pruning we adopt a posture of reverence and then our relationship with the plant begins. Pruning can be seen as humanization of the wild bud that will become the vine. By pruning we ask the vine to fructify and at that moment it can feel what kind of wine one wishes to make.
Timing is everything. The relevant parameters need to be closely monitored to determine the day of harvest.
But careful treatment of the grapes is equally important. The grapes need to arrive at the cellar completely uncrushed. We therefore exclusively pick by hand and use small 20 kg crates. Hand-picking also means being able to do a first selection of grapes in the field and discard leaves etc.
During our recent harvests, we were happy to be assisted by our son Arnau and his friends. It is a joy to see them working together and witness a team that feels responsible to take utmost care of the grapes.
After arrival, all grapes immediately go through a second selection on the table, and then separated from the stems and guided to stainless steel vessels.
I believe that the skin of the grape is a fundamental element in winemaking. The skin contains a large part of the flavors and aromas and influences the tactile feel of the wines. That is why our wines are all macerated with their skins for as long as needed. After days or even weeks we taste the must/wine because in many cases the fermentation has already begun (always with native yeasts and spontaneously). Based on taste, we decide to run off the wine, which is done by gravity. All our wines are obtained by decanting without pressing by foot or by machine. We don’t even have a press.
It is important to us that the wine expresses the variety, the vintage, the landscape. That is why we work with different types of materials; stainless steel, oak, but also ceramic jars that have been baked differently and made from different types of soil resulting in red ceramics and white ceramics. We pay particular attention to the proper ageing times in the different vessels that we use, as well as the ageing period in the bottle.
We do not add selected yeasts, nor do not add sulphites and we do not clarify nor filter. Yet all wines have a clear appearance.
As said earlier, we spend much effort in making sure that we grow healthy and well-balanced grapes. Particular attention is given to the balance between leaves and fruit in the vineyard which needs to be adapted to the differing harvests. The intrinsic quality and strength of the grapes is then complemented by a high level of cleanliness in the cellar. All this results in an excellent durability of our wines, in the bottle and after opening. Wine that is clean, healthy and strong does not need artificial preservation additives!
The majority of our wines are Xarel.lo, of which we produce five different white wines. These Xarel.lo’s express themselves quite differently, based on the varying characteristics of the soils and the diversity of our vinification processes.
Additionally, we work with Macabeu, Sumoll, Monastrell and some other varieties, all local.
We produce both still and sparkling wines, the latter according to the ‘Ancestral’ method.
Although the mainstay of our produce is white, we produce a red wine of the “Ull de Llebre, (Tempranillo) variety and are planning to introduce more red wines in the future.
Please refer to the data sheets for detailed information (hyperlink).
The typical characteristics of our wines are:
low alcohol, mostly between 10 and 11% Vol.
dry, fresh, light and elegant.
lively, long, saline acidity.
touches of white fruits, balsamic notes and Mediterranean aromatic plants.
suitable to drink by itself or to accompany a variety of dishes.
durable, both in the bottle and when opened, making it ideal for wine bars.
Our lightweight bottles minimize the carbon footprint during transportation. The labels are designed by an artist friend, Salvador Vinyes. We have long conversations to try and make the label represent what we intend to express with the wine.
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