Address: C/Miranda, 27, 43360 Cornudella de Montsant (Tarragona) Spain
Telephone: +34 977 821 451
On an extremely hot, steamy day, we met with the owner and viticulturist Joan Carlos and winemaker Ramon Valls Bertran alongside their small, newly renovated winery called, Celler Malondro.
The history of Malondro begins with a family grape growers who placed their sweat and tears into the soil for generations. But in 2000, two families joined forces to create Celler Malondro in Cornudella de Montsant with the aim of disseminating handcrafted, high quality wine from the grapes they’ve grown for almost half a century.
Vineyards are located between 500 and 800 meters in altitude and planted with Garnatxa, Carinyena, Macabeu and Garnatxa Roja (pink Garnatxa). The soils are primarily comprised of varying percentages of slate, chalk, sand and rock.
One interesting piece of trivia is that they’ve designed a trellising system unique onto themselves. Vines are housed inside a metal structure, much like a tomato cage, which allows for greater ventilation between the vines, as well as a greater leaf surface. By tripling the leaf surface, the leaf absorbs more light, which places a greater strain on the vine. And the greater strain on the vine, the better the grape.
Another unique trait of this winery is their experimentation with various toasting levels before blending. Wines are places in French oak barrels for 15 – 18 months, varying from high toast to no toast at all, before blending. Joan had poured us a handful of barrel samples prior to the final blend, and what struck us as fascinating was how a wine that tasted like a spicy and undrinkable two-by-four could add just enough structure to the final blend to create a truly intriguing wine. This practice is far from unique among wineries, but it’s always fun to see the before and after product.
Tourism: Malondro is a small family winery that barely has enough room in its cellar to fit more than 6 people. That said, I trust if you give the winery a ring they would more than happily find a way to accommodate you, regardless of your size. And to be honest, it’s worth a visit.
Wines Produced: Coelum, Latria, Malondro Tinto, Malondro Branco