Penedes, the coastal region at the heart of Catalunya about 40km south of Barcelona, is perhaps best known for its huge contribution to Cava production. Here white grapes predominate - particularly Xarel-lo and Macabeo, as well as the more fragrant international varieties - gown on well drained soils in both continental and maritime climates. Though typically mild, warm and Mediterranean within lies three separate zones, split according to altitude, distance from the sea and soil type; from the coastal Baix Penedes through Penedes Central to the Alt Penedes. Xarel-lo here is like nothing else offering the perfect balance of smooth, silky, medium bodied wines, fruity and aromatic with fresh acidity and alcohol.
In the heart of the Alt Penedes, at an altitude of some 400m, is the small and remote town of Olesa de Bonesvalls. Here, in the Can Tutusaus estate (est. 1348), you'll find the tiny winery of Valldolina and its 11 organic hectares of vineyards. But for the vines the estate is a forest of pine and oak trees, brooms, fennel, rosemary, thyme, lavender and many other Mediterranean plants typical of the protected and diverse ecosystem of the Penedes Garraf. A family winery, the son Raimon is the winemaker and is young, passionate and excitable. In 1998 they chose to farm fully organically fully benefitting from the year-round sunshine, wild biodiversity of the Garraf and a fresh wind from the Ordal mountains.