Steeply sloping hillsides made of Llicorella (slate) soils, crowned by tiny villages, drenched in Mediterranean sunshine… The Priorat is a tiny rural world in the south of Catalonia, 130 km from Barcelona, where sea breezes and inland winds fill the steep vineyards with the essence of aromatic herbs. The Rovira Carbonell family care for and farm one of the most emblematic and ancient estates of the Priorat Qualified Designation of Origin (DOQ) Priorat: Mas d’en Gil, located in Bellmunt del Priorat, one of the nine “Historical Priorat” villages.
Located at 350 metres above sea level, Mas d’en Gil covers an extension of 125 hectares (309 acres) of vineyards, olive groves, almond groves, hazel groves, cereal crops and Mediterranean woodland. Spread over five valleys with differentiating microclimates and terroirs, the estate is a scale model of the abrupt Priorat landscape, one of the greatest wine growing regions in the world. Mas d’en Gil is a combination of nature and human activity going back centuries. Over the last 150 years, this has culminated in the passion shared by three families who have consecutively owned the estate. Today, this dream of bottling the earth has become reality in the shape of wines, olive oil and bittersweet vinegar made at Mas d’en Gil. These products express the respect, hard work and surroundings of place in the heart of the Priorat.
Marta has a magical way of relating to the earth, the vineyards and the grapes’ journey to becoming wine. She speaks five languages—six including nature— and her lyrical articulation of each word shows her determination to express the voice of nature. For Marta, both the vineyards and the wines possess their own anima and play a glorious part in the story of life.
To Marta's amazement, she discovered that biodynamic practices are based on the sensibilities she had learned from her grandmother when she was a little girl. She found evidence that they promote life in the soil and that, when these practices are combined with the ebb and flow of the lunar calendar, the health of the vineyards is undeniable. Finally, in 2008, Marta presented the facts to her father, explaining that “biodynamics puts the life back into the earth: alive fruit equals alive wine and ensures the heritage of the land into the future.” He was convinced.