Spanish Wineries By Region

There are many wonderful wineries in Spain but Pares Balta has to be one of our favourites. This small but top end winery was founded in the 1930's in an area that has been producing wine since the 1700's and this particular family-owned winery produces Cavas and red and white wines of very high quality. The Pares Balta vineyards are spread out over five estates, with a total of 176 hectares of low yielding vines, where the altitude varies from 170 to 750 meters and offers a diverse mixture of soils. The vineyards enjoy a micro-climate and are located only a few miles from the Mediterranean Sea in the Penedes and Cava appellations. Pares Balta use a multitude of grape varieties for their wines, from the traditional cava grapes of Macabeo, Xarel.lo, and Parellada; to Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon for velvety rich reds; finally, to non-traditional Catalan grape varieties such as Chardonnay or even Gewurztraminer for oak aged whites. At Parés Baltà they have been cultivating the vineyards in an ecological way since 1790 and since the 2004 harvest the vineyards have been certified as ecological/organic. They have their own flock of sheep to fertilize the soils and beehives to encourage pollination. Winemakers with a long tradition but with new and fresh ideas, actually there are three generations working at Parés Baltà: The grandfather Joan Cusiné Hill (born 1917) continues to be active together with his son Joan Cusiné Cusiné but the reins of the business have now passed to his two grandsons - Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol who together are guiding the company into a new era of high quality wine production. The winemaking itself is in the hands of Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas, enologists and wives of Joan and Josep. Two skilled young women whose efforts are reflected in the quality of the wines that are produced at Parés Baltà; showing fine character and concentration yet with elegance and balance. In fact the origins of Parés Baltà go all the way back to the 18th century. In 1790 the first vines were planted on the estate that now surrounds the winery, but today, more than 200 years later, almost everything is different. The taking over of the winery in 1978 by Mr Joan Cusiné Hill, born in 1917 in Bellvei del Penedés and the addition of the exemplary estates “La Torreta” and “Els Pujols” marked the beginning of the Parés Baltà of today. Mr Joan Cusiné Hill comes from a family of vine growers and from the age of seven helped his father to cultivate the vineyards. Today, more than 80 years later, he still keeps on working, controlling a part of the viticulture. His son, Joan Cusine Cusine started to manage Pares Balta in the eighties and released its first still white wine, “Blanc de Pacs” which is still produced today. At the end of the eighties the first red wine from the company was produced, since when he has enthusiastically been attempting anything that could raise the quality of the wines. At Parés Baltà two ranges of wines are produced, the micro-cuvée range and the classical range. The micro-cuvée wines give very limited volumes, some of them less than 500 bottles and are produced only in the best years. They come from vineyards with special soil and micro-climates. In these wines Parés Baltá look for elegance, character and a maximum expression of the terroir. The classical range are wines to enjoy at any moment. Some of them have been produced since the foundation of the winery, such as the cavas and Parés Baltá have an amazing Cava celler, 10 metres deep in the underground under the winery, where their very special Cava is racked and turned in the original manner to produce the perfect result. Today, a visit to Parés Baltà is a must for either a novice or connoisseur. The in-house guides are wine specialists in their own right and delight in carrying out a very thorough tour of the vineyards and winery with full explanations throughout. At the end of your tour you will be introduced to some of the wines produced, perhaps a tasting of Mas Elena or Mas de Carol and assisted by your in-house wine specialist to taste in the correct fashion and understand each different tasting to the full. As well, Parés Baltá produce their own high quality olive oil and you will have a chance to taste this, together with local produce - bread, cheese and sausage. Always keeping quality in view, the aim of Parés Baltá is to produce some of the best and most interesting wines in the world.