Josep Maria Pujol Busquets came back to the area with his wife, Christina Guillen, two decades ago after a distinguished career at other top wineries. They purchase the Can Genis estate two kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, and set about creating their vineyard estate. After working a deal with the town of Alella, they expanded their vineyards into the natural park area, designated by the town to create what is the current Alta Alella experience.
The focus here is mainly on cava products, with both traditional cava with no additives and all natural, plus brilliant white wines featuring the Alella variation of Xarel·lo, Panda Blanca. They also have incredible reds featuring Syrah. Alta Alella has to labels, one as Alta Alella, and Celler de les Aus, which is led by Josep Maria’s daughter, Miriea, who has followed her father’s footsteps in the wine business.
You will have a treat at Alta Alella, is it is in an appellation that is one that is the closest to a major metropolitan city in the world. You are 30 minutes from downtown Barcelona to Alta Alella, but you’ll feel like you’ve travelled much further once you arrive to the estate. The vineyards are set up around a natural amphitheater with views towards the Mediterranean which will leave you speechless, plus views to the south back towards the Barcelona skyline. The soil is a unique “saulo” which is best described as a combination of sand and disintegrating granite-type soil, giving unique properties and qualities to the grapes grown on the estate.
The winery itself, while modern in design, is blended into the land in the valley between the hills lining the “amphitheater” of vineyards surrounding. There are three separate buildings – one of offices, bottling, storage, another production/fermentation, and visitor centre with some of the best views on the estate, where they can entertain groups and more. Celler de les Aus has a separate facility, just outside the original Alta Alella estate, perched almost over the Mediterranean. One thing to keep in mind, they won’t do weddings, but business meetings and more, absolutely.
Alta Alella has one of the most professional tours in Spain, rivalling many of the top vineyards around the world for the access to the vineyards, the information, the views, and the final tasting at the visitor centre. There are various options to explore, including an electric bike tour, a helicopter tour starting at the Formula 1 race course at Montmelo, a motorcycle sidecar tour, and more. There is an option for tasting lunch as well.
You can catch the R1 regional train from Plaza Catalunya up the coast to El Masnou (25 minute journey) and take a 5 minute taxi ride to Alta Alella. If you’re looking for a half day wine journey from Barcelona, and don’t have the time to head to Penedes, Priorat, Emporda or other parts, this is a great option.