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We first met Marta of Can Sais back in May at Girona’s Tocs di Vi festival. Even though it was towards the end of evening of the event’s last night, she still spoke of her wines with energy and love you’d only expect in the first hour of the first evening.
If memory serves me well, Timmer and I might have been as tipsy as her sincerity was intoxicating. She only had her 2010 Seleccio left to offer us. Accept this offer we did, and then again, and then… I think you get the point.
Despite slightly numbed buds the character of this wine still came through. Bright and lush, it was both an awakening and a soothing bedtime story. ”But you must try the white another time,” she said and extended a casual invitation to visit her at Can Sais. We casually, if not flirtatiously, accepted.
But you know the score, extension and acceptance of invitations at such social events are typically as an ending, an exchange, or to say goodnight. By normal standards, they are rarely acted upon. So you can imagine Marta’s surprise when we contacted her two months later to visit Can Sais and perhaps even try this white she had insisted we must.
Our visit was more like reconnecting with an familiar friend than a formal business meeting. She remembered us and was as genuine and warm as we hazily remembered her. As we walked the vineyard she spoke with the same energy as our first meeting, but this time she touched on more than just the end result.
Marta shared with us how the art of making wine at Celler Can Sais has been the family business for generations. She also described how the house in which she grew up, in which she still lives and works is partially carved into the hill on where it stands. The land connects to the house, and by extension connects the family to the wine.
She also told us how the ground — very rich in red and blue slate and iron — and the vineyards close proximity to the sea give “mineralush” taste, lending texture to to the wines (yes, I’m very aware I just made up my own word).
When speaking of the vines, she proudly explained how her newest hectares and “daughters” of the older vines were planted by hand, throughout the granite-laden soil. Even though she relies solely on natural rain irrigation, the plot has already produced grapes much bigger than can typically be expected in only the third year. Here Marta was very motherly, as if speaking of her own children with the names Xarel.lo, Garnaxta, Macabeu, Ull de llebre, Merlot, and Carenyana (just to name a few of the grapes grown at Can Sais).
With regard to herself, Marta only says that wine making is a way of life and she loves what she does. She very humbly mentions that she is virtually alone in every step of the process. Her dedicated, proud yet modest, and solitary one woman labor of love produces the kind of results the largest producers will never be able to buy.
Marta eventually sat us down to talk of and taste the final products. The ”reason” for our visit was
presented first and proved to be well worth the wait. Delicious and vexing, her Mestral 2012 is a wonderful enigma. “Salivatious” and “minerally”, yet with an everlasting backend that you would expect from something sweeter (get Dr. Quincy on the phone, I’ve got a condition). Oh, and by the way, Timmer fell in love. With the wine.
For me the highlight was revisiting the the Seleccio 2010, and also the 2011. Not only was it familiar to me because of the warm night in May — you can read Timmer’s review of Tocs de Vi here — but also because I could somehow smell and taste everything Marta had just shared with us. Because of this, I was once more awakened by this wine. It finally occured to me that Marta is the way she is when she talks about her wine because she’s not selling it to us, she’s sharing it with us.
We not only know we now love her wines, but also her passion for the process, plus the integrity and humility in which she goes about it, as well as her honest raw affection for the end result. In short, we also love Marta and we know that since she pours herself into every bottle of Celler Can Sais, you too will come to love the woman and the wines.
Check out our photo gallery of our visit to Celler Can Sais for a pictorial record of the experience. We’ve also been given a limited inventory of her wines to sell to our readers! Check it out in “The Shop” coming very, very, very soon!