The Mitjans family has had this land for generations, and have been making wine for the same amount of time. During the Spanish Civil War, the winery served as the Air Force based for the Republicans fighting Franco. To that end, they built an underground bunker on the land to protect the troops and the top brass. Today, that bunker, which extends several hundred meters from one of the buildings into one of their vineyards, serves as their cava ageing and fermentation area. Current caretaker and winemaker extraordinaire, Josep, pushed his father to start bottling their wines and to also pursue biodynamic means of winemaking. Today, Loxarel is one of the top proponents of biodynamic practices, and has a significant amount of their wines fermented in clay amphoras, as the Romans did.

The Wines 

Loxarel produces unique and highly rated reds, whites, and sparkling wines under the DO Penedes appellation designation. They use indigenous grapes mostly and also practice many traditional methods of winemaking. Their red wines are incredible and unique in the Penedes region due to their practices. Overall, they use innovative and ancient techniques in combination to create special varietals. This includes amphora fermentation, barrel ageing, “ancestral method” for sparkling wines. One of note is their top end sparkling, which is aged for nearly 10 years, and is NOT disgorged.

The Land

With 20+ hectares surrounding the winery, Loxarel is a picturesque example of Penedes winemaking. The plains surrounding are near the mountainous regions of Alt Penedes, and in fact, many of their vines from elevation come from Josep’s wife’s family, the famous “Nin” winemaking family, near the ancestral family lands of the Nin clan near the ruins of the village of Selma, high in the mountains of Alt Penedes. You’ll find sheep and donkeys helping Josep work the land for the grapes. Garnatxa is one of our favourite of his donkeys.

The Winery

The winery complex of Loxarel is almost a little village in itself, composing of several homes for family members, plus the winery complex for steel fermentation for the young wines, barrel room with oak and amphora. Beside is the original building from the Spanish Civil War, which houses rooms for private events, winery offices, and beneath the cava “resting area”. The barrel room has an architectural style which is breathtaking, and includes a wine bottle candelabra hanging over an opening to the spaces above.

The Tour

What’s cool about the tour is that you won’t do it with a typical “wine tourism staff member”. Depending on time of year and what’s happening at the winery, it could be Josep himself, his wife, Josep’s #2 Pep, or one of the winemaking interns who spend time from abroad to learn about Josep’s techniques first hand. The key part is this tour is not a formal thing, so you’ll need to send an email far in advance to book a tour, or you can harass us and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of by their team. It’s a tour not to miss.

Secret Tip

Make sure to ask if you can do the tasting in the vineyard, depending on the weather, and it’s worth paying a little extra to enjoy their top end sparkling wine, 109, which is the one we talked about above, and pictured above.

Phone: +34938978001

Email: loxarel@loxarel.com

Website: http://loxarel.com