“Before the olives, the mountains were covered with grapes”, says Rafa Martín, “This is what our grandparents did. We want to restore the mountains to the way they were when our grandparents worked them and to make the wine that was here before.”
I’m standing in the tasting room of Celler Martín Faixó just outside Cadaques in Cap de Creus, with a glass of Picapoll 2010 VI Blanco Joven in my hand. In front of me is the wild and beautiful expanse of the valley where the vines grow, battling every day to dig their roots deeper into the ground and the past, trying to reach moisture and to recover the history of these hills and the back-breaking toil the Faixó’s ancestors performed to work the land.
“The land here is tough for the plants,” Rafa continues. “They have to put roots deep to find moisture and to withstand the wind – la tramuntana – that sweeps through the valleys. The plants have to work hard and so their taste is intense.”
The symbolism is too easy as I take in the work the Martín Faixó family have undertaken to immaculately restore their magnificent 14th century mansion inheritance which houses the bodega, its cellars, tasting room and sales outlet, and the exquisite mezzanine rooms which are let as holiday accommodation.
I hold the glass to the window so the sun can see it. Beyond the glass I can see the broom-covered hillside from which the wine has borrowed its colour. As the cold liquid hits my tongue I get a slight taste of the minerals the roots have encountered on their journey through the ground before the fruit of the grape is released in crisp, intense citrus flavours.
Just beyond the window a long table with rattan chairs sits on the manicured lawn, framed on one side by a long hammock slung between two trees and on the other by white linen lawn furniture. Behind, the vines run in neat rows across the valley slopes, taking the eye to the mountains of Cap de Creus beyond. It’s like the setting of a Merchant Ivory film and I half expect to see ladies in crinolines carrying dainty sun umbrellas take their place at the table where empty wine glasses are filled with the promise of the pleasures lunch will bring.
It’s an idyllic setting and one where I could happily spend a week in one of those beautiful rooms, waking every morning to the beauty of the three valleys and ending every day in the company of the wines. See more photos of Celler Martín Faixó.
Buzz Trips visited Celler Martín Faixó as guests of Costa Brava Tourism
Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites. Published in The Telegraph, The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Thomas Cook Travel Magazine, EasyJet Traveller Magazine, you can read her latest content on Google+