Wine has been a part of Spain's Priorat for centuries. Vertiginous, terraced vineyards, planted by Carthusian monks on decomposing slate locally known as llicorella. The ruins and its recent renovations of the 11th century grand monastery of Scala Dei – a must visitors stop.
Among the top Priorat estates, familiar are L'Ermite, Clos Mogador, and Clos Erasmus, all just a two hour drive from Barcelona. It was at Clos Erasmus where I first met Ester Nin 15 years ago. She fell in love with Priorat, raised at high elevation in the Penedès, she felt right at home. I was introduced to Ester by Daphne Glorians, owner of the famed Clos Erasmus. Ester was the viticulturist there, transitioning the vineyards to biodynamic farming.
Clos Erasmus was a great experience, foundation for what was to come at her estate. In 2004 Ester purchased eight acres of very old (80-110 years) at one of the highest elevations in Priorat bordering Porrera and Gratallops. Hand harvesting is always the case here, no other options with treacherous terraces. Aging in large oak barrels, minimal intervention needed here.