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 visitor 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. Ester's husband Carles Ortiz brought to their union a 14 acre vineyard in the village of Porrera which blends very old and more recent vines all hand harvested and raised in very large barrels and amphorae. Bright and freshness the hallmark here, a result of east facing slope, masterfully done.