Who: Toni and Anna Carbò with Ramon Jane Garriga and Merce Cuscol
What: Vi de Taula
Where: Penedes, Catalonia, Spain
When: Since 2011
Celler La Salada is located in the Penedes close to Avinyonet and Vilafranca, less than an hour out of Barcelona due west. It was founded by Toni Carbò in 2011 with his wife Anna, and his co-partners in an earlier project Mas Candí, Ramon Jane Garriga and Merce Cuscol, which itself was founded in 2005.
Since 2016 the wines appear to be merging in both form and the making. Toni and Ramon went to wine-making school together and Mas Candí is at the edge of the beautiful Garraf national park (very close to former leading estate Can Rafols dels Caus). The estate was based on a very old estate which had been used for wine-making since the 16th century. Toni and Ramon took a no-nonsense approach to the Mas Candí production, farming organically and making the wines simply but slightly technologically.
With La Salada, Toni is making wine from his family’s vines situated near Pla del Penedes. He started working in the vines when he was 14 years old. He witnessed the explosion of chemical and mechanical farming in the 1980s and 1990s and the consequent disconnect between farmer and land. It was this that motivated him to distance himself from that trend in order to connect to and respect his land with a more natural rhythm, as well as to learn to make great wine naturally and without sulfites.
He actually farms around 20 hectares but makes wines from just 5 hectares, selling off the rest in bulk. His vines lie on clay-limestone soils at around 300m altitude. He farms organically and biodynamically, keeping cover crops, grasses and herbs and flowers to shade and keep moisture in the soil and to promote biodiversity in the vineyard that consequently lends complexity to the wines. For now, he makes wines from only select parcels while he continuously learns to make the best natural wine possible without sulfites. Until 2017 the wines were made in the Mas Candí cellar and there has been a clear influence and exchange of styles with the Mas Candí wines. Indeed while in its first year of production 2013 Tinc Set carried the La Salada label, from 2015 it carried the Mas Candí label.
Toni and Ramon won an important wine tasting competition in Barcelona in 2018, a reflection of their passion and connoisseurship. Toni is always referencing wines he tasted elsewhere such as Jura or Auvergne or Beaujolais and Roussillon. The passion shows up in his wines, which are as diverse as any range from a natural wine producer. All his wines are from indigenous varieties, from light sparkling white and rosé to light red, intense whites, very subtle and fine orange wines, and a deep red from Sumoll. All carry remarkable purity and freshness, and above all drinkability. His current production is just around 8,000 bottles.