Who: Aitor Espanyol Vallès.
What: Catalonian wine.
Where: Barberà de la Conca, Tarragona.
When: Since 2017.
Aitor is a young farmer from a family that has farmed here for generations. They live in the tiny hilltop village that lends its name to the wine region, Barberà de la Conca. The region is the Conca de la Barberà, which lies around 30 minutes inland from the coastal capital of the region Tarragona, around 90 minutes west of Barcelona.
It’s a magnificent wide open luminous landscape, sunny, always well ventilated, never stifling. Aitor’s located geographically midway between the cellars of Joan Ramon Escoda and Jordi Llorens. He works for both Joan Ramon and Jordi during the harvest and other busy seasons. He also farms olives, and other fruits.
We met him at both Joan Ramon’s and Jordi’s, first tasting his first efforts at winemaking, the 2017, at Jordi’s when it was clear that Aitor’s very singular vision of the world, rather the cosmos, was rewarded in the bottle. But he pushes the limits of “natural” and the wines are not for everyone. The production is tiny, around 1,600 bottles in total.