Mas Sant Rafel
A tiny wine growing universe where we make wine and which we also call home
Located near the village of Pradell de la Teixeta, in the county of Priorat, Mas d’en Rafel is an unusual estate within the Denominació d’Origen Montsant (wine appellation). This D.O. (Designation of Origin) has quickly gained international recognition in a very demanding wine market.
First of all, this is because our vineyards are to be found a few miles from the Mediterranean sea as the crow flies. It is the Catalan Coastal Mountain Range which separates us from it. The cooling influence of the sea comes to us every evening in the shape of the Garbinada which caresses the vines. This south-easterly wind comes packed with moisture and helps to balance out the water stress of our vines. This is much appreciated when rainfall is scarce. During the summer, however extreme the summer is, this “Garbinada” sea breeze cools the air at Mas d’en Rafel and allows the grapes to ripen slowly.
Secondly, our vineyards are a true display of all kinds of ancient dry stone walls or “marges” which in the past were used to mark out and hold up our manmade terraces on the mountain slopes, from the tree line, down to the ravine.
For us, dry stone walls (a traditional technique which enabled the construction of handmade terraces and small buildings using only local stone without any kind of mortar) is an extremely valuable agricultural and historical resource, which little by little we have been restoring in our vineyards. They are a living example of how the natural landscape of this area has always been closely linked with human activity.
This is how at Mas d’en Rafel, the landscape, the mountain, the vines, a thousand and one stories and man’s imprint over many centuries have ended up creating a tiny wine growing universe, a place where we make wines and which we call home.