First Look Club
FLC #10 - Francesc Ferre / Celler Frisach
Francesc Ferré’s family have been growing grapes organically on their farm in Corbera d’Ebre for over 200 years. Corbera is located at high altitude west of Barcelona, flanked on both sides by jagged mountains, creating a blustery valley that is as marked by its hot days as it is by its evening winds and cool nights. This climate gives grapes that are ripe yet fresh, powerful yet elegant. This was also the centre of the longest and bloodiest battle of the Spanish Civil War, the Battle of the Ebro. The war left an indelible mark on the region, with the town destroyed as a signal from Franco to his enemies of what to expect, and with trenches still visible around the town.
Culture is important here. Francesc and his brother Joan have an incredible commitment to local grapes, particularly the various forms of Garnacha (Vernatxa in the local tongue), as well as traditional methods of winemaking: hand harvesting, natural fermentation, and old form wine styles such as ‘Brisat’. Brisat is an old Catalan word for an amber, or an orange wine. Although this is a style which typifies the rapid growth of the natural wine movement, this style is not a trend or a craze in Terra Alta. Historically grapes both white and red would have been macerated on their skins, and in the case of Garnacha Blanca which is super sensitive to oxygen, the skins provide a helpful antioxidative barrier to the wine.