Summer is here, and we are swapping our vin chaud for a nice glass of something chilled and to keep with our Catalan roots our bottle of choice is always Andorran. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Andorra is situated between the two great wine producing countries of Spain and France, or that the wine comes straight off the hills where we like to spend our winters on, but Andorran wine has a special flavour and is a tipple to be celebrated and enjoyed.
We thought we would share the love and introduce you to our favourite Andorran wine producers who create some award winning bottles that you need to try.
Established in 2010, Borda Sabate grow their grapes organically at two different heights to allow different flavours to develop which has led to the birth of their two stand out wines, Escol and Torb. Situated at 1,100 and 1,190 meters above the sea level it is an adventure to get to the winery, but the views and elegant wines are worth the trek.
The harvest of this year led to the production of an intense wine that caught the palate of the judges at the International Wine Challenge in 2014 and was awarded the Commended Medal. Made from both variety of grapes grown here it is 100% Riesling, and combined with the rest period, this wine embodies fruits and white flowers aroma, with honey touches towards the end.
The Casa Auvinyà wines are very different every year, with production very limited and in numbered bottles, which makes it desirable. Imagine, their white wine is the first wine produced in the Principality of Andorra with the grape varieties of Albariño, Viognier and Pinot Gris which is different to those conventionally used at high altitude.
Lovingly known as snow wine, this delicate white is harvested from grapes that are picked when the first snow falls on the mountain. So precious is this wine that all of the production is done by hand with a resulting subtle, fresh and slightly herbaceous flavour. A special rare wine that is perfect for those special occasions.
Casa Beal, located between 1,050 and 1,100 metres specialises in biodynamic winegrowing. This process involves treating the vines with different techniques according to the phases of the moon. The gewürztraminer grape is harvested here as it can survive the low mountain temperatures and high altitude air. After a century away from the market Casa Beal came back with a bang, introducing a new white wine to the market.
Cim de Cel
This Andorran white has won great international acceptance with a Gold Stamp from the International Wine Guide and really good critical notes from the experts. This is a fresh and flavoured white wine, that brings to the table the aroma of exotic fruits and hints of rose petals.
New kid on the block Mas Berenguer has hit the ground running with its focus on producing modest, modern and functional wine using the glacial mountain water to flavour and enhance their grapes. The father and daughter vinters concentrate on the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties for their products. It’s newly launched sparkling rose wine 902 AD is a treat if you can come by a bottle, but its Chardonnay is the current favourite.
Trancat de Rocafort
Trancat de Rocafort, is a Chardonnay that matures for five months in acacia and oak barrels. Seasoned with 2% Sauvignon Blanc it has a golden colour with undertones of honey and vanilla. It comes alive in the mouth and is a great pallet pleaser. Look out for the 2015 vintage as it has been voted the best of the bunch.
If all this talking about wine has got your juices flowing, then why not discover the vineyards for yourself. The summer months are perfect for planning a weekend to Andorra with hotels such the Park Piolets in Soldeu organising wine tours. A perfect place to relax in the spa and then go on a culinary and wine adventure. If you would like help planning a wine tasting adventure to Andorra this summer, why not get in touch.