Petit Bernat Blanc is another new, organic wine to our list; it comes from the picturesque vineyards of Bodegas Oller de Mas in Catalunia in DO Pla de Bages. It displays intriguing aromas of white peach and pears with hints of candied peel and herbs. The palate is supple and fresh, with complex layers of pear, apple, peach and tangerine fruit and great length. A blend of Macabeo and Malvasia, grapes normally associated with white Rioja (Macabeo is the Catalan and La Manca name for the grape known as Viura in Rioja). If you enjoy white Rioja, we would recommend that you try this slighly lighter, fresher take on these grapes.
“Oller” is the Catalan word for potter which reflects the family history of this estate. In the centre of the vineyards is a stone kiln which was first mentioned in 13th century texts. Frank Margenat can trace his family ownership of the estate back 1000 years and he has been responsible for re-invigorating its wine production. They have 45 hectares of organic vineyards set within the large 400 hectares of estate which is mainly forest, but where they also grow cereals and olives. It is situated near the mountains of Montserrat, in the hills about 1 hour’s drive North West of Barcelona.
The grapes are hand-picked and placed into 15 kilo boxes, so that the fruit is intact when it reaches the close-by Bodega producing a quality wine. Oller de Mas is a family producer of low yield, high quallity wines and a limited production; around 2200 cases of this particular wine are produced annually.