2014 Banyuls Grenache (fortified)
A project from Manuel di Vecchi Staraz – Italian in exile, lecturer in viticulture at Montpellier University, Anarchist and Humanist. Ultra low yielding Grenache bush vines on the steep schist terraces of Banyuls, picked very ripe, fermented and macerated for a long time with maximum extraction, lots of foot plunging, then fortified with eau de vie de vin. No machines – just humans, mules and music. Even the bottles are hand blown! A bit sweet, very tannic, dense, ethereal and balanced. Just 560 bottles made!
"Vinyer de la Ruca is the most complete project I have ever come to know. Manuel di Vecchi Staraz, an italian expatriate in France, has built what I believe to be the most uncompromising and entire vision of what natural wine aspires to be. His really old vineyards are in Banyuls, on incredibly steep terraces, with more biodiversity and other species than there are gnarly old bush vines. Everything, from A-Z and beyond, is done by hand, by human effort or with the help of animals. No machine. Anywhere. All vineyard work is done on foot. All treatments are done by hand, biodynamically. Grapes are harvested by hand, destemmed by hand, crushed by foot, lifted into fermenters by hand. The glass bottles are hand-blown objects of amazing beauty. The wines are bottled, corked and wax sealed by hand. Labels are designed by an artist and pasted by hand... Each bottle is quite simply a unique and personal journey. And the wines are delicious, nothing short of poetry, they leave you speachless." – Charlie, Virtuous Vine (Importer)