Environment 2019-03-22T18:10:40+00:00

A UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT

During the 18th century, Porrera, like all the Priorat, experiences moments of important economic and demographic growth. Because of the increasing international wine and spirits demand, Priorat region specializes in vineyard farming . At the same time, Porrera becomes a forced step  when the wine is sent to the city of Reus where the wines were prepared to be embarked in the port of Salou to international markets.

During the second half of the 19th century, Porrera, like most of  Priorat region, increased the cultivation of the vineyard. Vicens Vives wrote that the expansion of the vineyard did not know limits in Priorat, occupying not only forests and rocky areas, but also rural areas where they cereals had been farmed before. This was due to the great international wine market demand. At that time it was said that if Porrera had cleared their wine tanks into the river, it would lower more wine than water, due to the large amount of harvested grapes that took place in its territory.

The monoculture of the vineyard and the consequent social and economic dependence were fatal when the first focal point of phylloxera was discovered  in 1893 at Porrera. It  had already attacked the Penedès. In a short period of time the vines became desert and the population, attracted by the proximity of Reus left much of the land.

However, many porrerans returned to their land and many costers were planted another time They used American roots which were resistant to the plague grafted with the traditional autochthonous varieties.

During the 20th century vineyards were abandoned and people started to plant hazelnut trees because it was much more profitable. French vines had recovered, there was a wine crisis and Spain become a poor and isolated country due to the Franco dictatorship. However, Porrera  received quite a lot number of immigrants who settled there in order to work on the construction of the channel that would bring the Siurana water to Riudecanyes – the first transfer between two river basins that was made in Catalonia . Because of it, Porrera preserved a fairly large number of inhabitants compared to other villages of the region. The actual population is 450 inhabitants.

During the sixties, the progressive and unstoppable decline of  the nut’s price and the industrialization of large cities caused a migration of porrerans who abandoned the land to work in the industries. However, because of the proximity to Reus, the improvement of the road network and the acquisition of private vehicles in the eighties,  Porrera did not suffer so much depopulation compared to the rest of the region.

At the end of the eighties, the arrival of new Spanish winemakers originated a new boom of Priorat wines. The number of hectares plantes went up from 700 hectares in 1990 to the actual 1952 hectares. It is still far from the 10.000 hectares planted in the nineteenth century

OUR TERROIR

This limited terroir, is formed by materials of the Palaeozoic era, mainly Devonian, Carboniferous  shale (formed between 416 and 318 million years ago), therefore the oldest that can be found in Catalonia today. The soils are shallow, usually from a single horizon and immediately below (about 10-15 cm) is the bedrock. They have a low organic content matter and are formed mostly by the disintegration of the slate, which is called llicorella,  and are laminated and broken rocks of a dark copper colour between which the roots of the vines dig deep in search of moisture, water and nutrients.

Vines are grown on terraces and the steep slopes of the costers hills at an altitude of between 300 and 750 m. El Priorat boasts its own microclimate, characterised by very hot summers and cold winters. Annual rainfall does not exceed 400-500 mm. The land is very unfertile and characterised by the presence of slate known as llicorella. The area’s soil gives the high-quality wines produced in the D.O.Q. Priorat, which have now gained world-wine recognition.

As for the soil, it is relatively acidic with very little organic material. The soil is mainly made up of slate, known locally as “llicorella” (singular) or “llicorelles” (plural). These flat, easily breakable deeply copper coloured stones are where the vine roots delve in search of water and nutrients. It is these soils which are recognised as giving Priorat wines their greatest virtues..

THE HIGHNESS

The average elevation of the Porrera mountains is the higher of the DOQ Priorat.  Marco Abella plots are situated in six different summits of six different mountains in Porrera. For this reason, the average elevation of Marco Abella vineyards is the highest of the whole Priorat region (between 500 and 700 metres above the sea level). They are also the closest vineyards to the sea. The coolest and highest elevation of our plots contributes to optimal phenolic ripeness and helps to preserve flavors and acidity. Our wines are dense, complex, mineral as the best Priorat wines but the high elevation of our plots give them a special characteristic: freshness and finesse.

INFLUENCE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN

The Montsant mountain  neutralises the influence of the Mediterranean see winds in the majority of Priorat villages. However, the wind is abel to arrive to the village of Porrera because of its geographic situation. For this reason, the “Llevant” wind of the Mediterranean see leaves the morning dew. Grapes reach its maturity very gradually. They are harvested later than the rest of Priorat. This particular  microclimate provides the wine with its characteristic freshness, finesse and elegance

PRIORAT

The Denominació d’Origen Qualificada Priorat is a small mountainous region located in the heart of the province of Tarragona. The massif of the Montsant mountain forms the northern boundary, to the west is the Sierra de la Figuera, to the east Molló and, to the south, the territory opens out and follows the course of the Siurana river downstream towards the Ebro. The Siurana river and its tributaries are the main geographic artery of the area, and have created a series of valleys due also to the geological curves of the ridges and hillsides. In accordance with the laws of Catalonia relative to the regional administrative division, the whole territory of the DOQ Priorat is part of a larger administrative area known as Priorat, which also includes a territory that does not form part of the Priorat wine.

The DOQ Priorat is the only “Qualified” wine appellation in Catalonia and is one of only two which exist in Spain. This quality seal demands a series of conditions based on quality and the

implementation of certain wine production systems. The DOQ Priorat character means its wines are unique and exclusive. The wines made in this designation of origin are the only ones permitted to carry its name around the world: Priorat.

PORRERA

Until the end of the 12th century, Porrera was part of the territory controlled by Siurana. In 1171 the village was donated to the monastery of Pedrabona de Sant Vicenç del Garraf. This donation excluded the lead, iron and tin mines.

In 1201, the canons of Sant Vicenç del Garraf awarded a letter of population to the inhabitants of Vallem Porreram. In April 1263 the monastery of Escaladei bought the territories and rights of Porrera and they were incorporated into the Cartoixa d’Escaladei of Priorat.

During the 18th century, Porrera, like all the Priorat, experiences moments of important economic and demographic growth. Because of the increasing international wine and spirits demand, Priorat region specializes in vineyard farming . At the same time, Porrera becomes a forced step when the wine is sent to the city of Reus where the wines were prepared to be embarked in the port of Salou to international markets.

The monoculture of the vineyard and the consequent social and economic dependence were fatal when the first focal point of phylloxera was discovered in 1893 at Porrera. It had already attacked the Penedès. In a short period of time the vines became desert and the population, attracted by the proximity of Reus left much of the land.

However, many porrerans returned to their land and many costers were planted another time.