The Penedes region of Spain is preparing for a major overhaul of its appellation system.
Josep Albet, owner of the Albet I Noya winery and recently elected president of the Regulatory Council of the Penedès DO, is leading a campaign to demarcate the region into five or six further sub-zones, with the emphasis on promoting some superior sub-regions within the generic appellation.
He told Decanter.com that the existing appellation was woefully outdated and did not reflect the massive diversity of terroirs within Penedès.
‘In our region vines grow along the Mediterranean coast to 800m above sea level, on the top of our mountains.
‘We have two chains of mountains and a valley in the middle of Penedès, resulting in different microclimates and varying soil compositions – all these differences make five or six distinct areas which give different wines.’
According to Albet, the following sub-regions are proposed within Penedès – Garraf, Ordal, Alt Penedes, Central Valley A and Central Valley B.
A further sixth sub-zone is still being decided upon.
Albet and his supporters are currently in the process of undertaking a study to establish the boundaries for each sub-zone, before submitting their proposal for the approval of the Penedès Wine Council.
‘Considering all the bureaucracy ahead of us this could take two years, but it depends really on how capable we are of arguing our case to the council’, Albet said.
‘If we are successful, these changes could be implemented by summer 2012’, he added.
Written by James Lawrence