In November of 2021, Spain’s DO Penedès announced a massive overhaul of their bylaws with many changes aimed at re-orienting the region via a “10-year plan”. One of the key aspects was a new classification system for the estates of the region called, “Vi de Mas”, the first five of which have just been certified.
While most wine regions looking to implement a system use the so-called “Burgundian Pyramid” as a structure, Penedès took a different approach that merged some of the Burgundian system along with some of the Bordeaux system, wherein it is an estate that holds the classification.
They will not be forming a village level nor single vineyard classification such as what Priorat, Rioja, and others in Spain have done. Instead, the only individual classification is, “Vi de Mas” which in Catalan means, “wine of the farm estate”.
They are using the established masias which were historic farming estates across all of Catalunya and for that matter, Spain. At the centre of a masia is the mas, an old, grand house with the farmlands of the masia around. In France, this would be known as a “domaine”. For a wine to classify for one of these levels, the house with its farmlands has to have existed prior to the arrival of phylloxera, before the end of the 19th century.
Within this classification, there is “Vi de Mas” for any wine produced within the classified estate (up to five references in total) and then “Gran Vi de Mas” which can only apply to a wine that has seen consistent international recognition for at least a decade. These are wines to be considered akin to Bordeaux’s concept of the “Grand Vin”.
While wines can be made from any of the permitted varieties within the DO, vines must be a minimum of 10 years old for Vi de Mas wines and 25 years old for Gran Vi de Mas, with harvest yields 15% less than DO maximums. Gran Vi de Mas wines must be aged a minimum of eight months for the whites and 20 months for the reds.
Wineries and wines with this certification
Gran Vi de Mas “Parany Carinyena”
Vi de Mas “Turó de les Abelles Garnatxa Negra”
Vi de Mas “Finca Viladellops Xarel·lo 100%”
Vi de Mas “Finca Viladellops Selecció Garnatxa Negra”
Gran Vi de Mas “Mas Rodó Macabeu”
Vi de Mas “Mas Rodó Montonega”
Vi de Mas “Mas Rodó Cabernet Sauvignon”
Vi de Mas “Mas Rodó Reserva de la Propietat”
Gran Vi de Mas “Bòria”
Vi de Mas “Marger”
Alsina & Sardà
Gran Vi de Mas “Finca la Boltana Xarel·lo”
Huguet de Can Feixes
Vi de Mas “Can Feixes Blanc Tradició”