Wines of Catalunya–Cesca Vicent
Vineyards at Cesca Vicent
Equipped with a detailed soil map of her estate, illustrating its 11 different soils types, Francesca Vicent–a fifth generation producer–makes terroir driven wines. Dating to the 15th century, Cesca Vicent is one of the oldest Priorato vineyards. Drawing from two separate plots that reside at 160-240m altitude–Mas d’en Corral and Maria Prunera–Cesca Vicent, at 13.2ha, cultivates organic vineyards. Working with these varying soil types, Francesca also has a variety of microclimates at her fingertips. In 2006 the estate conducted a study of their soils, performing some 30 boring tests, so that they might analyze the results and best match each soil type with the most optimal grape varietal.
In the 1980’s, Francesca inherited 11ha of vineyards, while her brother took over Cellar Cecilio, the family estate. After purchasing an additional 2ha, she established her own terraced vineyard, next to Cellar Cecilio, planting vines in 1984 and selling the grapes until 1999, when Francesca released her first vintage. As a fifth generation winemaker, it was important to Francesca that she pass the family tradition onto her daughters, Carmen and Ester.
Francesca with her daughter Carmen
Instinctually, she’s been practicing organic since 1999, and will become certified in 2011. Striving “to make as natural wine as possible to express the terroir,” Francesca practices dry farming whenever possible and employs “sexual confusion techniques” to deter insects without the use of pesticides. Conducting “soil studies to make sure that merlot, syrah, etc. are planted in the right place,” Francesca says that with this testing, she was “looking for different flavor profiles.” Knowing how each varietal benefits from the different soils, “aids tranquility,” she says, because she, working with vintner Emili Esteve, knows what they have. Working with wild yeasts, and not filtering nor fining in the winery, Esteve has been working with Francesca since day one.
We just tasted the 2004 Lo Piot Priorat, in office, and it’s lovely! Earthy bloom on bright berry fruit. Piercing acidity with a hint of anise and tabac. Drink now!