Xarel-lo 2017

Producer: Castell De Pujades
Region: Penedès
Appellation: Alto Penedès
Country: Spain
Classification: DO
Wine Type: White
Variety: Xarel-lo
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12%
Soil: Clay, Sand, Limestone
Farming Practices: Organic farming
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Cellar Profile

Castell de Pujades is a family-run winery situated in the heart of the renowned Classic Penedès region of Catalonia. For six generations, the Ferrer family has been growing grapes indigenous to the region here: Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada and the almost extinct Red Xarel-lo. Their focus is on crafting wines that have a sense of place and that showcase the terroir of the vineyard. To that end, they farm organically and work the land by hand. Classic Penedès is Cava country and the specialty of the winery. The vineyards are planted in calcareous rock, with patches of gravel and sand. Dry-farmed, the vines are protected from the hot, humid summers by the winds that come off the nearby Mediterranean. Evenings here are cool—at times barely above freezing during the growing season—due to the elevation and proximity to the ocean. This large diurnal shift allows for full ripening and development of flavour, while retaining the acidity necessary to make great Cava.


Located southwest of the Spanish city of Barcelona, the Penedès wine appellation straddles two coastal provinces, Barcelona in the north and Tarragona further south. The Penedès vineyards are divided into three sub-regions, related to topography: low (maritime), central and high. The region stretches westward and inland from the Mediterranean Sea over undulations and hills known as the Catalan coastal depression, the coastal range and the pre-coastal mountains where vines thrive at up to 2,600 feet (800 meters) elevation. Mediterranean winters are generally mild, while summers are hot with average temperatures hovering in the 30°C range. The clay, sand and limestone soils below the grapes are generally dry and friable, conducive to letting vines penetrate deeply.


Organically farmed, calcareous stone. These high altitude vineyards sit in some of the finest terroir of all Penedès. The Xarel-lo occupies prime sandy areas within the property.


Xarel-lo is a light-skinned grape from Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, and is one of the region’s most widely planted varieties. Xarel-lo is valued by winemakers for the acid structure it brings to wines and stands out as one of Spain’s finest white-wine varieties. It has thick skins, is high in polyphenols and its juice offers an excellent balance of sugars and acids. The variety buds and ripens neither early nor late in the season, and produces berries of average size. It is not particularly fussy about soil composition, and can tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions.


Harvested late in the season, when the grapes have achieved full phenolic ripeness. There is a temperature-controlled fermentation using native yeasts, in stainless steel to retain freshness. Lees contact and some mid-term bottle aging flesh out the wine.

Tasting Notes 

Intense tropical aromatics of pineapple and guava with some floral elements. The palate has replays of those tropical fruits, but surprising elegance; it is much drier and crisper than the nose would suggest.