“The winegrower is like the humble conductor of an orchestra, and this orchestra is the nature within which the vineyards grow.” This is how Sicus, the estate in Penedes under the leadership of winemaker Eduard Pie, describes its philosophy of winemaking, and the reality of its work perfectly matches the poetry of its stated mission.
The wines are made exclusively with grapes native to the area, which have adapted to their terroir over generations. They are not suffocated with herbicides or pesticides, and are instead allowed to grow among naturally-occurring wild flora and fauna, with minimum intervention. This is as good for the local environment as it is to the contents of your wine glass. In fact, preservation of the natural surroundings is so important to Sicus that they even leave the soil un-ploughed, allowing grass, weeds, earthworms, ants and other species to flourish. Needless to say, synthetic fertilizers are out of the question, with the calcareous soils being allowed to do their work unhindered.
The vines are planted in shallow soil that is low in both moisture and organic matter. This gives the grapes an intensity of flavour and the plants themselves strength, as the roots reach out in search of water. The grape varieties employed are Xarel-lo, Monastrell (Mourvèdre), Sumoi and Malvasia de Sitges, all of which are native to the mountains and have spent years adapting to the terroir.
Even artificial irrigation is shunned in favour of allowing the local weather to dictate the qualities of the grapes, and therefore the wines made from them. Sicus describes each bottle of its wine as a “liquid synopsis” of the meteorological conditions in which the vines were grown.
The vines are all grown in the Massís of Bonastre area of mountains surrounding the small town of Bonastre, the lowest part of the valley that stands at 170 metres elevation. The mountains are located between the great plains of Alt Camp and Baix Penedès, and their vineyards are swept by the fresh air from both the mountains and the nearby Mediterranean Sea, which is just 6 kilometres away. Penedes is mostly known for its Cava, making Sicus a rare treat. Bonastre is a small village with a population of just several hundred, and Sicus is one of three producers here.
Eduard, who comes from a farming family, started focusing his energy on Sicus in 2010 after years of learning about viticulture and eonology. He had taken over the winemaking work of his family, run from the cellar of his family house, in 2003, while also working for the prestigious vineyards of Jane Ventura in Penedes and continuing his studies. During this time, he produced only a very small quantity of wine, only moving on to the current Sicus project after years of preparation.
Much of the winemaking is conducted using porous clay jars, which allow micro-oxidation of the wine and avoid flavours being picked up from barrels. But Sicus also uses amphoras, positioned right there on the vineyard, to keep most of the vinification process in the terroir. The taste of the wine differs depending on how it is made, in cellar or on location.
|Cru Mari "Vermell" Rose Sparkling||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2011|
|Cartoixa Brisat||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2017|
|Cartoixa Brisat||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2016|
|Malvasia De Sitges||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2017|
|Cartoixa "Sons"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2015|
|Cartoixa Mari||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2017|
|Cartoixa Vermell "Sons"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2015|
|Monastrell "Sons"||Login||Bottle (75cl)||2014|