After working for several multinational corporations and to his father’s amazement (who always linked winegrowing to hard life), Joan Ángel Lliberia decided to return to his hometown of Gandesa to work the family vineyards and launch his project. An agricultural engineer with a Master in Viticulture by the OIV, he focused initially on White Garnacha, Terra Alta’s most distinctive grape, but has recently started to work successfully with red varieties such as Garnacha —which they refer to as “Fina”— and Garnacha Peluda with downy leaves.
The winery is named after vía Edetama, the Roman road that started at the port of Dertosa (the current Tortosa in south Tarragona) to Cesaraugusta (Zaragoza in neighbouring Aragón).
Edétaria owns 35 hectares with a relatively high percentage of old vines which are destined to their top wines; they additionally control 15 hectares which have been rented to local farmers. They have recently turned to organic growing and expect to obtain the certification in three years’ time. The area has a large diversity of soils and vines are planted both on panal, the region’s trademark soil which originates from fossil dunes, as well as on gravel, clay, poor limestone or multi-layered loam.
Built in 2003, the winery lies on the road from Gandesa to Vilalba dels Arcs which connects La Plana (a low altitude area) with the higher plateau. The view is magnificent, with a sea of vines and the mountains of Pàndols Cavalls and Els Ports de Tortosa-Beceit natural park. Vineyards are planted on the lower area where they benefit from garbinada, a wind which brings sea breezes and humidity and tempers the high temperatures of summer.
Vía Terra is their entry level range and includes a young white made from White Garnacha (around 30,000 bottles) and a single-varietal red Garnacha aged for six months. Both of them retail at around €8 in Spain. A step up in quality is Vía Edetana, which also has white and red versions (around €10-11). The former is a blend of White Garnacha plus 30% of early-picked Viognier partially aged in barrels; the red blend includes some Syrah and Carignan and is aged for 10 months. Next is Edetaria Selecció (€19-21) which includes White Garnacha fermented in a 300-litre barrel and a red blend of Garnacha Peluda (60%), Garnacha Fina (30%) and Carignan (10%).
Edètaria has recently launched a range of single vineyard wines sourced from very old plots, which used to be destined to Edètaria Selecció, and made in tiny quantities. Production barely exceeds 1,000 bottles and retail prices in Spain range between €35 and €38, but they are setting new standards for red wines in the area. Whereas La Pedrissa is a fantastic single varietal Carignan, La Personal is made from Garnacha Peluda and La Genuïna is 100% Garnacha Fina grown on multi-coloured soils with different loam layers, locally known as tapàs. White Garnacha La Terrenal is sourced from a clay plot which used to go in the Edètaria Selecció blend. Now Selecciò is a White Garnacha grown exclusively on panal soils.