As the brand Raventós i Blanc is now exclusively for sparkling wines, the still wine business has taken a 360-degree turn to focus on natural wines. The importance of the origin of the grapes was reinforced with the purchase of a 400-hectare property in La Juncosa del Montmell (Baix Penedès) in 2017. The name “montmell” comes from the Latin “monte macellum” which means “arid mountain”.
Located in the province of Tarragona, the highest point in the property stands at 600 metres. Beyond the fantastic sea views, the place seems ideal to make low-intervention wines.
Pepe Raventós, 21st generation of the first family to produce Cava, started making natural wines in the garage of his home. They were mostly Xarel.lo and were fermented in amphora, foudres, with skin contact or pet-nats. He has applied this experience to develop the range of wines at Can Sumoi.
Holm oak, pine and oak tree forests dominate the property. Three are three farm houses built in the 17th century where wine was made in the past, as well as stone walls and 20 hectares under vine planted with Parellada, Xarel.lo and Sumoll. Parellada, which is locally known as Montonega, is very common in this area.
Recovering vineyards and borders is the priority at Can Sumoi, but in the future there are plans to gain some land to the forests, rebuild the farmhouses and bring animals to replicate the farming model at Raventós i Blanc.
The brands once used by Raventós i Blanc for its still wines are now Can Sumoi’s entry-level wines. With production at 150,000 bottles, Perfum (around €9) in Spain and La Rosa (€11) are partly made with grapes bought to local purveyors. Like Raventós i Blanc, working with grape growers is part of the family’s philosophy. While Perfum is a white blend of Parellada, Macabeo and Moscatel, La Rosa blends 50% of red Sumoll with Parellada and Xarel.lo.
Wines exclusively sourced from the estate include two pet-nats, a Sumoll-based rosé and a white Parellada retailing at around €13 in Spain. Only 10,000 bottles are produced of each of them compared to 40,000 for the still Xarel.lo (€11, 40,000 bottles) which is Can Sumoi’s flagship wine. In this case, grapes are sourced from the estate’s highest vineyard planted on limestone soils. According to Pepe Raventós, “when the sun rises, you can see the island of Mallorca from this vineyard”. The wine is fermented and aged with its lees in stainless steel tanks.