Massimo Marchiori and Antonella Gerosa are the Italian couple behind Partida Creus. They're known as the crazy Italians who are making incredible natural wines with the grapes that all of the locals had written off in exchange for the more “international” varietals.
The couple settled in the Massís de Bonastre in the Baix Penedés around the year 2000. They started farming all kinds of local foodstuffs, but had trouble finding wines made in the same style so they started making their own, recovering old vines of local grape varietals. In most cases, the vineyards were close to abandoned. Whenever they find a new vineyard, they’ll go to the nearby town, find out who the owner is and approach them to buy or at least farm the vineyard. Many think they’re crazy for doing this as these are very old, low yielding vineyards and in most cases, obsolete grape varietals. Some have been disqualified from D.O. for lack of color, as was the case with Sumoll, others were never even accepted.
Vinel·lo, for example, is a field blend of 7 grape varietals: Trepat, Sumoll, Garrut, Queixal de Llop, Ull de Perdiu, Garnacha, and Samsó. This is actually one of their younger vineyards as it was planted back in 1995 and the soil is predominantly calcareous clay. Separate whole cluster macerations in stainless steel tanks, shortest extraction for the Garrut, which has the most color, for about 20 hours. The longest is the Trepat, lightest in color, for about 3 days. All of the others in between about 48 hours. Once finished they are all blended and racked into the same stainless steel tanks where the wine ages on its fine lees and naturally decants, slowly through the cold of the winter meaning unfiltered, unfined, and no addition of sulfur at any part of the winemaking process. I think a common denominator in all of their wines is freshness and precision. All of them are very direct with low alcohol and high acidity which definitely keeps them intact.
Vinyater is another native grape varietal of the Penedés and close to extinction as it was never accepted into the official DO. Partida Creus has recovered some of the few remaining vineyards. For this wine, they own two small vineyards, one is 67 years old and the other 70. As far as vinification, it is destemmed, pressed, fermented in stainless steel, and aged for about 6 months. Unfiltered, unfined, no sulfur, no acidifying. As natural as it gets. Common denominator in all of their wines is low alcohol and cutting acidity. Real quaffable stuff!