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Catalan cellar becomes a ?vineyard of artists?

The wine cellar ?Mas Blanch i Jové? is obtaining worldwide recognition for both its quality products and innovative projects. The cellar has recently begun a project entitled ?The Vineyard of Artists,? for artists to pay homage to the world of wine.

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14 July 2010 12:55 AM

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ACN / Sarah Garrahan
La Pobla de Cérvoles (CNA).- The new wine cellar ‘Mas Blanch i Jové’ recently presented their new project entitled ‘The Vineyard of Artists,’ a free space where creatives can pay homage to the world of wine. The owners of the cellar, together with the deceased artist Josep Guinovart, who designed the cellar, have made this project a reality. Art is an important part of Mas Blanch i Jové’s philosophy, because the family business wants each bottle of wine “to be enjoyed as a small work of art”. For this reason, the wines produced by the cellar have gained wide recognition from critics and specialised publications.
The Mas Blanch i Jové cellar is located in La Pobla de Cérvoles (Garrigues). It began in 2006 as a family project, though their wines did not hit the market until 2008. Thanks to their constant work ethic and a philosophy of “loving the motherland”, the cellar has had three of their wines (Saó Blanc with 91 points, Saó Abrivat with 90 points, and Saó Expressiu with 91 points) highly rated by Robert Parker Jr., one of the most famous international wine critics of this day.

In Catalonia, their wines are included on the menus of restaurants like Sant Pau, la Torre d’Altamar, el Koy Shunka, Ca L’Arpa, and El Passadís del Pep, among others.

Within Spain, you can find the cellar’s wines in Catalonia, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands and Madrid. You can also buy Mas Blanch i Jové wine in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China.

The cellar’s manager, Sara Jové, explained that their top rated international critiques have opened doors for further exportation of the unknown brand, especially in Asia and the American continent where “they really follow these critics”. These results mirror the company’s philosophy that “each bottle of wine must be enjoyed as a small work of art”.

The cellar’s philosophy

“We love what we do”, and for this reason “we want to make the best wine possible”, explained Jové. In order to make this happen, “we take care of every small detail, from the wines, to the cellar, to the product presentation”. Mas Blanch i Jové calls its wines ‘Saó’, a word that speaks of the land and means ‘maturity, perfection, and optimal humidity’, a concept that the cellar prioritises for every bottle of wine.

The cellar operates out of la Pobla de Cérvoles, a low-pluviometric zone that is 700 metres above sea level. The area has a large temperature variation between night and day, and a high level of insulation. The cellar has 13 hectares of vineyards. The soil type is clayey-calcareous and low in organic material, which permits the cellar to produce hectares that do not exceed 3,500 kilos and to obtain the maximum concentration of sugar and polyphenols. They grow Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ull de Llebre, Merlot, and Macabeu varieties.

The cellar has the capacity to produce 150,000 bottles of wine, though they currently only produce 32,000 bottles. Jové explained that the company wishes to expand production gradually with new wines, but “always maintaining the same quality criteria”. She also explained that the process to commercialize the product will be gradual, because “we do not want commercial pressure”.

Art and Wine

The cellar has been able to unite the worlds of art and wine. The Jové-Balasch Family, along with the deceased artist Joseph Guinovart (1927-2007), began the cellar. The cellar that is located inside a mountain can be visited as part of wine route of Lleida. Along with designing the cellar, Guinovart also created a 12-metre-long mural called ‘In vino veritas’ as an homage to the world of wine which hangs over the cellar’s wine-tasting room.


The collaboration with the artist does not end there. Just before his death, Guinovart imagined a project entitled ‘la Vinya dels artistes’ (The Vineyard of Artists). The project has been made a reality with his sculpture ‘L’Orgue del Camp’ (The Organ of the Field) and the artist’s models.

The project maps out a space that is open for the wind to speak through the organ. The space wishes for artists to come ad create their own homages to the land, the vineyard and the wines.

Besides collaborations with art galleries and exhibitions, Mas Blanch i Jové has recently published a commemorative catalog of the cellar dedicated to Guinovart and his 'Vineyard of Artists'.

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  • Sara Jové, the cellar's manager, with a bottle dedicated to Josep Guinovart and posing in front of one of the artist's crea

  • Sara Jové, the cellar's manager, with a bottle dedicated to Josep Guinovart and posing in front of one of the artist's crea
Wines from the Catalan cellar Mas Blanch i Jové have received excellent international reviews