In the middle of the vineyard is a tree. He points it out, calls it the best tree to meditate under. He stops to caress a leaf, and then another as we walk between the 60-year-old vines that inhabit this small plot in Agullana, high in the Alt Empordà.
Salvador Batlle is a young Catalan winemaker whose biodynamic project, Còsmic Cellars, has made waves in Catalunya since his wines were picked up by El Celler de Can Roca several years ago. He’s followed, mostly, in his father’s footsteps, yet has carved his own way in the world of wine. Salva’s a bit of a rockstar, clothed in a farmer’s body. He’s humble, to be sure, but his wines are top shelf, and he knows it.
All monovarietals, his wines are the truest expression of his grapes: Macabeu, Marselan, Carinyena Negre, Sumoll, Sauvignon Blanc. At the hands of such a talented winemaker, they pour forth character. His wines sing with an acidity from the sandy granite soil that many winemakers in Catalunya prefer.
Salva’s routines follow the biodynamic calendar. He works with quartz crystals, cow horns, and sacred geometry. He works with instinct and passion. He strives to make wines that distinguish themselves.
His wines earn names that are almost spiritual in their significance: Llibertat, Passió, Essència, Paciència. No matter how you call it, it all amounts to the same thing: gratitude. True respect for Mother Earth gets you a damn fine glass of wine.
What to Try: All of Salva’s wines are good, but a couple truly stand out. Natural wine lovers will appreciate the funky, blooming nose on his Valentia Carinyena Blanca (€17.30), with notes of baked apples and floral touches, which pairs perfectly with grilled sardines. Essència (€26.95), his dessert wine, is a knock-out, offering a bright burst of acidity balanced by notes of ripe apricots, hints of toffee and caramel, and a soft hit of umami. It pairs well with simple desserts like mató, or anything chocolate.
Where to Find It: Vila Viniteca (Carrer dels Agullers, 7, El Born), La Volátil Wine Bar (Carrer de Muntaner, 6, Sant Antoni)
Visits: Guided visits (1.5 – 2 hours) with tasting can be arranged in advance by email.
Plaça Maria Teresa Pallejà, 3
17707 Agullana (Alt Empordà)
Tel. 639 338 176