I enjoyed the pleasant contrasts of Mas Rodo, a family-owned and managed winery and vineyard set in the High Penedes, from the unnamed entrance to their deceptively simple-looking bottles of wine. The unidentified gate that turns into a long driveway may confuse some strangers, but once we arrived inside the property, the family was nothing but welcoming and forthcoming. The winery itself has several pretty, old stone buildings, but the heart of it clearly is their Wine Cellar, an arresting stone structure encased in a bright, modernistic, wooden shell. (Notably, this was designed by Carles Sala and was a finalist in Spain´s ¨Living with Wood¨architectural competition.) Together these old and new buildings overlook what is one of the largest estates in the region, but surprisingly the winery maintains relatively low production. And although the winery currently sells only merlot, riesling and montonega, each wine was memorable, and there is the promise of many more varieties to come.
The estate has been growing vines for decades, but Mas Rodo was formed just five years ago. In 2004, the approximatey 150-hectare estate was purchased by the Sala family. During the tour, Oriol Sala emphasized the intensive thinning and pruning of vines, hand-harvesting of grapes, a rigorous second sorting of the harvest, and the resulting low production of wine. These techniques are meant to ensure a quality that sophisticated wine connoisseurs could appreciate, but Mas Rodo´s more ambitious goal is to make high quality wine that novices or connoisseurs can understand and enjoy. They hope to achieve this range with their quality standards and marketing and educational efforts. The Mas Rodo bottle labeling was designed to attract and edify consumers. The front label is simple and elegant, providing only the company name, year, wine, and a brief but vivid description of the wine.The back label provides specific details on the grape, the soil and land it was harvested from, its fermentation process, and even production figures for the vintage
The winery anticipates being fully open this summer for tours and free tastings. I am already looking forward to bicycling through the undulating green hills of Mediona one autumn day, and revisiting Mas Rodo. Perhaps their muscat will be ready then, or I can enjoy sipping in their Wine Cellar the lovely montonega, drinking in as well the spectacular views of their vineyard awash in orange and red-golds set against a backdrop of the lush Penedes mountains.