The Earth, the Sky, and all of the Beautiful Creatures in Between
Winemaking: “long, smooth, slow, and silent”, as Glòria would say. The wine ferments lengthily at a naturally low temperature, using only wild yeast, and ages in neutral clay, concrete, or oak vessels. No fining or filtration, no sulfur added.
- Glòria is an agricultural engineer who became horrified by the extreme viticulture techniques she saw all around her and decided to pursue her old dream of living in the pristine nature of Font Rubí
- Together with her husband and daughter, they began a search in 2001 that led them to the very special plots of El Penedès Superior
- Els Jelipins is “a name with feeling, without meaning, magical and strong”
- Sumoll, the grape that all their wines are based on, is a native variety of Penedès; it is drought-resistant, naturally low-yielding, and rather difficult to grow. Once widely planted throughout Catalonia, it was replaced by other varieties in the 1980s, nearly leading to its extinction (with less than one hundred hectares planted in 2013). Thanks to winemakers like Glòria, who appreciates its unique beauty and mineral notes, this trend has changed recently, as growers are starting to recover this variety.
Glòria’s love letter to the vine, wine, and its aficionados:
”Els Jelipins was born in 2001 from the – naïve? – desire to create a viticultural project that will allow us to live in the hills of Font-Rubí, enjoying a life of moderation in which we as a family can find personal enrichment in tandem with the forces of Mother Nature, and an appreciation of the simpler things in life.
Observing the changes that a vineyard undergoes over the course of a single year is a wonderful experience: bud—tendril—leaf—maturing fruit—winter hibernation. The wine-making experience reminds us that we are all part of an eternally evolving process. The effect of the moon and the position of the planets does not seem in any way absurd. And it’s fantastic that there is so much we can’t explain, we can’t control. What magic!
Our wine is a personal journal that absorbs our energies, something we rely on a great deal, not only because we want it to support us as a family but also because we want it to be liked—to make people think—to banish inhibitions—to make itself known. Is that too much to ask from a fermented fruit juice?
We are horrified by extreme viticultural techniques. This is almost an aesthetic issue: respect for the land, non-aggressive methods, awareness of natural cycles. We strive to achieve a fruit that can mature naturally and healthily, without becoming trapped by a particular dogma or excessively strict regime.
The Els Jelipins philosophy is plagued by flaws-desires-contradictions-energy-dilemmas, like the wines that we love: always mature-subtle-vigorous-fine-balanced, at times strange-shy-surly-contradictory-hard, never dressed up-green-opulently fat-oaked-diluted.
Like us, spartan-combative-amicable-ridiculous-happy. Whether or not this is the right way to go (if there is a right way), it is the way we have chosen.
Els Jelipins; a name with feeling, without meaning, magical and strong.
We work with selected hillside vineyards, watching over the growers’ vineyard practices and advising them throughout the year, carrying out certain delicate tasks such as pruning ourselves. Each vineyard is chosen for its particular location, its climate, the grape variety, the age of vines, the soil type, and is treated as an individual, our approach adjusting to its needs and potential. Soon, we’ll also be planting out several micro-vineyards across the Font-Rubí hills to observe the different characteristics they display. Each step we take is a conscious reflection guided by instinct. As the fruit matures, we select the part of each vineyard that is to give us the crop for that particular year, the part that we believe is ideal for the creation of singular wines. The grapes are picked by hand, usually throughout several sessions, always early in the morning and into small crates to get them into the cellar in the best shape possible.
Our wine-making is ruled by common sense-sensitivity-abstract analysis-touch-experience-vision-taste. We try to keep intervention as little as possible during the wine-making process, acting respectfully, gently, delicately. If we have to destem, we do it by hand; the wine must is never racked off its lees, because all that comes from the vineyard to the cellar is good and healthy. The fermentation temperature is established naturally and is usually low; it usually takes around 2 months, using only the grape’s own wild local yeasts. We use small vats, individually assigned for each grower; when tasting and respect to wine’s vital cycles tells us it’s time to rack, we gently transfer the wine into neutral cherry-wood casks, large-volume Italian barrels, used French casks, terracotta amphoras, and concrete vats. We like the aging process long, smooth, slow, and silent. We bottle the wine on specifically chosen dates without fining, filtering, or stabilizing. If we ever add SO2, it’s only in tiny quantities at the bottling. We aim to produce a Classic, Ancestral, Crystalline wine.”
All this love dedicated to each bottle is symbolized by a heart, which is (hand-)painted on the bottles of Els Jelipins. If you try one of their wines, for a moment you will be part of a dream, exactly as Glòria and Berta have wished for…
Els Jelipins Red (Vi de Taula Negre) — Back to the top
Total Production: 1600 bottles
Vineyard: 80-year-old vines on alluvial soil with slate, granite, and quartz.
Cellar: Long spontaneous fermentation at naturally low temperature, followed by at least 30 months of aging in 10 hl foudres (Garbelotto, Slavonic oak) and French 500-liter demi-muid. No fining or filtration, no sulfur added.
Personality: Notable for its balance. The nose is intense, with kirsch aromas, clean and well-defined red fruit, accompanied by a subtle hint of balsam and flowers and a suggestion of cacao and minerals. The taste starts straight, vertical, and very crystalline, with medium weight, warm and juicy and tremendously clean, with a silky tannic structure, and the end is exceptionally long, voluptuous, and fresh.
Els Jelipins Rosé (Vi de Taula Rosat) — Back to the top
Varieties: Sumoll (70%) and Macabeu (30%)
Vineyard: 100 years old complanted vines on clay and limestone
Cellar: Spontaneous co-fermentation with two days skin maceration. The wine is aged in terracotta amphorae (lined with beeswax) and bottled without fining, filtration, or sulfur addition.
Personality: This rare bird achieves two with one strike: easy to drink rosé that also shows the true essence of Sumoll.
Els Jelipins Orange (Vi de Taula Blanc) — Back to the top
Total Production: 1000 bottles
Varieties: Sumoll and Montonega in equal parts
Vineyard: 80 years old vines on clay and limestone
Cellar: Sumoll is direct-pressed (as blanc de noirs), Montònega spends 75 days on skins. The wine ages in stainless steel tanks and is bottled without fining or filtration. No sulfur added.
Personality: extremely fresh yet complex.
the “labels” of the red by vintage (Gloria did not make the wine in 2008):