Celler 9+

Consciously Catalan

 

 
Quick facts:
 
 
Owner & winemaker: Moisès Virgili
 
Vineyard area: 19 hectares (out of the total 35ha farm) across 14 different plots, estate-owned or in long-term rental + occasional fruit purchase
 
Vineyard management: organic-certified (by CCPAE – Catalan Council of Organic Production), regenerative and biodynamic practices 
 
Soils: diverse depending on the given vineyard, mostly sandy loam, calcareous and light soils
 
Main varieties: Cartoixà (aka Xarel.lo), Cartoixà Vermell (aka Xarel.lo Rosado), Macabeu, Garnatxa

Winemaking: Spontaneous fermentation only. No fining or filtration, no sulfur added

Annual production (approx): 75,000 bottles

 

Fun facts:

  • The Celler 9+ vineyards are located only a few kilometers from the Mediterranean coast and benefit from its warm and mild climate – there’s enough rainfall, and the constant breeze called Marinada cools off and dries the grapes, helping them to stay healthy and ripen evenly.
  • The farm focuses on indigenous grapes and maximum sustainability. As Celler 9+’s winemaker asserts, “Our philosophy is that the future will be environmentally friendly and sustainable … or there won’t be one at all.”
  • Besides grapes, Moisès’ farm also cultivates other traditional Mediterranean crops like olives, carob and grain.
  • The name Celler 9+ refers to Nou de Gaià, the village where the winery is located – Nou in Catalan means New and also the number nine. And the plus sign symbolizes positivity and the will to grow. 

 

Jump to wines | Celler 9+ Website

 

Moisès Virgili is a farmer born and bred – coming from a farming family in La Nou de Gaià, a small town near the city of Tarragona some 60 miles south of Barcelona, he grew up surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and carob trees. Since childhood, he’s dreamed of having a winery showcasing this unique Mediterranean heritage while working as naturally as possible. 

“We believe that making organic, sulfite-free wines is more than a whim or an invention, but a necessity,” Moisès explains. “The pollutants that are present not only in the air we breathe, but in everything we eat, the clothes we wear, the materials we use make us sick, weaken us, make us vulnerable. Going back to the origins is part of this process of change: cultivating the land with respect, making wines by listening to them, opening the senses to those around us.”

Moisès studied enology and then gathered experience all around the world, from Chile to South Africa, or other cellars located in different areas of Catalonia: Priorat, Penedès or Conca de Barber. In 2010, in the midst of an economic crisis, he finally decided to launch himself into the adventure. Celler 9+ was born with the idea of developing a diverse range of wines expressing indigenous grapes like Cartoixà (the local name for Xarel-lo, the classic Catalonian grape) or Sumoi. 

What started as a garage operation with the support of Moisès’ friends and family gradually flourished into a 35-hectare operation, half of which is dedicated to vines and the other half to a mix of olives, grains and carob trees. Everything is farmed organically – “Our philosophy is that the future will be environmentally friendly and sustainable … or there won’t be one at all,” Moisès says solemnly – and uses many regenerative and biodynamic techniques.

The soils are fertilized for four months with plant infusions and matured manure from a nearby dairy farm. Biodynamic preparations 500 and 501 as well as other immunizing concoctions are used in order to improve plant and soil health: “I don’t consider us a biodynamic cellar; we’re closer to the regenerative farming philosophy. But the label is not important, what matters is that we continuously search for techniques to reverse climate change, striving to restore the organic matter and biodiversity of the degraded soil.”

In the cellar, Moisès applies a similarly common-sense and purist approach: “We’ve always been committed to leaving preservatives behind; we don’t like antiseptics, and that’s why we don’t use sulfur in most of our wines. We strive to make conscious wines so that you can enjoy them with family, friends or all by yourself, without fearing the consequences that a poorly made wine has on you the morning after,” the winemaker laughs. “After all, we’re drinking the wines ourselves. And we seek to make everything fair and balanced. Everything in its right place…”

 

Wines


1er Base Blanc (White)  — Back to the top

Grapes: 85% Cartoixà (aka Xarel.lo), 15% Macabeu

Vineyards: certified organic. Sandy loam soils

Making of: the grapes are destemmed and pressed. After settling (debourbage) for 24 hours, the clear must is racked into and stainless steel tanks, where it ferments naturally for 18-20 days at low temperatures (around 14-15ºC). The wine spends 9 months in tanks with weekly lees-stirring (batonnage) to obtain a lush, smooth texture. No fining or filtration, no sulfur added.

Personality: a mixture of yellow peach, apricots and tropical fruits like pineapple, lychee and papaya. Generous, well-structured palate with zesty citrus freshness. A wine to enjoy every day, on its own or with light dishes like salads, fish, or vegetables.


2n Base Negre (Red)  — Back to the top

Grapes: Garnacha (Grenache) and Cabernet Sauvignon + a bit of white Cartoixà

Vineyards: certified organic. Sandy loam soils

Making of: the grapes are destemmed and macerated with gentle pumpovers, for 6 days at a temperature of 20-22ºC, in stainless steel tanks. Then they are pressed, and the low-pressure part of the juice is used to make this wine (in order to get red wine with a light body and soft tannins). The wine rests in stainless steel, is then blended with some white Cartoixà wine and bottled without fining or filtration. No sulfur added.

Personality: full of red and black fruits – cherries, blackberries, blueberries… Fresh, voluminous, very round, soft and with lovely chewy texture. Don’t hesitate to chill the wine and let it breathe a bit after opening, and then enjoy with cold cuts, light vegetable and meaty dishes or just like that…


3r Selecció Taronja (Skin-contact)  — Back to the top

This wine is made from a special clone of Cartoixà (the local Tarragonese name for the typical Catalonian white grape Xarel.lo), the Cartoixà Vermell (or Xarel-lo Rosado) whose berries have a reddish skin color. The perfect material for a skin contact wine!

Grape: Cartoixà Vermell

Vineyards: certified organic. Sandy loam soils

Making of: the grapes are destemmed and macerated for 32 days at low temperature (between 15-18ºC). Once the maceration is finished, the berries are gently pressed, and the wine ages on the lees for about 9 months in stainless steel tanks. The wine is bottled with a small percentage of its lees to improve the evolution of the wine over time. No fining or filtration, no sulfur added.

Personality: the image of spending a childhood in a Mediterranean village! Peaches, apricots, hazelnuts, quince, honey, dried fruit; the palate is generous, well-structured, and offers crunchy tannins and refreshing citrus hints. Best served well-chilled, with the lees decanted if you prefer.


1r Éscumós Cartoixà (brut nature)  — Back to the top

Grape: Cartoixà (Xarel.o) 

Vineyards: certified organic vineyard in La Nou de Gaia. Sandy loam soils

Making of: the grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and macerated for 15-16 days at low temperature (between 14-15ºC). Once the maceration is finished, the wine is racked and the juice from the last harvest is added. The wine is then bottled under cork and undergoes a second fermentation in bottle. Aged on the lees for at least 12 months.

Personality: Golden, Mediterranean sunshine. Fine, constant bubbles make this a pleasure to drink. Notes of yellow peach, fennel, quince, and chamomile on the nose, with beautiful tension and citrus notes on the palate. A long, generous finish.