Terra Remota: In search of perfection
by Ellen Hall
A romantic story of exile and return, a burning passion for excellence, a respect for tradition and a cool grasp of marketing could be the elements of a best seller. Though not a novel, the true story behind Terra Remota vineyard is a daring experiment in constructing the ideal vineyard to create the perfect wine in the soil of Emporda, just over the border from the Col de Banyuls.
The owners, Emma and Marc Bournazeau, are French-born with Spanish origins. Emma’s grandfather fled Franco’s Spain and established himself in Perpignan. For the Bournazeau family Terra Remota represents a return from exile. The family has adopted as their own the message of Antonio Machado’s poem “El Camino” – with respect, tenacity and perseverance we forge our own destiny.
Nothing less than “great wine” is the goal of Marc Bournazeau and his team. Everything, from the choice of the site to the tasting of the wine around a great oak table, is part of this same vision: winemaking as a work of art.
As the name implies, the site of Terra Remota is isolated, nestled between Sant Climent and Capmany, among vineyards and olive groves mixed with stands of pine. Hidden in the folds of the gently rolling hills of granite, the estate covers 40 hectares, of which 23 are planted with vines. The rest is left in its natural state in keeping with the Bournazeau commitment to protecting the ecosystem.
The vineyard is divided into 12 parcels, planted in Red Grenache, White Grenache, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. To control quality, the production of each vine is limited to one kilo and each variety is processed separately, by hand with patience and care.
“Three shoeboxes” is Marc’s description of the stunningly sober architecture of the site. The design by Pepe Cortes is totally integrated into the landscape. The roofs are planted with local grasses and trees, so the underlying structure literally melts into the natural surroundings. The roofs and the inclined driveway hugging the slope are designed to collect and recycle rainwater.
Inside the building the grapes arriving at the top level are sorted in temperature-controlled conditions. Pressing and fermentation takes place on the next level down. Bottling is below and at ground level aging and tasting. Every process is designed to treat the grapes with the greatest care. Movement is by gravity, selection is by hand, attention to detail is the guiding principle.
The wines, “Camino” (red), “Caminante”, (white) and “Caminito” (rosé), in homage to Machado’s poem, are the product of a total commitment to respect for nature and bio-cultivation. The top of the range “Clos Adrien” (red) has won a Catavinum gold medal this year. At Terra Remota you can sample all four wines and find your own favourite. You can visit the vineyard all year round for a tour and wine-tasting. Starting in June and continuing throughout the summer until 15 September, Terra Remota is offering a combined tour and picnic featuring their wine and local products. Treat yourself and your family to a perfect day out among the vines.
For further information (in English) see: www.terraremota.com.