Celler el Masroig
Celler el Masroig is situated in the southern part of Montsant, bordering on Priorat. Montsant, which became a DO in 2001, extends from the banks of the Siurana River to the Montsant hilltops. The soil is mainly chalky, with some areas of clay and shist, all with high mineral content and low yields. Because it is located on the border of the Mediterranean and the continental climates, the summers and winters are dry while the springs and falls are moist.
Celler el Masroig was founded in 1917 as the Cooperativa of El Masroig.
It is an association of grape and olive oil producers with approximately 300 members who are associated owners of the company. In the early years of the Cooperativa, the focus was on producing quantities of wine rather than quality wine. They produced wines with high alcohol content and very deep color that were sold to the domestic market and often used to “improve” other wines. Then followed a period in which the major products were mistelas -cordials made from red wine, and grape spirit.
Today, the Cooperativa’s members are proprietors of almost 500 hectares of vineyards. They take their grapes to the Cooperative, where the wine is elaborated for them. The Cooperativa uses two main methods of vinification. Traditional fermentations begin when bunches are destemmed at the winery. Alternatively, bunches may be kept in tanks to permit them to undergo carbonic maceration before pressing and a low-temperature fermentation.
Despite its eighty years heritage, the Cooperativa el Masroig today, strives to continually improve methods of production and the quality of the wines, while maintaining and enhancing their traditional identity.
This is a selection from the top quality wines produced at el Masroig. The winemaker is Carles Escolar, he is young and dynamic, he strongly believes in the potential of the Montsant appellation, his aim is to produce top wines from Montsant and raise the quality benchmark for the area.
Here are comments from Jay Millers (Wine Advocate issue # 176) on Celler el Masroig, April 2008:
"Celler El Masroig, located in the up-and-coming region of Montsant, is a role model for how a cooperative ought to function. The winery keeps only the best grapes and sells off the rest to other producers, some of whom are quite well known. The wines are very fairly priced and offer an excellent price to quality ratio from the top to the bottom of the portfolio."