The meticulous, eccentric, and dedicated Joan Asens has been an influential wine authority in Catalunya for more than two decades. As a professor of lunar cycles at the local winemaking University in Falset, he is considered a “guru of biodynanmics.” At the helm of viticulture and vineyard management for the acclaimed Alvaro Palacios in Priorat for nearly 18 years, Joan Asens played a vital role in the creation of some of Spain’s most elite wines. His return home to Masroig, Montsant in 2009, to cultivate his friends’ and family’s old vines, has proved no exception. With a vibrancy and freshness unmatched in the DO, the seamless wines of Orto Vins generally have a brighter finish, lower alcohol, and softer, floral, elegant tannins.
Joan and three of his childhood friends are dedicated to elaborating pure wines following the traditional farming philosophies of their great grandparents and honoring the biodynamic cycle of the moon. Leaving no grape behind, Joan begins a trickle harvest 6 weeks ahead of most, with daily picking and subsequent drying of all the little raisins that have developed within each cluster of the sun drenched bunches. From these early harvested, concentrated and dried grapes, Orto Vins makes two (a white and a red) very luscious dessert wines with a mild 15% alcohol. With each harvest pass through the vineyard the vine’s energy focuses on the remaining fruit so that each grape is harvested at their optimum physiological ripeness. Not at all green, and never raisinated at the time of final harvest, Orto Vins is a true vineyard selection.