In the late 1970s, an opportunity came to ALBET I NOYA’s doorstep. It became the first organic certified winery in Spain. Since then, the winery and the title of Pioneers have been inseparable.
In the late 1970s, a Danish company went to the PENEDES wine region in Spain, which is prominent in winemaking, to look for organically certified wineries. At that time, many people had no idea about organic certification, and they took it for granted that no winery was producing organic wine. When the Danishes was about to give up, someone told him: why don’t you go to ALBET I NOYA and check out! The owner of their winery is a vegetarian, and maybe he will be interested in helping you.
In the era when production capacity implied profit, most wineries used a large amount of chemicals to increase production capacity. Organic wine could be no help in increasing prices and profits. But ALBET I NOYA still chose to accept the challenge and made CURIOS TEMPRANILLO in 1979. This was their first organic wine, and it also opened the door for the winery to produce organic wine.
Although the owner of the winery is no longer vegetarian, ALBET I NOYA continues to produce organic and vegan wine.
Stepping into the main building, you will be greeted by the colorful and fairyland-like spiral staircase that runs through the four floors! The painter spent two years creating the sky, vineyard and earth, which has also become the symbol of one of their series.
When I came to ALBET I NOYA for the first time in 2019, I was shocked by the spiral staircase in front of me. Four years after the epidemic, when I revisited this place in 2023, I was no less amazed but with an added touch of familiarity and nostalgia. This time, because of my identity as an importer, I set foot on the top floor, which is not open to the public normally. Slowly follow the spiral staircase from the main tone of brown orange, symbolizing the earth, to the blue-green vineyard in the middle. While looking for the wine label embedded in it, you can appreciate the details of each part. The bright and happy colors on the top floor definitely reminds me the Spanish sunshine. After passing through the narrow and slanted trap door and stepping onto the roof of the house with a panoramic view of the surrounding vineyards, I was as excited as a child.
For a winery, there is no more important asset than the vineyard. Driving through the bumpy mountain road to the vineyard. Each field has unique characteristics. When you walk there and feel the land and vines, you feel connected to the wine.
Bringing newly made wine and sitting down in a vineyard for a wine tasting is an experience I will never have in Hong Kong. Because it was noon, the sun was very strong, but the vineyards on the hillside were still quite cool. We found a shaded place to sit down and chat while enjoying the wine. There is no one around, but there is a lively atmosphere in the calm. The natural scenery in front of me always makes me forget that I am at work.
This is the moment I fall in love with wine. Not because of someone rate it 100 points or sold it for a record price. But simply falling in love with the people and things about it. Every wine has its own story, and it’s our job to discover those stories.