vineyards at altitude
a challenge with unique results
On the north side of the Sierra de Prades the temperature decreases about 0.65°C per 100m increase in altitude. The air is cleaner and thinner than in the valleys, and the ultraviolet rays increase by 4% for each increase of 250m in altitude. Altitude viticulture presents its own particular management challenges: continuous temperature changes, intense radiation and vineyards located on small steep plots that are difficult to access, so the vines must be strongly rooted to withstand continuous erosion. The difficult weather conditions are in this case a complication. The CARA NORD vineyard lies at a point of geological transition between rocky slate, limestone clay and little valley pebbles, that together create the perfect combination for growing ripe and intense grapes. The soft sea winds that blow through the Poblet Forest at noon cool the vines, preventing moisture to be accumulated on the grapes, and helping them to well mature, slowly and deliberately. Water stresses due to the lack of rain and the absence of irrigation of the vines. That concentrates the flavor, the smell, and the color of the grapes in the most extraordinary way. The same water stress also inhibits fungal growth and helps to a sustainable agriculture.
The CARA NORD vines have a longer maturation period than average, and have higher rates of photosynthesis, more anthocyanins, more colour and, of course, a range of aromas and flavours that is broader and more diverse. The vineyards enjoy 330 days a year of clear skies with an omnipresent sun, which optimizes photosynthesis. As the atmosphere is thinner at altitude, higher percentages of UV light penetrate to increase the thickness of the skin of grapes, which in turn will increase their colour and anthocyanin levels. Sunny days and cool nights always improve the quality of wine created. Difficult climatic conditions and impressive geology intensify the metabolism of the grapes, giving them a deep colour and a wide range of fragrances, concentrating the flavor of the wines. The fact that CARA NORD grapes grow in marginal conditions brings different qualities to the wine they create, providing them with an authentic expression of the clean and unpolluted environment in which they grow, a continuing challenge which produces results that are both unusual and unique.