Salvador (Salva) Batlle was born into a family of grape growers. He grew up working with the 22 hectares of vineyards in the Baix Penedes,
just south of Barcelona, that his family farmed and sold to the larger wineries in the area and produced his own first vintage at the age of sixteen.
Then he struck out on his own. After spending some time in New Zealand he returned to Spain to Agullana, in the Alt Empordà, Catalonia – just 15 minutes from the French border – where he bought his small winery and began the journey of Cosmic Vinyaters.
Local residents welcomed him and offered him some of the very few small, older vineyards in the area planted with Cariñena Blanca, Tinta and
Garnacha Gris (locally knows as Garnatxa Roja) that had long since abandoned by the people for industrial jobs in the cities around mid 20th century. These first vineyards are some of the highest in the area at 300 metres above sea level.
Salva focused his work on recovering these abandoned old vines – re-grafting the international varieties with indigenous grapes, preserving the region’s identity. He is especially passionate about Carinena Blanca, in the area for over 400 years but not yet recognized by the European Union.
Today he works with 6.5 hectares of vineyards in the area all influenced by the Mediterranean and the cooling Tramontana wind. In his small winery he ferments in wood, stainless steel and also amphora but maintains that vineyard practices
and quality of the grapes are the defining factor in any wine.
Along with his wines made in the Emporda range he continues to make wines from the four hectares he manages in his families estate in Penedès from international varieties and with some old vine Macabeu he buys from a friend. All grapes are hand harvested and transported to his winery in Agullana, producing the Gratitud wines – a Sauvingnon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Passió Marselan – a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha – Via Fora Macabeo and Via Fora Sumoll.
They are amazingly fresh, alive and full of delicious complexity.