Herència Altés

Herència Altés La Serra Blanc

Spain, Catalonia


Herència Altés La Serra Blanc

A gorgeous wine wrought from gnarled, unruly, irregular, century old vines organically farmed by the De Haan family. Their dedication in reviving the vineyard has paid off. This full bodied white is well structured with a lovely depth of flavour and texture. Mouth-watering mineral notes cry out for lobster thermidor.

WBSS24 Herència Altés La Serra Blanc 2020

Discovery of the Vineyard

In 2012 Núria and Rafa came across a dishevelled old vineyard high up on the exposed plateau called Les Serres, between the villages of Batea and Gandesa. Further investigation revealed that the vines belonged to a well established landowner who had rented them to various semi-professional farmers over the generations. Unlike nearly all commercially run vineyards, the vines had never been grubbed up and renewed. They put in an offer and soon became the owners of the 20ha vineyard. When Nuria’s dad saw the vines he told them they would prove to be their ruin, so old and low yielding were they. Indeed, they have become a labour of love, but the couple take joy in nurturing them back to health.

Transition to Organic Farming

In 2015 they began farming organically and were certified in 2018. Their only frustration is that, due to a lack of irrigation, they cannot plant in between the old vines and the overall number of vines continue to dwindle. Who knows how long they will be able to maintain such old vines yielding such little fruit. The vineyard itself is positioned at 450m above sea level and is surrounded by wind turbines - a testament to the constant breezes at play that helps mitigate the fierce summer heat and also helps dry the vines after rainfall.

Unique Characteristics of the Vineyard

The aspect is easterly but with only a gentle slope, the defining feature of the vineyard is the limestone soils, with pale loess and loam top soil and calcareous bedrock. Then there is the age of the vines, dating back to the very beginning of the 20th century. The vines are gnarled, unruly and irregular, making farming duties complicated as no one vine is like any other. Yields are ridiculously low, at approximately 1,000kgs per hectare, or 500–600g per vine. Interestingly, regardless of vintage variation, La Serra always delivers healthy, ripe grapes with pronounced low pHs (3.1), providing the perfect ingredients to make a balanced, intensely flavoured white wine.

Winemaking Process

In terms of winemaking, skin contact is avoided as much as possible to keep the wines free from polyphenols. Grapes are harvested by hand into 20kg boxes and brought to the winery where they are chilled overnight. The following morning, the whole bunches are gently pressed to avoid extraction. Only the free run juice and the first fraction of the press is used. Fermentation takes place in concrete tulip shaped tanks with indigenous yeasts harvested from our skin contact wines, made from grapes in the same vineyards. Malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur before the wine is gently relocated to a single 25hl Austrian oak fuder (5th use) where it develops for 12 months. The wine is bottled with a light filtration. The aim for La Serra Blanc is to make a full bodied white with gentle hints of oak and creaminess; the light extraction and absence of skin compounds, together with the low pH give the wine a great chance of ageing gracefully.


Full bodied with rounded, creamy mouth feel, structured with lovely depth of flavour and texture. Everything is in balance. A bold, generous wine without being overly rich or sickly, the mouth-watering savoury mineral notes make you want to come back for more.


This Garnacha Blanca shows completeness and a of great deal of complexity. Its bold nature would suit vegetable dishes based around broccoli, cauliflower or artichoke, or fish such as sea bream and cod. The luxury option must surely be lobster thermidor, al fresco, preferably overlooking a warm, sunny coast line.


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WBSS24 Herència Altés La Serra Blanc 2020

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