Joan Simó – Porrera – Priorat

Long before operating as the modern winemaking facility it is nowadays,  the Joan Simó cellar, spotted alongside the Cortiella River crossing Porrera , had been an old stable and also a firewood storage house. The elders of Gerard Batllevell Simó would sell their cultivated grapes  to the Gratallops collective, apparently with no further implication on the winemaking process, so it was the grandson of  Old Joan Simó who took the chance  with the start-out as wine producer, together with  his enolog friend Josep Àngel Mestres of  Gran Clos.

It was 1999 and the first vintage reached only 1,000 bottles.  Over time , this production figure has been improved to 20,000 units per year and  most of the bottles are being exported.

The Joan Simó vineyards cover a total area of 15 hectares spread across five different family properties between Porrera and Bellmunt. This land extension and the altitude at which some vines are planted ( up to 650 m above the sea level), together with different weather conditions from one village to another, make the Joan Simó’s harvesting period last for at least two months.

Also within the domains of Joan Simó we can enjoy a personal project developed by English botanist Steve Colombe , a close friend of Gerard Batllevell who has collaborated with this winery in harvesting tasks for several years. By 2008, he landed a deal with Joan Simó in order to make a limited production of his own wine out of a selection of grapes from these same vineyards. Parallel to his experience with the Priorat certification, he has also worked in several vintages for the Domaine Pic Aubeil brand in the French region of Rousillon.

Trivia: for the latest vintage of his only wine, Steve Colombe has planned to combine a short-yet-classic oak barrel ageing with a longer complimentary rest of the product in clay amphorae.

Joan Simó DOQ Priorat wines