Friday, 8 November 2013

TƎRN, Garnatxa blanca: an amazing White Grenache from Terra Alta, in the South of Catalonia

Quite often, Catalan people have the tendency of thinking that Catalonia finishes at the Ebre river (or Ebro, in Spanish), but that’s not true because when you cross the river you can find an incredible region, the Terra Alta!
This area has the typical characteristics of Mediterranean areas:  with lime coastal mountain ranges, little streams, mountains with conglomerate rocks, Mediterranean forests with pine tree and holm oaks, crops of olive and almond trees and, as well, vineyards, of course.
The climate in this area is quite different from other regions of Catalonia because the summer is typical of the Mediterranean zones: sunny, with hot days, fresh nights and not much rain... the winter has a continental climate.
With all these characteristics it’s obvious that the wines from Terra Alta are different from other wines of Catalonia.  And unfortunately it’s been the great forgotten area, like Priorat years ago, when people think of quality wines. Nowadays people’s perception is changing because they are discovering the great wines, as result of the support for traditional grape varieties, specially the White Grenache, that’s become the bearer from Terra Alta.
In 2010 three friends decided to join forces and start a project together. They had always wanted to make quality wines, but never before thought of doing it together. That’s why these three guys created TƎRN, Obrador de Vi, (TƎRN, wine workshop) and their objective was to produce quality wines.

In 2010 the brand Terra Alta Garnatxa Blanca (Terra Alta White Grenache) was created by the Terra Alta Denomination of Origin trying to choose the best wines made with this grape variety and as a way of promoting the quality wines from this area. And the guys from TƎRN Obrador de Vi decided to make it’s first white wine and aiming for their wine to be the chosen wine with this brand… and it was!! So they decided that their wine was enough good to be introduced to the brand… and it was!! They got their first objective: to make quality wines, because their wine was recognised and, at the same time, it was recognised for the effort, passion and thrust of these three guys.
That first wine was made in a winery that was not of their own and they only produced 1000 bottles of White Grenache and 500 bottles of (red) Grenache. There wasn’t very many bottles as they were trying to discover if they were able to made quality wines before pulling out of their wine workshop project. In 2011 they had their wine workshop and increased the recognitions and the production. If in 2011 their White Grenache was one of the best from the Terra Alta, their red wine was chosen as the best red from Terra Alta. In 2011 their wines appeared in the Spanish wine guides: the White Grenache with 90 points in the Peñín Guide (Guía Peñín) and with 9,53 in the Catalan Wines Guide (Guia de Vins de Catalunya). The success and recognition arrived quicker than they expected.
This triad showed that to invest in local varieties was a great choice, but they also consider other varieties such as Syrah, with which they produce a young wine. 
These three guys chose very well for the name of their cellar, TERN, a word that in Catalan means set of three things of the same kind, and they knew quickly which these three elements were: themselves (the viticulturist, the one that takes care of the cellar processes and the oenologist). 

Today we introduce you to one of their wines, made with White Grenache (a grape variety that in Terra Alta is documented from the XVIIth Century): TƎRN Garnatxa Blanca.
We really can say that the elaboration process of this wine starts in the vineyard, hand harvested in boxes of 15-20 kg and they only pick the grape that is ripest and they dismiss the berries that are not perfect.
When the grapes arrive at the cellar, they use a soft press to obtain the best grape juice. Later, a third beat of this grape juice ferments in French oak barrels and the rest in inox tanks. The fermentation process is done separately during two weeks at a controlled temperature of between 15 and 17ºC.After, a three month aging process starts with the lees and once or twice a week they are subjected to a batonnage.
The result is a fresh white wine, that in appearance it’s clear, with a pale intensity. The lemon-green colour stands out and the legs go down slowly.
On the nose it’s clean with a medium+ intensity. The White flowers appear at the beginning and also ripe green fruit, especially pear, later the tropical fruits such as banana and pineapple.
The palate is medium sweet with a medium+ acidity. The ripe tropical fruit such as melon and pineapple are the first flavour, with citrus tinges.
The aftertaste has a medium+ finish. It’s a well balanced wine with an excellent acidity and a great structure.
If you are interested in this wine, please, contact to


  1. #oletu
    després de la nit de les garnatxes blanques he quedat ben saturada durant un any i encara em dura...

  2. Tried a sample of your Garnatxa Blanca 2012 ,lovely wine ,as it was a trade show I purchased a bottle to enjoy over the Christmas festivities .
    Why have you put a label on the bottle that tells you nothing? Regards