Finca Collado is an ancient farmhouse located on the hill that separates the valley of Salinas and Villena, on the border of the ancient Kingdom of Valencia. Surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and almond trees, the terrain and climate are extremely harsh. High mineral soils with high salinity and calcareous loams make a unique location, in a transitional climate between that of the Mediterranean and a semi-arid climate, with very scarce rainfall.
The estate is located in the shelter of the Sierra de Salinas and the Sierra Cabrera ranges from where we can see the entire valley of Salinas. This valley is characterized by being endhoreic: It does not drain to any other valley and all run-off waters accumulate at the bottom of the valley where there is a lagoon of brackish water, since parts of the water sources present a high salinity.
En estas condiciones, la vid era prácticamente un monocultivo en viñedos en vaso plantados a la antigua usanza, con un marco de plantación amplio para resistir las épocas de sequía. La masía era, como solía ser habitual, la propia bodega. Hasta que el declive de los vinos de calidad de Alicante llegó y todo se redujo a vinos de grandes producciones. Finca Collado no pudo competir.
In these conditions, the vine was practically a monoculture of vineyards trained in the old-fashioned goblet style, with a low planting density to resist the times of drought. The farmhouse was, as it always had been, the winery itself. Then the decline of quality wines from Alicante happened and everything was reduced to high-volume production. Finca Collado could not compete.
A finales de los 80 del siglo pasado, la familia Castelló, propietaria de la finca, decidió retomar la actividad agrícola y a lo largo de los 90 se hicieron nuevas plantaciones de viñedo, almendro y olivar. Las variedades de uva que se plantaron entonces, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, eran variedades consideradas de más calidad, ninguneando toda una historia de vinos de calidad y convivencia con variedades autóctonas, algunas de ellas con más de 750 años documentados en la región, como el Monastrell.
At the end of the 1980’s, the Castelló family, owners of the estate, decided to bring agricultural activity back and during the 90’s new plantings of vineyards, almond and olive groves took place. The grape varieties that were planted at the time, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, were varieties considered of higher quality, forgetting and ignoring a long and successful history of quality wines made with native varieties, some of them with more than 750 years documented in the region, such as Monastrell.
Joan and Samuel see in Finca Collado a unique opportunity to recover the quality wines of the Vinalopó and create a long-term project. The difficulties were immense. They started without being able to make big investments, with varieties that were not what they would like to have had and with everything to do. They knew it would be a long and arduous road. First, they decided to make the most of what they had: This meant improving the quality of the wines that were made there and to create new wines with what they had. Finca Collado Chardonnay+Moscatel or Finca Collado Syrah+ Monastrell are two good examples.
Meanwhile, Joan Guia began to shape the project: He looked for old vineyards in the surrounding area, because the soul of the project is to represent an area with unique characteristics. This is how Delit was born in 2012, a wine from a plot of vines with more than 50 years of age with a very respectful elaboration of the fruit. In 2014 was the turn of Fet a Mà, a wine that represents perfectly the wine of Salinas and, by extension, the wine of Alicante, with old vineyards of Monastrell on different soils but all from the same municipality. In 2016 Vi de Sal was born, from a vineyard with extreme salinity, bordering the Lagoon of Salinas, with incredible concentration and silkiness.
Joan Guia and Samuel Castelló demonstrate their nonconformist character. Little by little, they lead the project toward the path to which they were drawn, without fear of taking a false step. 2017 saw them start planting new vineyards in the old way to make new wines. Garnacha, Garnacha Blanca, Forcallat, Malvasía, Tintorera will be the varieties planted in Finca Collado, where there are also Monastrell and Moscatel. At the same time, they continue with the recovery of ancestral varieties and, after a hard but fruitful search they have found parcels of old vines of Bobal and Merseguera, now almost unique in Alicante.