HORTA DE SANT JOAN

The setting


The setting

The Terra Alta, along with the Ribera de Ebre, Baix Ebre and Montsià, are geographically part of the Tierras del Ebro, although it is true that Terra Alta has its very own specific characteristics, both in terms of the climate and the landscape, a hilly and wild landscape where only vines, almonds, olives and cherries manage to survive the harsh and arid climate.

The region has a long tradition in the world of wine growing, and its production is publicly recognised by the Terra Alta Denomination of Origin since 1982.

The Terra Alta landscape is known for the calcareous mountains of Els Ports Nature Park, of Horta de Sant Joan, Sierra de Pàndols and Sierra de Cavalls; and on the other hand, the Plana and the Altiplano. A typically inland Mediterranean landscape, where the vines grow between 350 and 500 metres above sea level.

The vines are cultivated in terrazzo or terraces, and the ground is generally of medium textured soils, with good drainage, variable depth, predominantly calcareous and poor in organic matter.

The wine growing vocation of the terroir gives way to a grape production with its own identity, one which is healthy, mature and with its own character, favouring the quality and expression of grape varieties of mid to late ripening, and where white Grenache is the emblem variety of the area and the one which is best adapted to the climate of this region, and this is where it achieves all its splendour in aromas, character, personality and nuances.

The peculiarities of Horta de Sant Joan

Horta de Sant Joan, due to being located in the south of the region, has its own particularities. While the climate in the northern half of Terra Alta is Mediterranean with a continental trend, the southern half receives more influence from the sea breeze. In addition to this mild influence, the effects derived from the altitude give way to a cooler and more humid environment, in contrast with the drier climate in the northern area.

Els Ports Nature Park, a Biosphere Reserve, is the green lung of the area. It is one of the best preserved areas in the Mediterranean region, and it is home to an important collection of flora and fauna. Thanks to its altitude, La Horta region, located in the inland area of Els Ports, has a sub-Mediterranean climate, with greater rainfall and lower average temperatures.

In the afternoon, when the garbí wind (southwest) blows, the vines truly love the humidity it brings. But Els Ports is an area of great contrasts, and it can go from the most absolute calm to the more hurricane like Cierzo wind, although this helps to ensure the vines suffer less diseases.

Due to all of this, wine growing in Horta de Sant Joan is more complex and this leads to the grapes having their very own particularities.