Priorat, Catalunya

Terroir al Límit


Dominik Huber and Eben Sadie first crossed each other’s paths in 2001, at Mas Martinet winery; Dominik, German by birth, a wine fanatic with background in business administration and devotion in culinary arts; Eben, a young cherished enologist from South Africa. At the speed of blazing Priorat light they became partners, taking the leap too examine and soon to master the Catalan region. The Pérez family of Mas Martinet reached out a hand, supported and helped the chaps to invest in some fruit and lease a petite cellar corner. Their first vintage (Dits del Terra) where vinified already the same year they gathered together. After another two years they had grown out of the cellar and moved forward and settles at a new location, the village of Torroja del Priorat. Additional site-specific cuvées just kept on coming.

Increased production started to heat the must-have demands on the market. Eben was spending more time back in South Africa with his separate projects while Dominik devoted himself into the cultivation responsibilities, started working full time with Terroir al Limit in 2007. During the time on building the estate Dominik got enchanted with the history of the region; it’s simple cuisine and the genuine wines the honored the area, remembering those bottles he hade tasted from 1970 vintages, envisioned the future where such wines could be maid again. With a new presence, improved quality of healthier fruit coming into the cellar from the growing number of vineyard sites the realization that ripe, concentrated grapes in combination with their, at the time, extractive winemaking with barrique aging did not show their lands honest purity. The 225-liter barrels where thereupon replaced, beneficial approaching a gentler style of vinification, preferring whole cluster and avoiding pigéage and remontage. Overall setting the goal to raise and favor wines of infusion rather than extraction, foster wine of grace instead of the ordinary density of the region.

Their holdings stretch over 25 hectares of llicorella, clay limestone and alluvial clays, on 350- 800 meters of elevation. Vines aging between 25-90 years of age and are manually harvested. Organic (certified CCPAF) and biodynamics practices are holistically applied, a tough job in a region as blazing hot and bone-dry as the Priorat summers. Attentively touch to assure moist vitality of the soli is acquired, all to ensure less hydric stress on the vines and allowing for an earlier harvest of physiologically ripe fruit. The grapes are pressed whole cluster (white; Garnatxa Gris; Garnatxa Blanca, Pedro Ximénez, Muscat d’Alexandria, Macabeu) or fermented whole cluster (reds; Garnatxa, Carinyena) without manipulation. The wines are age mainly in concert tanks, a few upright Stockinger foudres and 500-liter, neutral, French oak demi-muids. Eben left the domaine of the talented hands of Dominik in 2011.

Since its founding Terroir al Limit has matured in the bigger picture of their terroir’s complexity, in its entirety grasping the understanding of the region’s similarities and potential to produce elegant and crystalline wine resembling the wines of Burgundy. And with each new year the vintages become even more and more of a luminous fluid proof on their authentic view of the region, testament a most delicately refined and colorful pathwork of wines that the region is capable of.