Scala Dei, Three Grenaches
Scala Dei is the benchmark winery of D.O.C. Priorat. Its origin is connected with that of the monastery of the same name, which from the 12th century on promoted vine growing on the steep slopes of the land under its control. This is why the region is known as the Priorat, the Priory.
But Scala Dei was also the first winery to produce, bottle and market high-quality wines, the first to believe in the enormous qualitative potential of the Priorat wines. The fact that it owned the oldest and most privileged vineyards, with a rare variety of heights and soils that provide differentiations which are a priceless source of qualities and nuances for the work of the winery, contributed to this.
These conditions have enabled the renowned Scala Dei winemakers to produce a unique project whose results have been rapidly recognised and celebrated by the oenological world. The production of three wines which, despite sharing the same varietal - the classic Grenache - and the same 2010 vintage, are nevertheless very different. The three wines, each with its own unique barrel, expose the rich organoleptic diversity that three soils of different types give to a single Grenache grape:
- Of a vineyard with “licorella” soil, the typical slate of the Priorat, in the wine La Creueta de Scala Dei
- Of a vineyard with a red clay soil in the wine St. Antoni de Scala Dei
- Of a vineyard that has a soil with boulders or alluvial stones in the wine Artigots de Scala Dei
The three wines, all of inevitably very low production, were grouped together to enable comparative sampling of their respective profiles. The defined image responds to the high level of the wines, with a parallel classic structure in the three wines of great austerity and simplicity. An appearance that is faithful to the historic nature of the winery and in particular, to its Carthusian roots.
Cartoixa Scala Dei
The Priorat region takes its name from that of the large area of rugged terrain under the control of the prior of the once-powerful Carthusian monastery of Scala Dei. The fact that this wine is named Cartoixa (i.e. Carthusian monastery) is due to the continuity of the connection with the vineyards tended by the monks in the Middle Ages and for its importance and significance in the region. Because Cartoixa is not only the Scala Dei wineries’ most emblematic wine; it is also a landmark in the winemaking history of the Priorat, having been the first wine to be bottled under the Denomination of Origin.
In its decades of existence and with the evolution this brings, Cartoixa has remained a benchmark of quality and of the strong personality of Priorat wine in its rapid international acclaim. Its image in bottle responds to the only truth that tasting it cannot reveal, the special quality of its ancient historical monastic origin which is reflected in a graphic combination - symbol, typography, chromatics, architecture - tremendously simple but highly qualitative in its austerity.
Prior Scala Dei
The design of Prior de Cellers de Scala Dei was inspired by the historical legacy of this emblematic winery, the first in the Priorat to market bottled wine. It is a winery which even today continues to cultivate the same steep terraces worked by the monks of the Scala Dei Carthusian monastery since its founding in the 12th century.
The appearance of Prior harks back to the style of the covers of 18th-century codices, evoking times prior to the final abandonment of the Carthusian monastery following the confiscation of the church lands and assets in 1835. The editorial and historical character of the typography, the frequent use of black and red duotone, the arrangement of the texts on the label and the old seal of the Scala Dei Carthusian monastery create an image true to the origin and formal sobriety imprinted by the monastic roots of this great Priorat wine.
Garnatxa Scala Dei
One of the wine varieties most associated with Priorat D.O.C. is Grenache, whose Aragonese-Catalan origin is well known and which became firmly established in France, Italy and many other regions with Mediterranean climates. While the specific conditions of each region stipulate the varieties that grow in it, the wine created from these Grenaches owes its exceptional profile and acknowledged quality to the uniqueness of the Priorat geography, of which its slate soils, the so-called “Licorella”, are especially typical.
In the same way that the wine is described with a traditional name - “Vi Fi de Terrer”, i.e. “fine wine of the native soil” - visually speaking its label also reflects a formal classicism that has its roots in the historical authenticity of its monastic origin. Seen in the visual references of yesteryear that inspire the label, the use of red ink in the texts qualifies the sober restraint of its appearance and gives the presence of this wine a strong personality.