About Venus La Universal: Husband and wife team Sara Pérez and René Barbier (Fils) are the children of two of the great pioneers of the Priorat D.O., Josep Lluis Pérez of Mas Martinet and René Barbier of Clos Mogador. Sara and René are both very well respected vignerons in their own right, so it seemed natural that they should start a project together. For this project, they decided to stake their claim not in Priorat, but in the slightly sleepier D.O. of Monsant.
René and Sara have taken the goddess as their inspiration for this project. One of their stated goals is “to interpret femininity through a bottle of wine”. This might seem an odd choice for a bodega that elaborates Grenache- and Carignan-based wines in Southern Cataluña, but it makes sense once you taste. These are incredibly elegant, refined, sensual expressions of Montsant, with restrained alcohol levels and tremendous texture.
The grapes for the wines come from an approximate total of four hectares of vineyards which are owned by four different grape-growing families in Falset as well as another small plot owned by Venus. One could call Venus a négociant project, but it is more accurate to say that it is a partnership between these four families and René and Sara. Venus is these small growers’ only client, so their vineyards are farmed in accordance with the rigorous ecological standards set by the couple. The grapes for Dido come from the Falset area, from vineyards with soils based on decomposed granite called sauló. These soils are poor in organic matter and they contribute to producing grapes with great ripeness and fruit flavors. The grapes for Venus come from clay-calcareous soils between Marçà and Guiamets. These soils encourage a slow, elegant and complex ripeness.
Vinification: Dido Blanc is an organic white wine from the D.O Montsant produced by Venus la Universal. This wine is a blend of Macabeo (50%), Garnacha Blanca (40%) and Xarelo (10%).
The grapes used for Dido Blanc originate from different estates situated in D.O. Montsant. Two of the estates possess vines older than 70 years old, in the third, where the varieties Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo are cultivated, the vines are 25 years of age.
After the harvest, the grapes are transported quickly to the winery. 15% of the grapes are macerated with their skins for 3 to 5 days in open barrels, the other 20% are macerated also with skins for 24 hours and the remainder is pressed.
Once the must is obtained, the wine is aged for 8-9 months. The 30% rest in amphora jars and the remaining 70% rests in the barrel.
Venus la Universal is one of the most prestigious wineries of Montsant. It was founded in Falset in 1999.