Collserola was pasture for vines and wine until the phylloxera took everything ahead, at the end of the 19th century. Dolors Llonch tells it in front of the Can Calopa farmhouse, the only estate in Collserola where there is now a vineyard and wine is produced. It is not a large land, it is three hectares in which the red Vinyes de Barcelona is produced, made with the varieties of syrah and garnacha. Llonch is chemical engineer from the UAB, director of Can Calopa and president of the L’Olivera entity, which cares for the intellectually disabled.
The farm brings together two worlds: the production of a red wine that bears the name of the city and the social work that involves 12 people participating in the work of the farm and also spending the night in the farmhouse, which dates back to 1450 and has its restored exterior.
It all started with Joan Clos as mayor, in 2002. His was the idea of Barcelona making wine, which led his rivals to call the estate Falcon Clos, for Falcon Crest (a series that will remember the population of a certain age). There were two products: Vinyes de Barcelona and Vinyes de Collserola, of two different qualities: only the first survived. The wine was not sold, it was used for acts of the consistory. It was not put up for sale until the previous mandate: At 20 euros a bottle, it can be purchased at the farmhouse, in stores and online.
The model suffered economically and in 2010 L’Olivera took charge of the matter, with an agreement that linked the entity with the land for a period of 10 years. Now a new agreement has been closed until 2024. The consistory contributed about 200,000 euros a year until 2019, and the entity, about 130,000. The city council has paid this year 198,000 euros to Can Calopa and will reduce the amount of 30,000 euros each year to 78,000 euros in 2024. When Ada Colau arrived at the mayor’s office, the estate depended on the heritage area of the city council on that of solidarity social economy. “Colau let us sell and we recovered resources”, says Llonch. L’Olivera also produces wine in Vallbona de les Monges and Sabadell.
The director of Can Calopa says that it is not easy for benefits to be achieved in this field, because production does not reach an optimal point until a considerable time passes, because everything is handmade: “We label by hand, for example & rdquor ;. In addition, Greek varieties that did not curdle were planted 20 years ago: “They became very green but did not produce grapes”. They had to be ripped out, which will reduce for a time the maximum production capacity, set at about 25,000 bottles per year. Now 10,000 bottles are made. “We sell everything, nothing is left over”. The Italian variety Sangiovese was also planted in its day: “We cannot use it for Vinyes de Barcelona because it is not listed. With it we make a natural wine, without sulfites & rdquor ;. Natural wine sells for 12 euros a bottle.
Can Calopa wine is organic, which is achieved when it is shown that no chemical has been used in the vineyards for three years. A group of sheep eats the grass, thus supplementing the herbicides, although at this time of year they are not allowed to enter because they would eat the grapes. There are 12 sheep: “If there were more, it would be considered a herd and they would require a serological control”, explains Llonch.
Apartments in Molins
Human resources have been distributed in Can Calopa, because it was not necessary that the 12 people who work there were dedicated to the land. Three switched to wine tourism and three others work in the wine cellar, additional services with which the project hopes to achieve income that will replace the reduction in the contribution of the city council. L’Olivera wants the 12 users, who sleep in the farmhouse, to reside in apartments in MolinsBecause experts consider it to be a more enriching way of life for the intellectually disabled.
The consistory, relates the commissioner of Solidarity Economy, Álvaro Porro, wants supplemental activities to help Can Calopa become “more self-sufficient & rdquor ;. In addition to selling and snacking at the wine cellar, those who come to the estate can make a visit and a tasting. Group meetings can also be held.