Up until the late 19th century, the Esteve family of Avinyó subsisted on the growing and selling of cereal crops, legumes, and a little bit of wine, all grown around their traditional horseshoe shaped farm-
house, Can Fontanal. But when phylloxera crossed the border from France into Spain, the family vine- yards and their savings were destroyed when concerns over the louse caused a run on the region’s largest banks. Faced with starting over, Joan Esteve Marcè saw opportunity in hardship and traveled to France in search of phylloxera resistant vines. He returned with new rootstocks immune to the pest. His son, Joan Esteve Nadal, expanded the family’s holdings to four parcels totaling about 40 hectares and re- planted many of the vineyards with the indigenous varieties of grapes. As a result, Avinyó farms only estate-owned vineyards, a rarity among cava and wine producers. Today, another generation is at the helm. Four siblings blend tradition, technology, and a relentless pursuit of quality.
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