Mas Estela Winery.

We almost didn´t make it to Mas Estela. It was pouring buckets and we were driving the wrong way down a muddy lane barely wide enough for a donkey. I was in a foul mood and all ready to turn back and go home. We´d been searching all day for a beach that allowed dogs*; for our precious little beast who  had just vomited all over the rental car.  This was not how my week of summer vacation in Girona was meant to be.
There was no one to ask for directions except the local alcoholic outside the village pub. Between A.´s French and my Spanish we translated his Catalan to mean “well, you go  up the lane till you get to Carme´s bakery, then you turn sort of right, drive three times around the well and keep going left, you go left, you go left, you go left, just keep going left…”. And somehow it worked. We kept turning left and said our prayers as we bumped down the gritty little road, but we arrived, just as it stopped raining.
 Overlooking the beautiful coastline of Cap de Creus, Mas Estela is a tiny winery run by the lovely Nuría and her family.
They bought the property back in 1989 when it was little more than a ruin – no roof, no electricity and no road. The terraced hillsides above the Costa Brava had been ravaged by phyloxia and abandoned when the farmers left for the coast. Looking after beer sozzled tourists is so much easier than the back breaking work of tending grape vines. But Nuría and her husband had the courage to pack up 3 children and start reclaiming the vineyards back from the hillsides – without any experience in wine making.
It took 10 years before they made their first bottle of wine, but now they are rated 90+ by Robert Parker and can be found on the wine lists of restaurants such as the 3 michelin star El Cellar de Can Roca and El Bulli.
Nuría welcomed us to Mas Estella and spent 2 hours showing us around and answering our many inane questions. We were really touched by her genorosity with her time and stories, she didn´t charge us for the tour and insisted that we try some of her wines before we left. If you are ever in Barcelona, please do take the time to drive up to Mas Estela, you can even stay,  they have the sweetest little holiday home for visitors.
In Madrid you can find Mas Estela´s reasonably priced wines at Lavinia, and their top of the range vi de Lluna is on sale at the moment!
Others to try are the white and the Estela Solera Dolç, both of which were especially appreciate by El Bulli.
Mas Estela
Afores, S/N, 17489 la Selva de Mar

972 38 80 11 ‎
* It turns out that none of the beaches in Girona allow dogs, but our landlord told us that he takes his to  St. Martí d’Empúries. It´s a lovely beach just outside l’Escala favoured by kite surfers and the odd nudist (you´ll find them in the bushes at the back of the beach).
2 Responses to “Mas Estela Winery.”
  1. All of that looks amazing. Gossos – never woulda guessed that for DOG.

  2. Maddie says:

    This looks like such a magical little place! Visiting it made up for the troubles you had with your adorable puppy, I hope?

    Traveling in uncharted waters can be such an adventure—sometimes a stressful one, but in the end, always worthwhile (despite the craziness)!

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