“I like being self-sufficient.”
Making wine is not for the faint of heart. It is hard, difficult work, rarely lucrative and such a mysterious alchemy of art, craft and science that those with the skills and personality to make a go of it like to joke about their mental state. Blai Ferré Just, a young winemaker in his 30s, likes to say that he is the “burro” of the family — the not-so-smart one.
Don’t let him fool you. Blai knows exactly what he is doing. That’s why he has accomplished so much so swiftly. He fell in love with winemaking while as a teenager working the fields for the Spanish wine star Alvaro Palacios. Soon Blai was studying viticulture and oenology, and at 22 — an age at which most young men don’t know who they are or where they’re going — he purchased two small lots in Priorat to start Billo. Don’t expect rapid growth. “I like being self-sufficient and doing everything myself,” says Blai.
Though he could make more money by producing more wine, he purposely limits his output to only 7,000 to 8,000 bottles, relying only on the finest fruit produced in his vineyard. He knows that it’s about quality not quantity. The proof, of course, is in the bottle, where Billo’s blend of Garnatxa, Syrah, Carinyena and Cabernet Sauvignon reveals an intensity, ripeness and balance. The smartest winemakers know the simple truths. As Blai says, “A good wine comes from good work in the vineyard.”
Learn more about Blai Ferré Just here.