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Laely Heron's new wine from Terra Alta, Spain

Why?  Catalonia is the hottest area of Spain, perhaps Europe…perhaps the world!
The wines of this region, and the food, have achieved huge international renown. Why
miss the opportunity to “get in” early? I’ve been coming to Spain since the early 80’s,
when I studied enology in Bordeaux and have always wanted to create something here.
Since I don’t know of any other Americans making wine in this fantastic place, I went for
the adventure of makingwine in an area I think has huge promise.

The Area:  Terra Alta is the southern-most DO in Catalonia and has the lowest rainfall
and the highest summer temperatures. Terra Alta literally means ‘high lands,” and has
superb microclimates with great soil and fabulous drainage. Vines grow on steep
terraces identical to Priorat, its northwestern neighbor, 13 km away.


Interesting information:   Priorat has experienced huge growth; in the last 5 years,
plantings have multiplied five-fold. That means lots of new wines made from very young
grapes. Terra Alta, on the other hand, afforded me the possibility of old vines: 30 year-
old Grenache, 60 year-old Carignan, 12 year-old Tempranillo, 60 year-old Lledoner
Pelut Noir and 10 year-old plantings of both Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

History:   Archaeological evidence suggests that the Phoenicians introduced
winemaking to Catalonia and traded ancient Catalan wines with the Egyptians. The
Priorat DOQ has been producing wine since the 12th century when Carthusian monks
SEXTO - “Sixth”

Grenache 33%
Carignan 30%
Tempranillo 20%
Lledoner Pelut Noir 6%
Cabernet Sauvignon 6%
Syrah 5%
2269 Chestnut Street #861   San Francisco, CA 94123   (415) 563-6931


and established a priory from which the region took its name. Thankfully, they planted low yielding, high quality varietals such
as Grenache and Carignan.  In the modern era, Terra Alta stayed an undiscovered gem in the region due to its continued
inaccessibility and difficult terrain.  

The Wine:   Sexto itself is a blend of six different grapes, Grenache, Carignan, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon,
and the ancient grape Lledoner Pelut Noir. In fact, it was the addition of that sixth varietal (a cousin to Grenache) that made
all the difference for me. I wanted to make a wine that is at the same time original, traditional, and has a modern twist.

Sexto is fresh, fruit-laden, spicy and quite distinctive. This delicious wine captures the unmistakable flavor and character of
northeastern Spain