In a nutshell: An intriguing blend of Muscat and Xarel-Lo from Penedes in the heart of Catalonia.
The lowdown: Xarel-lo, in particular, is more often seen in Cava, much produced in this region, but here it melds beautfully with the attractively scented muscat to make a light in the mouth but flavourfilled wine.
When to drink: It's actually a refreshing aperitif and is a great foil to salty snacks and nibbles.
The Loxarel vineyards, under the ownership of Josep Mitjan and his family have been operating organically and biodynamically for many years now. Half of their vines are situated around their cellars and main house, which dates from the 14th century, not far from Vilafranca. The other half lie about half an hour away up an incredibly steep track at 800 metres in what feels like another world. The winery is basic and all the better for it they dont waste energy or money on modern technology or fancy architecture. Intriguingly, however, there are a few amphorae in the small barrel cellar, part of the Mitjans commitment to experimenting and producing a range of natural wines. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa.