Vino Mendall

Immensely energetic, the wines and the man. As much for his uniquely crafted wines, Laureano Serres is known for his infectious enthusiasm for life and extraordinary appetite for wine. His enduring friendships with Thierry Puzelat and the late Marcel Lapierre profoundly influenced his approach to winemaking, just as Laureano now does in the Spanish wine scene. 

After a career in IT, Laureano returned to his hometown (El Pinell de Brai) in 1996 to connect with the land. He became the head of the local wine co-op Catedral del Vi, its stunning building designed by students of Gaudí as a monument to working-class solidarity. However, despite his admiration for their commitment to making wine for the people, Laureano found his ideals diverging towards quality over quantity and organic viticulture. So in 1999, he began forging his path, vinifying a traditional field blend from his family’s Finca christening the project Vino Mendall.

Committed to making honest wines, Laureano wants to create “flavours of the wines of a generation ago, wines which reflect the identity of the climate, the earth, and the place”. Only organic fruit go into Mendall, and all ferments are spontaneous since the beginning. Happily, in 2002, he forgot to add any SO2 to the wines. He’s been forgetting to add sulphur ever since.

The cellar is full of all manner of vessels, tanks, old barrels, amphorae of all shapes and sizes - a testament to his creativity and constant desire to experiment as well and conserve old methods. Often wines are vinified in the traditional Catalan style of single-vineyard expressions; Laureano also experiments with parcels and collaborations with friends testing new elevage techniques and vessels.

These arresting and deeply personal interpretations of Terra Alta in Catalunya, Laureano Serres’ home, are one-of-a-kind and, I’m finding, wonderfully impossible to describe.