In the heart of the Alt Empordà nature reserve in the far north east of Spain, you will find Vinyes Tortuga.
The passion project of Dutch couple Dido Voorma and Jurriaan Morsink, after many years of working in other industries and then making the vine-change and working around the world for other vignerons (including Juan Ramon Escoda and Tom Shobbrook), they finally had the opportunity to make their dreams a reality and settle down in this wild part of Catalunya with vines of their own.
The Alt-empordà is a very special place with a long-standing winemaking history, and after a year of working in the area they found their 11 hectares of paradise near Rabós, 9.5 of which are under vine. In 2018 they were able to purchase the lot in its entirety through a crowdfunding compaign and became the proud owners of a rowdy mix of garnatxa, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, barbera, cabernet franc and tannat grown on schist and graphite - they also have grafted white varietals including garnatxa blanca, malvasia, macabeu and chenin blanc.
The site included a small house in the centre of the vines, and this is where they live, whilst the vinification happens nearby in Rabós' old co-op building. In 2020, along with a friend from back in Amsterdam, they have started a new project called Fruita Analogica. Together they have purchased the entire old co-op site and hope to bring reasonably priced, ethically farmed natural wines to the dutch market, and beyond.
At Vinyes Tortuga everything is farmed organically with the addition of some biodynamic practices. As per the realisation they had when working for Escoda, they strive to have high quality, healthy fruit in the vineyard and to use no chemical additives or fertilisers, no pumping or filtration and they strive to use little, or preferably no additional sulphites during their process.