Catharism in Castilla León was introduced by pilgrims leaving Occitania (South of France) to follow the way of St. James to Santiago. The term 'Catahr' comes from the Greek, Katharois, meaning 'Pure'. This is in turn reflect in the purity and authenticity of the wine from the privileged area of Gumiel de Mercado, in Ribera del Duero. This are is full of subterranean cellars carved out of rock. The vines used to produce these wines vary in aged from 20-25 year old used for the Joven and Roble wines to 42 year old bush vines for the Crianza and 66 year old vines for the Reserva. All the vines are handpicked and following manual selection the best bunches are chosen to produce these wines.
All wine-making tasks are carried out using gravity, with gentle de-stemming of the grapes, which come in harvest boxes and, after passing over a selection table, are moved by gravity into the stainless steel tanks. Medium-length maceration is used seeking the maximum expression of the fruit and gentle pressings using a small-capacity press.
They have a 600-barrel ageing unit, with 80% French oak barrels and the rest in American oak, where the wines grow for the time they need to give them structure without losing their identity.
Each of the wines in the Cathar range display an elegance and purity of fruit. All of the wines are made from 100% Tinta del Pais/ Tinto Fino (the local names for Tempranillo). The Joven is complete unoaked, whereas the Roble has been aged for 6 months in used French and American oak. The Crianza has been aged for 15 months in French and American oak and is bottled unfiltered. Like the Crianza the Reserva is bottled unfiltered but has been aged for 24 months in new French oak.