27 Sep Mas de les Valls (DOQ Priorat): the evolution of the brand
As many of you know, Celler Devinssi began producing DOQ Priorat wines in 2003, with the first vintage completely dedicated to the production of our small wine called “IL·LIA“. In 2008 we started producing Rocapoll, the 100% Carignan wine that comes from an old, sloped vineyard in Gratallops and is our top, having very limited production.
Today we are going to talk about Mas de les Valls, the wine that comes from different plots of vineyards located in Gratallops and that, together with our tops, has gained a lot of prominence in our range of wines. In fact, today they all play the main part.
In 2005 we collected the first harvest of the red Mas de les Valls, made from Red Grenache and Carignan (the key DOQ Priorat grape varieties), with a small addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in French oak.
The reason for the name “Mas de les Valls” is one of the frequent questions that our customers ask us.
Its literal translation from Catalan into English would be “a farmhouse in the valleys”. You may be surprised that the Catalan word “mas” comes from the Latin “mansus, mansio” like the English “mansion” and “manor”, or French “maison” and “manoir”.
Some people Google “Mas de les Valls” and, in addition to this brand name, they get descriptions of a Mas de les Valls manor in the mountains of Els Ports de Tortosa-Beseit or another Mas de les Valls in Artés (county of Bages).
There are also people who have the compound surname of Mas de les Valls. None of these Google search results shed any light on the etymology of the name we gave to our wine.
The origin of the “Mas de les Valls” brand name is certainly geographical and is related to the toponymy within the town of Gratallops.
If you look at the street map of Gratallops, our winery has one façade overlooking Carrer dels Masets and another Carrer de les Valls. Now you are sure to be able to guess the riddle. Indeed, to name this wine, Josep combined the names of the streets that make the corner of our buildings.
We will now talk here about the evolution of the design of the label of this wine.
We must start from the idea that both Josep Roca and the other owners of the winery (his brothers) have always seen Celler Devinssi as an artisanal winery, which had to grow over the years always maintaining this warm, personal and handmade character.
It must also be said that, in addition to being an oenologist, Josep is a painter, so he designed the labels for the first vintages of our wines.
As you can see in the photo gallery, the image of the earliest bottles of Mas de les Valls featured the silhouette of Lady Il·lia (the characteristic symbol of our IL·LIA wine) in a very small version.
Later, between 2011 and 2013, Josep began experimenting with the new design for the Mas de les Valls, translating the phrase of the brand name into a graphic representation. Both the red and white versions of this wine (the white having appeared in 2011) had a label featuring the silhouette of a farmhouse with a sketch of two vineyard slopes in front of it.
Mas de les Valls blanc i negre 2011, DOQ Priorat, cortesia de: Vinificats
At that time our exports grew dramatically and that is why we were already looking for a more strengthened image that would ease our importers’ work in different countries.
A great friend of Josep’s, Quim Vila, introduced him to the branding and packaging designer Pati Núñez, the first woman to be awarded the Premio Nacional de Diseño.
Pati Núñez had previously created or refreshed the image of certain wines produced by Recaredo and Dominio de Pingus, for example.
Pati took the essential ideas from Celler Devinssi’s previous wine labels to create the new image of our wines. In this way, the Mas de les Valls comes to have a label that speaks of our Gratallops plots’ terroir and at the same time has a perspective of the landscape in general. The frame of the Mas de les Valls label includes one of our vineyards.
As you can see, Pati Núñez has preserved the symbol of Mas de les Valls (this farmhouse above a valley of vineyards), placing it at the top of the white field on the label.
The phrase “Mas de les Valls” also has a different perspective, where the words MAS and VALLS stand out, because in fact many customers read the name of our wine simply as “Mas Valls”.
Customers who have known our production for years congratulate us on the image of Mas de les Valls that we have now, although some people comment that the artisan beginnings, of that label home-designed, also have their merit.
Since the 2014 vintage, our red and white Mas de les Valls has a label that transmits peace, serenity and appreciation for the land of Priorat.