Can Feixes, a château in Penedès

The Can Feixes seal
Fifteen years ago I visited Can Feixes. For some time I had appreciated the quality of their wines, and I wanted to see the source. The owner, a delightful old school gentleman (he was an architect by training), showed us his property with enthusiasm and explained his plans for the future.

Fifteen years later, Mr. Huguet is, regretfully, no longer there to steer the course of the winery
It is easy for the successors, in these cases, to either let the enterprise languish and eventually die, or to completely change the spirit and philosophy, with uncertain results and the assurance of losing the former charm. The fact that not one heir, but three, have to take decisions makes all even more difficult.

Old and new together

However, his three sons have come up to scratch splendidly. The Can Feixes philosophy remains; they concentrate on their land and grapes, respect the environment both in the vineyard and the construction of the winery, and stick to their six proven and mastered wines. Josep Maria looks after winemaking; Joan is in charge of the vineyards and Xavier takes on administration.

The old winery

The name comes with the property. Can Feixes means house (the physical building) of the Feixes family. And it was so at least from the late fourteenth century till beginning of the twentieth, when the Huguet family took over after the Feixes extinguished. The property has some beautiful old buildings, including the one that houses the old winery, now a showpiece, with the door with the seal that can be seen on bottles.

The Huguets respected the complex and have enlarged the winery mostly underground, with room for cask and bottle cellaring; in this way, the buildings look from outside pretty much the same as a century ago.

Bottle cellar

In the rear, the distinctive peaks of Montserrat
The estate, in the hilly northern part of the Penedès DO, has over 350 hectares, 80 of them under vine. Medium height over sea level is 400 meters, and soils mainly rich in limestone, with varying slate and clay additions. Temperature, being the estate higher and farther from the sea than most of Penedès, shows a bigger difference between day and night, beneficial for slower maturing of the grapes and better acidity.

Old parellada vine

Old Parellada vineyard

On the selected plots most suitable for each, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Malvasia de Sitges, Ull de Llebre and Petit Verdot grow on trellises, together with older (70 year) bush grown Parellada and Macabeu old vine plots. Wines are organically farmed and produced; the seal of the Catalan Council for Ecological Production (CCPAE) will start appearing on the 2010 bottles.
Vineyard with planted vegetation in between rows
The estate can be compared with a Bordeaux château, with the winery sitting in the middle of the vineyards. In this way, the grapes, manually harvested and having undergone a first selection in the vineyard, reach the winery in minutes where they are again selected and enter the processing stage. The white varieties are fed into the pneumatic press without breaking the grains, so the first must to come out is of the highest quality.

The still wine range has four items: 
  • Can Feixes Blanc Selecció, a white made from Parellada, Macabeu, Chardonnay and Malvasia de Sitges (40/30/20/10), unoaked, light and fruity with citric notes 
  • Can Feixes Chardonnay (100%) fermented and aged for eight months in new French oak and twelve months in bottle. White fruit and well integrated wood. 
  • Can Feixes Negre Selecció, a red Merlot, Cabernet, Ull de Llebre and Petit Verdot (40/25/25/10) aged for seven months in tank and twelve in French oak. Dark red, with minerality and red fruit to balance more tertiary wood and coffee aromas. 
  • Can Feixes Negre Reserva Especial, the top wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (80/20) especially selected grapes and only in the best years. Aged for 14 months in new French oak and at least four years in the bottle. Dark cherry, elegant and complex aromas of ripe red fruit, balsamic, spice and wood, and a long finish.

Like many other Penedès wineries, they also produce Cava, with the Huguet brand. In fact, although in the market you can find both Huguet Gran Reserva Brut and Huguet Gran Reserva Brut Nature, it is essentially the same wine: a rather uncommon Parellada, Macabeu and Pinot Noir blend (50/26/24) aged for six months in tanks before second fermentation and at least thirty months after. Brut receives a small quantity of sugar after degorjat and Brut Nature does not. Both have the distinctive small, persistent bubble and creamy aromas of Gran Reserva Cavas; the degree of sweetness (not at all or very slight) will determine the choice.
A finishing point: wines leave the winery ready to drink; no further cellaring is needed; all bottles are numbered, and those of Cava show the date of degorjat, something which is, unfortunately, not mandatory, but shows compromise to quality, in line with the philosophy of Can Feixes.



  1. We had the honor of meeting Josep on 4/12 and receiving a extensive tour of the winery and it's vineyards. I think you have captured so well the spirit of Can Feixes. We appreciated their philosophy of growing grapes and producing wine. All under the watchful eye of Montserrat. It is a beautiful location and this winemaking family seems to show great respect for the earth it grows its grapes in.

  2. Thanks, Deb. I indeed like a lot not only Can Feixes wines and property, but the spirit that animates the Huguet family and drives their winery.