Roussillon, France

Vinyer de la Ruca

Ullamp 2022 [1L]


Ullamp 2022 [1L]
Roussillon, France

Mourvèdre from a single vineyard of thirty year old vines planted over schist, high in the hills above Banyuls. The grapes were destemmed by hand and spent five days macerating on the skins before being pressed to old barrels for nine months of rest. Bottled by the litre, this is dark, deep and intense, with a wildness that is really compelling. Stunning now, it will age beautifully over the coming years.



Vinyer de la Ruca is the project of Manuel Di Vecchi Staraz, who is originally from Tuscany, but was drawn to Banyuls-sur-Mer by the dramatic landscape and unique way of life.

Manuel looks after a number of small parcels of old vines of Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre a few hundred metres from the Mediterranean at the foot of the Pyrénées. The grapes grow on old bush vines, many on sheer shale terraces which run along walls of dry stone. They are battered by wind from the sea and bathed in Mediterranean sun.

Tended without machines or chemicals, Manuel works the vineyards by hand, using a pioche, or with the help of his mule, Ullamp. The yields here are amongst the lowest in France.

Nearby, Manuel also looks after an old vineyard of Carignan planted over sandstone northwest of Perpingan in Latour-de-France.

Once in the cellar, the grapes are crushed by foot, destemmed by hand, fermented naturally and aged in old barrels or terracotta amphorae. The wines are bottled with no additions and the old vines, unique climate and an artist’s touch produce wines with a concentration and intensity of flavour that is very much unique.