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Our history (Discover)
Our modernist wineries are the window into the history of the generations of farmers which have worked the land
In the early XX Century, agricultural cooperativism constituted an efficient economic strategy to survive the crisis that had been affecting the sector since the later third of the XIX Century. Phylloxera affected the Catalan vines severely. One single British ship infected the whole of Europe with phylloxera. The insect ruined the French vines and spread throughout Europe. There are indications that it appeared in Empordà in 1879 and twenty years later swept through the Terra Alta and other Catalan regions.
Cooperativism was a supportive strategy that revolutionised the Catalan countryside, uniting large landowners and small-scale farmers, and became an unstoppable engine that resulted in the modernisation and strengthening of the sector that was able to survive an unprecedented crisis. This recovery was symbolised in art and engineering: the cathedrals of wine. Modernism arrived to the countryside from the cities and was a lesson of how the union could result in progress and improvement.
The cathedrals of wine
A new generation of architects, disciples of the main representatives of modernism, created the cathedrals of wine, designed to optimise productivity and wine quality. In addition to being majestic architectonic works, they entailed great progress in the field of industrial engineering in the rural world. These imposing buildings, that are still astounding today, are the best examples of the cooperatives' spirit of survival when faced with difficulties. Castell D’Or is the legacy of this spirit of survival and love of the land.
The Agricultural Cooperative of Barberà de la Conca is a winery with a long history, founded in 1894, it is the fruit of the union between two entities that had been in the town since before the Civil War. On one hand, the Societat Agrícola de Barberà and on the other the Sindicat Agrícola de Barberà, which merged in 1934 due to the limitation of the Law on cooperatives. From the former we inherit the honour of being the first cooperative winery in Catalonia and from the latter the magnificent modernist winery, work of the architect Cèsar Martinell, a disciple of Gaudí. The cooperative movement united the farmers of the villages and even helped strengthen ties between the villages.
The Agricultural Cooperative of Vila-rodona dates back to 1919, with more than a century of history. It is a magnificent example of modernist architecture, right in the middle of the Cistercian Route, close to the monastery of Santes Creus. It is the work of the architect from Valls Cèsar Martinell.
Agrícola de la Conca began with the merger of the Cooperativa de Viticultors de Solivella SCCL and the Agrícola de l’Espluga i Secció de Crèdit SCCL. Its history dated back to the early XX Century. In the union, farmers with fewer professional resources found a way to promote their interests and those of their sector. That was how the Societat Agrícola de Solivella was founded in 1901, with its central office in Carrer de l’Hospital. Shortly after that, in 1906, the Law of Agricultural Syndicates was approved, and the entity took on the name of Societat de Treballadors Agrícoles de Solivella. Between 1917 and 1930 the collective increased its patrimony.
In 2006 a group of Catalan cooperative wineries founded Castell D’Or with the aim of joining forces and working together. Castell D’Or wines, cavas and oils are fruit of the collaborative efforts of all the wineries that constitute it and their know-how, that has been passed on from generation to generation, in each one of the cooperatives that make up the group. This is why we can say that the history of Castell D’Or began a lot earlier than its founding as a group.