In the recent book The journey and its meaningthe British traveler and teacher Emily Thomas devotes a chapter to the fascination aroused by the cabin concept and its relationship with the philosophy of wild nature and authors such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. “I want to live in a cabin. I imagine myself in a wooden house, hidden in a forest or on the shore of a lake. A gabled roof above large windows in which the surrounding trees are reflected…”. Emily Thomas isn’t the only person this has happened to. Just take a look at the web Cabin Porn to get an idea of the fascination that these constructions arouse in that large part of contemporary society that looks to nature to understand why modern city life continually distracts them with nonsense.
Living in a cabin is a classic children’s dream that many adults put into practice in recent times. No matter how old you are, when you visit the cabins of Oller del Maswhere the idea is refined to perfection (currently it is the most of the most in terms of hospitality in the province of Barcelona), this fixation is understood and one rethinks things.
Judging by the number of reservations they have since they opened their doors nine months ago, there is no one who can resist. Built with wood from the estate’s white pines, designed by the Tribuna de Arquitectura studio Arenys de Mar (Barcelona), the cabins are subtly and harmoniously integrated into the forest, exerting the minimum impact on the land. If it weren’t for the large windows in which, as Thomas likes to emphasize, the trees are reflected, they would go unnoticed. They have been incorporated in such a delicate way that they do not even support their weight on the ground: they float in a field cared for with an affection that perfectly explains why it has belonged to the same family for 10 centuries. It is a detail that says a lot and also helps to understand why this place (with a winery, hotel, restaurant…) is a pioneer as a sustainable business. “We want to protect an environment that has been previously protected for 35 generations and that number 37 should belong to and protect,” says Frank Margenat, current owner.
Let’s go by parts. Oller del Mas is the result of a heritage and a millenary history. His philosophy is quite simple: respect for the environment and commitment to the territory. thanks to that savoir faire It was decorated in 2016 as the best wine tourism experience by the Generalitat de Catalunya. Wine has been made here since 964. And it is that before becoming, thanks to its cabins, a discreet luxury hotel, Oller del Mas is a winery with great wines from different varieties of grapes. There are 60 hectares of vineyards and 600 hectares of farmland. Native varieties such as Garnacha and Cariñena stand out, but perhaps the most surprising are the black Picapoll, the white Picapoll (which give rise to fun and gastronomic wines such as the Especial Picapoll Negro —number of Michelin star restaurants include it in their tasting menus; selected as the best wine of Catalonia in 2014— or Els Ecos, Merlets, Lautats) and, of course, the Manresa malvasía, thanks to which one of the most special wines is obtained, 201, which receives that name in reference to the 201 days that the white grape is macerated with the skins of the variety itself, without sulphites, with spontaneous fermentation. an authentic OrangeWine (breased wine) absolutely unusual.
The objective of the young winemaker Carles Murai is to obtain the maximum expression of the grapes that grow in this environment. Expressive, unique, committed wines. All ecological, created from the minimum intervention. In this regard, Margenat says that they use biodynamics (work of the earth based on the moon and the stars) “to fulfill the objective of reflecting a landscape inside a bottle, because that is the magic of this product, which does not expire and It always comes enveloped by an aura of romanticism that even allows us to find out the weather of a certain distant year”.
In September, during the harvest, unlike other wineries, this one remains open. You are invited to learn about the grape selection process (obviously manual). The experience includes dinners with the owner and the team. Although wine has been made here since the 10th century, it has been marketed as Oller del Mas since 2003, when Frank Margenat decided to make the leap and professionalize, improve and market the wines that were previously sold to wineries and neighbors and drank as a family. . So this is the dream come true of some entrepreneurs who, despite the expansion, do not stop looking at the roots, which explains why they keep the old potter (where the pans) that gives its name to the wine, the castle and the estate. It was the first winery in Spain with a carbon footprint certificate and the third in the world to pollute less to produce a bottle of wine. “The goal for 2022 is to be the first” adds Margenat during the tasting.
For now, they have not only managed to differentiate themselves with their wines but also with their hotel offer and with their commitment to sustainability, which is why the cabins, the castle, the winery and the restaurant are powered by geothermal, solar and aerothermal energy. Special mention deserves the restaurant Bages 964, open to the public (it is not necessary to stay in the cabins) and in which it is convenient to reserve. The daring cuisine of Alex Portales (who arrives after passing through schools What Enjoy Barcelona either The cellar of Can Roca) rice dishes stand out —pay attention to carving with black truffle—whole piece fish and a variety of dishes that denote a cosmopolitan spirit.
Overlooking the magic mountain
From the terraces of Las Cabañas del Oller that overlook the vineyards, you get the only views that keep the landscape of Montserrat virgin. It is a prodigious panoramic view of the most special massif in Catalonia, mountains whose morphology has not ceased to fascinate travelers with the intention of getting lost in it for centuries. And it is that Oller del Mas is that intermediate point through which Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Loyola, 1491 – Rome, 1556) passed when, from his Cave in Manresa, from time to time he went out to visit Montserrat. That’s where the call comes from Camí Ignasià Manresa Montserrat whose last pretty part goes through here.
To empathize with the landscape of Oller del Mas, those who like horseback riding have it just as easy (the hotel has a riding center and horses) as those who practice hiking (with options such as the Cami del Torrent Hello Riera dels gorgs). Who cannot resist it, or who comes with children, can also be done in a cart pulled by a mule.
If you decide to visit the nearby town of Manresa It is worth visiting the basilica of Santa María de la Seu in Manresa, which this year celebrates its 500th anniversary with its spectacularly young Gothic style, as well as the famous Carrer del Balç and two buildings art deco first class such as Antic Restaurant Miami and the Cal Jorba warehousesa prodigy by Arnald Calvet, designed in the 1930s, fortunately protected.
At the end of the day, there is no better place to recover than the Bages 964 restaurant and the interior and terraces of the Oller cabins, where you can welcome the night with the silence and respect it deserves. The philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson began his book Nature thus: “To seek solitude, a man needs to distance himself both from his own bedroom and from society. When reading or writing I am not alone, even if no one is with me. But if man really wants to be lonely, he has only to look at the stars. The rays that proceed from those heavenly worlds will distinguish him from the things he touches…”. Hardly in these cabins one is distracted by what is not appropriate. For something breakfast is served from nine. Zero stress, por favor.
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