Following the family tradition, Meritxell Pallejà started off in the world of viticulture by studying oenology and assisting at wineries both in the region (Vilella de la Cartoixa, the Cooperativa Agrícola de Capçanes and Álvaro Palacios) and also in the Napa Valley and the French Burgundy (on that occasion at a biodynamic winery that would influence her own way of working). NITA is her first wine (brought out in 2004 and called Cal Nita, named after her grandmother’s house in Falset). It saw the beginnings of her biodynamic project that takes into account the lunar calendar not only in the production process but also in recommending the most opportune moment for drinking the wine.
The lunar calendar shows the relationship between various activities, such as the grape harvest, racking, bottling and even trying and tasting the wine, and the differing positions of the sun, planets, constellations and signs of the zodiac. This means that it can be ascertained when wines are at a more or less active stage (a waxing or waning moon) or how a plant’s general health is being affected, which will come through in changes to colour, potency of aromas, flavours and essential properties. For example, the wine will display its floral and fruity attributes to better effect if we drink it on “flower” or “fruit” days on the lunar calendar, and that is precisely when Meritxell suggests we open a bottle of her Nita.