Dominik Huber met Eben Sadie at Mas Martinet in the summer of 2000. Eben was already a highly-regarded South African […]Keep Reading
Dominik Huber met Eben Sadie at Mas Martinet in the summer of 2000. Eben was already a highly-regarded South African enologist, and Dominik, a native German, was a wine enthusiast with a business administration background. Dominik’s childhood home was where he learned to appreciate the wonders of homey food and its ability to bring people together around the table, as only the son of a butcher and talented home cook could experience. While dutifully pursuing his studies in a “serious” subject, his true education came through travel and immersing himself in the culinary arts, from the most humble of meals to three-starred Michelin cuisine. Over the course of a summer. Eben and Dominik went from friendship to partners in a new venture that would become Terroir al Limit.
With the help of the Pérez family of Mas Martinet, Eben, and Dominik purchased some fruit and leased a little corner in the cellar of Cims de Porrera, where they vinified their first vintage of Dits del Terra in 2001. After two years at Cims de Porrera, they moved into a tiny cellar in Torroja del Priorat. The move coincided with the first vintage of Arbossar in 2003. In the following years, they released additional cuvées: Torroja in 2005, Manyes and Tosses in 2006, Pedra de Guix in 2008, and Terra de Cuques in 2011. Since its founding, Terroir al Limit has slowly evolved its understanding of the Priroat as a region as capable as Burgundy in its complexity and potential to make elegant and transparent wines. The Torroja and Terra de Cuques are the village wines, Dits del Terra and Arbossar the Premier Crus, and Manyes and Tosses are the Grand Crus.
With the demands arising from increased production and additional farming responsibilities and Eben Sadie spending more time in South Africa with his various projects, Dominik began working full-time at Terroir al Limit in 2007. Devoting himself primarily to the cultivation of a growing number of vineyard sites, Dominik could see his direct efforts in healthier fruit with each successive harvest. With the improving quality, balance, and expressiveness of their grapes, Eben and Dominik had a profound realization that ripe, concentrated fruit combined with extractive winemaking and aging in barriques didn’t capture their vineyards’ authentic expressing that they tasted in their grapes before it became wine. Consequently, they reevaluated their work in the cellar by phasing out all their 225L, then utilizing a gentler Burgundian approach to vinification, preferring whole clusters and avoiding either pigeage or remontage. Terroir al Limit aims to foster wines of infusion rather than extraction, thereby emphasizing elegance rather than the typical density of the Priorat. This process evolved slowly, with 225L barrels being phased out in favor of foudres and concrete. The final step was taken when Tatjana Perceric joined Terroir al Limit and the foudres were replaced with aging entirely in concrete. The wines have never been more precise, with hauntingly complex aromas and a provocative tension between mineral and fruit expression. Each is a perfectly rendered reflection of site and vintage as one only finds at the finest estates in the world.
Realizing that organic or biodynamic farming during an era of global warming is insufficient for a region as hot and dry as the Priorat, Dominik farms rigorously to guarantee the health and vitality of his soils so they can retain as much moisture as possible, reducing the hydric stress on the vines in summer and allowing for an earlier harvest of physiologically ripe fruit. Eben Sadie left Terroir al Limit in 2011 to devote his energies to his extraordinary work in South Africa, but he left it in the capable hands of Dominik Huber. Each successive vintage is a testament to their original vision for Terroir al Limit and Dominik’s continued quest to make the most elegant and expressive wines in the Priorat.Close