The first traces of the Masía (Catalan country house) Can Fontanals date back to the 16th century. The building is traditional with an interior horseshoe arch and defence embrasures in the side walls. Since its origins, the main activity of the estate has been the cultivation of vines, cereals, and legumes.
The surname Fontanals as well as the name of the Masía remained the same until 1847 when Esperança Fontanals married Adjutori Esteve. Despite this change of surname, the house continued to be called “Can Fontanals”.
At the end of the 19th century, a major event took place that affected the entire Penedès region and, of course, our lands: phylloxera killed all the vineyards. In addition to this devestating situation, one of the largest banks in the region, where the family had entrusted their savings, declared bankruptcy. Thus, they were forced to start over again, but the enterprising spirit of the family, with great effort and hard work, helped them overcome this period of scarcity and hardship.
In 1889, Joan Esteve Marcé made a crucial decision for the future of our cava. He decided to travel to France to look for new types of vines which were immune to phylloxera so that he could replant the entire estate. The vineyard was aptly called “La Mirona” (“The Onlooker”), since many people flocked to the land with high hopes to see how these new types of vines were adapting to our region.
Joan Esteve Marcé deserves to be remembered since he was one of the leading entrepreneurs who wanted to modernise farming and personally cultivate the land.