In the late nineteenth century the people of Cornudella de Montsant, like many others, were affected by phylloxera. This pest was very detrimental to the vines and caused their death. With the arrival of the insect, many peasants and labourers had to leave the county and relocate to the main industrial centres of the time, Barcelona, and especially from Cornudella, Sabadell. Depopulation during those years was very pronounced in the village and the region in general.

The people who decided to stay Cornudella faced many difficulties and had to cooperate with each other. The first decades of the twentieth century were years in which the associations and cooperatives took power in the villages and across the country in general.

Construction began on the Cellar Cooperatiu of Cornudella de Montsant in 1919, on the initiative of the wine Section of the Agricultural and Rural Savings and Loan union of the Priorat. Members of this union hired the young architect César Martinell to begin construction of the wine cellar, which was completed in 1922.

celler_antiga2Starting the construction of the winery.  Author Unknown.
César Martinell Archive, Museum of Valls.

It was three years of work during which many peasants, after finishing their day in the fields, contributed their time to the construction of the winery. Resources were scarce and everyone had to do their part. However, with the creation of the winery the farmers had a tool to overcome the slump of phylloxera, and by pooling their crops and efforts, could expect better profits.

The Cellar Cooperatiu of Cornudella de Montsant has been dedicated, since its inception and until today, to the development and sale of the two main products of our land, wine and oil. After nearly a hundred years of history, there have been many changes, but even so, people can still boast of having kept the legacy of past generations and have been able to adapt to changing times.

David Pallejà and Alba Corbalàn, 2013