The cooperative winery in Cases de Penya, a tiny village in the Roussillon region of Southern France, goes by many names, but with its Catalan culture, most Americans simply call it "Peña".
Situated less than 10 miles from the city of Perpignan, in the Agly Valley of the Pyrénées, the name "Cases de Pene" is a derivation of the Catalan for "house of stones". It is a hot, rugged, wind-swept place with distinctive, marne and black schistic soils.
Five growers jointly own the vineyards of the original Château. Another five grow wine full-time for a living, and every other family in the village owns a few acres. With nearly 1,000 acres under vines and an annual production of almost 150,000 cases per year, it is not a small operation! Though almost half of the production is of the region's sweet, fortified wines (much of which is still sold in bulk), sales of dry table wines in bottle and 3L bag-in-box continue to grow and have become a sizable portion of the business. The heart and soul of Penya is winemaker Joseph "Tony" Gonzalez, who has 20+ years experience, a brilliant flair for winemaking, and an instinctive and profound knowledge of the vineyards and terroir.