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One of the oldest country houses in the “Alt Penedès” region is Masia Casa Gran, in the town of Sant Joan Samora. The first mention of Sant Joan Samora in surviving texts dates back to 1080, while Masia Casa Gran is first mentioned in 1453.

The house, first restored in the 16th century and set amongst its own vineyards, enjoys panoramic views of the holy mountain of Montserrat. It is currently immersed in a new renovation project directed by José Luis Vives Conde, an expert in the restoration of traditional Catalan country homes.

Following on from the traditions and formulas kept in the family by Don José Mª Mata, father and grandfather of the current owners, maker of highly respected wines in the region, the family decided to continue making wine and supplied some of the finest wineries in the area until, in 2007 they decided to start making wines under their own label under the supervision of the oenologist Oriol Guevara. One of the fruits of this labour was the wine St. Joannes, a wine of immense vivacity and great character that is made in both red and white varieties.

These were originally two properties: Can Canals and Can Ràfol. Miquel Canals bought the property from Joan Ràfol in the year 1641. Ownership of Can Canals continued from 1453 until 1704, when Pau Canals sold all of the buildings and lands to Ramón Ravella, of Subirats. In 1706 Ramón Ravella bought several plots of land from the heirs of Can Casanoves.

In 1513 Miquel Canals owned: The house of Ses Cases, the plot of land within the six walls, the ruined house named Mas Mora, a plot of land, another large plot, “los farreginals”, the property of Ses Tries, the plot of land known as Sareell, a plot of land near Mas Roig, another plot of land near Mas Pinyana, land that had belonged to Mas dez Puig, “los domenys”, the plot of land known as “the honoured one”, land near the valley, the plot of land known as “dez coco”, the house of Tortosa with its plot, a small piece of land.

In 1513 Joan Ràfol owned: Los masos mir y vendrell, part of the den miró orchard, part of the woodland, another part of the woodland called formàs, the den pere martí plot, land that is pert of the mas viver estate.

It is one of the largest properties belonging to the Church of Sant Joan Samora. The Revella sold it to the Llançà, a noble family.

The name Sant Joannes is both a tribute to an ancestor of the family and the name of the patron saint of the area that the vineyard is situated in.

Sant Joannes wine is elaborated using traditional methods, including manual harvesting, in harmony with more modern technology.

The ageing process takes place at the winery’s historical wine cellar, as well as in “cups” (underground 18th century vats) designed for that purpose, having first spent some time in stainless steel tanks. Our wine making process is aimed at obtaining wines of the highest quality and expressiveness.


When ancient Catalunya had been formed and pacified, and had reached its Romanic splendour in the 11th and 12th centuries, the Penedès was still a frontier land, ridden with instability. That is why there are no great constructions from that era, with the most outstanding Romanic buildings of the time being defensive strongholds, like the castle in Gelida. Once the castle lost its strategic importance its church maintained its religious importance, which it still has today. The hermitage of Sant Joan Samora is a good example of Romanic architecture. It appears in records for the first time in the 11th century and was extended during the 13th and 14th centuries. It is a single-nave chapel topped with a semicircular apse and with a double-arched belfry. The door has decorative imposts. The west-facing wall has spike lines.



The first mention of Hortons appears from the middle of the 10th century (945), while Sant Joan Samora, or Sant Joan de Mora, is first mentioned in the year 1080. Later documentation on Sant Joan is scarce until the middle of the 14th century, when it is mentioned in a document written by Pia Almoina dated the 17th of November 1316 donde, in which she mentions that a certain Bernat de Fonollar took possession of Sant Joan Samora, in the district controlled by Gelida castle, which the Counts of Pallars and Lords of Cervelló , Hug de Mataplana and, granted to him, later granting another 15,000 s.b. as the dowry of Blanca, daughter of Ferrer d’Abella, whom he married. The inhabitants of the hamlet swore their loyalty to Bernat de Fonollar.

A few years later (1327), in a “cabrevación” (document or volume containing the statement of property holdings made by the vassals of a lordship and the amounts involved, before a notary appointed by the lord in order to have them registered) which recorded, in great part, the tributes paid by the inhabitants of the Barony of Gelida to their lords (Counts of Pallars). A large number of inhabitants of Sant Joan are mentioned, with the amounts they pay. It is hard to say exactly which people correspond to which parish, although in some cases they are clearly identified as men of Sant Joan. In the transfer of property by inheritance, sale or new establishment we can see that, as early as the 16th century, the old inhabitants are by then present simply as names, either with their own estates or with plots of land.