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The Wine Regions of Catalonia – Part 1

Catalonia is one of the most fascinating regions of Spain. It has its own distinct culture and identity and is home to some of the best Spanish wines in the whole of the country. In this blog we celebrate some of the best wine-producing areas in Catalonia.

Penedes

We start off our wine exploring adventure with one of the most significant areas of Catalonia, namely Penedes. Not only is it one of the greatest wine-producing areas in Catalonia it is one of the oldest wines growing regions in Europe, with a wine history that dates back to the 6th Century. Penedes has a wide selection of terrain which makes the wines diverse and interesting, and modern day Penedes is home to many avant-garde boutique wine producers. Penedes is also home to one of Spain’s most famous wines, Cava.

Priorat

Probably the best-known Catalonian wine-producing area in the World today is Priorat. It holds the distinction of being one of only two areas to have Denominacio d’Origen Qualificada (DOQ) which is a mark of quality and consistency. Priorat region has perfect soil for growing grapes, the special volcanic properties of the soil in the region impart a unique flavor. But the soil only leads to a small yield and the vines are positioned on heavily slanted hillsides which makes the grapes hard to pick. All this leads to highly sought-after wines which are recognized all over the world.

Emporda

Our next wine exploration takes us to the northeast of Catalonia and a region called Emporda, which is located near the great holiday destination of the Costa Brava. This region is famous for producing rose wines of superior quality. However, due to demand over 60% of its wine production is now devoted to red wine, which are full-bodied and sometimes aged in oak barrels that impart a unique flavor to the wine. Emporda has over twenty grape varieties including Gewurztraminer which is not native to the region.

Tarragona

This wine-producing area is named after the Catalan town Tarragona which is in the south of Catalonia. Tarragona has a reputation in Spain for producing heavy, rich reds with deep flavors. Some of these wines actually resemble the famous fortified wines of Spain such as port, and their heritage go right back to Roman times. This wine is still being produced today and is called Tarragona Clasico, but the region now favors white wine production and over half of the wine produced in the Tarragona region are now whites, and cavas.

Conca de Barbera

Many people travel to Conca de Barbera to sample the exquisite white wines that are produced there. Over sixty percent of all wine produced in this historic region is white, and the most famous of all is called Parellada. Parellada wine is made from one hundred percent Parellada grapes. Conca de Barbera is also renowned for its light and fruity rose wines, some being made from the Trepat grape. The region makes limited red wine which includes Ull de Lebre made from the Tempranillo grape variety. In part two of our wine adventure of Catalonia we look at even more regional wine areas.