Wine tourism in Priorat
Traditionally, some of the unknown Catalan wines are from a small region known as Priorat, however, in recent years the region has experienced a wine-related take-off and today these wines, which were unfairly ignored, are being recognized.
The Qualified Designation of Origin Priorat (D.O.Ca Priorat)
The region of Priorat is located on the inland of the Tarragona province, bordering with Lleida, and its small extension stands out in the wine industry, with only 3,450 acres of cultivated vineyards. It is a rugged terrain, plenty of hills and with a soil of scarcely 15 centimeters formed by fragmented slate, called licorella, in which the grapevine roots penetrate looking for water and nutrients.
These harsh conditions provide the Priorat wines with its exclusive personality; the vines are cultivated at an altitude ranging from 100 to 750 meters, many of them in the multitude of hills that mark the area and that prevent harvesting with mechanical methods: this situation, together with the type of soil, results in the grapevines providing a rather poor yield.
Wines and grapes of Priorat
This type of wine delves into the classic concept of the “vino de pueblo” (local wine) which is based on similarities but also differences that exist between the diverse wines produced in a single Designation of Origin zone, therefore the Vino de Villa (Vin de Vila) is produced in a specific area within Priorat.
In addition, these wines have to be produced individually within the winery and should use at least 60% of the varieties recommended by the Designation of Origin (or 50% if there is only one recommended variety). These wines also go through strict controls by the Designation organisms to guarantee their quality and authenticity.
These are top quality wines within the Designation of Origin which go one step further than the previous ones; they are those wines produced exclusively with grapes cultivated in a single estate and with a completely different production and aging process. Besides, the wine requires a ten-year track record in the market in order to ensure its quality.
Some wine tourism activities in Priorat
In recent years there has been an important effort to promote the Priorat wines which has produced more wine tourism activities in this region.
The increasing number of wine cellars offering visits as well as wine tastings has been followed by additional activities such as local olive oil tastings or wine-pairing with some of the products of its rich gastronomy (mushrooms, sweets or almonds).
Wine tourism in Priorat can be combined with cultural activities such as visits to monasteries like the Cartuja de Santa María del Escaladei as well as charming villages like Siurana. The wine tourist can also enjoy outdoor activities from hiking trails and the observation of local flora and fauna to water activities like canoeing that take place in one of the most popular sites of the area: the Siurana reservoir. All of the above include wine, the epicenter of these activities.
Come and discover Priorat differently and magically. We´ll take an unforgettable trip where you can relax, enjoy and understand the perfect symbiosis between the Priorat wines and the rich local gastronomy. We are waiting for you!