Do you like wine? For sure you have shared some happy times with friends around a glass of wine or drunk wine with a special meal. Wine tourism allows you to discover a country through its wines. Those of Catalonia are most varied and of high quality, so much so that there are eleven designations of origin (DO), in addition to the DO of cava, the internationally renowned Catalan sparkling wine whose capital is in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.
The experience of tasting them where they are produced will enable you to understand how the Mediterranean, the sun and the varied landscapes have influenced their body, aroma and flavour.
A wide variety of wines to taste
If you try the wines of the Priorat, among the most prized internationally, you will appreciate the unique taste conferred to it by the “llicorella” slate-like terrain. If you go to Gratallops, you can go for a walk among the vines by electric bicycle. It’ll be great fun if you go with friends. And when you’ve finished, take advantage of the local produce to have a picnic.
Other inland wines are those of Costers del Segre, where the vines grow beside the Segre river. If you can, you must go to a winery whose vines are 1,000 metres up where they ferment the wine in 12th century stone vats. The wines you can taste are highly complex in the nose.
If you fancy tasting a wine from the Conca de Barberà DO, make it a rosé, a good quality wine made from the Trepat grape variety. If you get the chance, taste a wine from the Pla de Bages DO, fresh, nicely concentrated, produced near Montserrat. And if you go to the Ports de Besseit, it’s worth the trip, you can taste the whites of the Terra Alta DO, made from garnatxa (grenache) grapes which are grown in valleys that are difficult to access.
Wines bathed by the Mediterranean Sea
If you are looking to do wine tourism beside the sea, marrying the local fish and seafood with the wine, a great variety is available to you. One of the DOs is Alella, the smallest. It consists of six wineries close to Barcelona that produce a white wine that goes perfectly with a good meal. Another is the Empordà designation, on the Costa Brava. It has both white and red wines but its sweet wines are the most renowned, ideals to round off a good meal. In the area of l’Albera, the vines grow between the massif, the Cap de Creus cape and the Aiguamolls de l'Empordà marshes which truly leaves an impression on its wines.
Tarragona DO, however, is known for its liqueurs (mistela, muscatel, oxidized wine (rancio)...). And if you go to the Penedès, not far from Barcelona you can see xarel·lo vines, a grape variety that can withstand sun and drought. And, if you fancy, you can learn how to prune them.
Seize the opportunity and go and visit any winery. They’ll be only too pleased to open their doors. Catalan wines will seduce you!