The Catalonia Designation of Origin, approved in 1999, was created to safeguard the tradition of wine production in Catalonia which has been so important for more than 2,000 years.
The Catalonia Designation of Origin, approved in 1999, was created to safeguard the tradition of wine production in Catalonia which has been so important for more than 2,000 years. Its objective is to cover different wine cellars in approximately 200 Catalan municipalities which produce quality wines, however without a specific Designation of Origin.
This designation includes approximately 4,000 hectares of vineyards distributed throughout the region. Generally speaking, a Mediterranean climate dominates with many hours of sun however without excessive heat.
In this region the vines are grown according to traditional methods. There are 25 grape varieties amongst which, with regard to white grapes, the varieties of garnacha blanca, gewürztraminer, macabeo and malvasía stand out, and amongst the black grape, cabernet franc and sauvignon and garnacha negra.
It covers white, rosé and red wines, as well as traditional liqueur, mistela, mature and natural sweet wines. In general, the wines are modern and innovative, with an attractive colour, a medium aromatic intensity and moderate acidity. The white wines are light and fruity and the reds full bodied and balanced.
All of these wines can be discovered and tried during the Mostra de Vins i Caves de Cataluña which takes place in Barcelona in mid-September.
Many of the wines with the Catalonia Designation of Origin are found near to monasteries going back to the Middle Ages, such as those of Montserrat, Santes Creus, Poblet or Sant Pere de Rodes. This is due to the fact that in many cases monks were those who had royal authorisations to produce wine.
Likewise, the wines with this designation can be discovered by visiting the wine cellars where they were first made. It is worth mentioning the Cooperative Wine Cellar of L’Espluga de Francolí (1913), designed by Domènech i Muntaner. El Celler Sumarroca in Banyeres del Penedès owns Heretat Sabartés, with a modernist estate dating back to the late 19th century. The Can Suriol vineyards offer a guided tour which starts in a 14th century chapel owned by the Suriol family in the village of Font-rubí.
The Jean León vineyard is very different, its inspiration being American architecture from the 1960s, designed by Domingo Triay blending into the landscape of vines. It is found in the municipal area of Torrelavit.