This Designation of Origin includes various municipalities from the districts of El Priorat and La Ribera d'Ebre, in the south-east of Catalonia. In general, the vineyards in the central part of El Priorat belong to the Designation of Origin bearing the same name whilst the others belong to the Montsant Designation of Origin. Nevertheless, in towns such as Falset or El Molar there are wine cellars from both Designations.
The Montsant Designation of Origin was created in 2001 with the aim of grouping the distinctive features of a series of wine cellars which already made up sub-zone of the Tarragona Designation of Origin. As such, this is a young Designation of Origin comprised of more than fifity wine cellars.
The area has a continental climate with significant differences in temperature between night and day which has a particular effect on grape ripening. The vines which are grown are characterised by having a relatively low level of production. This aspect has made the wines particularly appreciated.
Above all it is bottle-aged red wines that are produced, i.e. this spend time in barrels before being transferred to bottles, with the varieties tempranillo, garnacha blanca and cariñena being used.
The preference for white wines are the varieties garnacha blanca and macabeo. They also make liqueur wines such as mistelas, mature wine, sweet wine and vimblanc.
In the Montsant Designation of Origin there are twelve wine cellars open to visitors. Amongst the most interesting of these is Celler Agrícola Falset-Marçà in Falset. This is a modernist wine cellar built by Cèsar Martinell in 1919. Martinell was also the architect commissioned with the building for the Cornudella de Montsant Farming Cooperative.
TheMasroig wine cellar in the town with the same name, was founded in 1917 and has a farm shop where local produce can be bought. Celler Laurona makes wine with the name of the house, a Montsant which is positioned amongst the 100 best wines in the world according to the prestigious publication Wine Spectator.
Another way of becoming familiar with this Designation of Origin is to follow a section of the network of wine trails in El Priorat. These are ancient paths which were taken by farmers and which currently cross through the vineyards.
In this sense there are two possibilities which have their starting point in Falset and which lead to Pradell de la Teixeta or to the Fontaubella Tower. It is also possible to followi the route which goes from Cornudella to Siurana.
The wines which form part of the Montsant Designation of Origin can be sampled during the Fira del Vi which has been held in Falset since 1995. It includes wine tastings, wine cuisine, conferences and exhibitions.