The Terra Alta Designation of Origin is the most southern in Catalonia. It is comprised of twelve towns from the Terra Alta district, an inland area in the province of Tarragona which borders with Aragón.
The Terra Alta Designation of Origin is the most southern in Catalonia. It is comprised of twelve towns from the Terra Alta district, an inland area in the province of Tarragona which borders with Aragón. The very sunny climate with low rainfall, and the clayey soil with little permeability produce powerful wines with a high alcohol content.
The orography of the land is varied and the vines are grown both in valleys and plains, as well as on terraces to avoid the unevenness of the land.
During the early 20th century, the majority of the farming cooperatives which produce the wines were created. The Designation of Origin and its Regulatory Council were created in 1972, with their headquarters in the town of Gandesa.
The red wines are made using the cariñena (mazuelo), garnacha negra and garnacha peluda varieties and the whites with garnacha blanca and macabeu. They also make dry and sweet wines and it is worth mentioning the mature wines which are aged in oak casks for five years.
The wines from the Terra Alta Designation of Origin are characterised, with regard to the white wines, by being fresh and balanced ; the rosés are fruity, and the reds are stronger and have a deep ruby colour. The liqueur wines are quite sweet.
In Gandesa at the end of October gastronomic day events are organised which include a wine festival which has been held since 1987. It includes talks, a wine sampling, accelerated wine tasting courses and a luncheon open to the public.
Gandesa is also the location for the Espai del Vi i de l'Oli, a visitor's centre for these two products from La Terra Alta, which organises exhibitions, courses, talks and debates throughout the year.
It is also here where the Ruta del Vi begins. This itinerary through the wine producing centres in the area goes through vineyards where it is possible to see the marges which are dry stone constructions which demarcate hillsides and terraces and which are truly representative of the work undertaken by the vine growers.
In Pinell de Brai there is a modernist wine cellar which is the work of Cèsar Martinell. The façade of this wine cellar features the ceramic glazed frieze by Xavier Nogués, with figurative scenes of vines and wine.