Catalan Wine Regions
Located off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, the beautiful region of Catalonia welcomes visitors with its unique culture and warm hospitality. One of the area’s most noteworthy features is its delectable cuisine – namely the wine that is produced and served there. In fact there are 9 DO regions and 1 DOQ region boasting a variety of wines including sparkling Cava and a number of whites and reds. Of these regions, three in particular stand out amongst the others and top the list of “must-visit” places in Catalan for wine lovers.
Breathtaking nature and long, rich history are the hallmarks of this Catalan wine region, which is credited as the birthplace of cava. In fact, nearly 95% of all cava, a traditional Spanish sparkling wine in white or rose, is produced in the Penedes area. The region can be divided into three distinct zones, each of which exhibits its own unique climate and environmental factors that lend themselves to the flavors and styles of the wines that are produced there. Penedes is the largest and most productive wine region in all of Catalonia and enjoys a highly successful business of wine exportation. This is an excellent place to experience the delicate and exquisite flavors that Spanish wine has to offer.
If red wine happens to be your forte, the Priorat region is a definite stop on your to-do list. It is the only DOQ region in Catalonia and its production consists almost entirely of red wine varieties. The Priorat area is characterized by the unique terrain in which the grapes are grown. This terrain, made up of reddish black slate and quartz soil is referred to as llicorella. The uniqueness of the soil confers a number of special qualities into the wine and helps to keep the vines safely in the ground, protected from the volatile weather that can common to the area. The result is some of the most delectable wines found anywhere in the world.
Conca de Barbera
Conca de Barbera is a DO of Spanish wines, particularly of the white variety, produced throughout the provinces of Tarragona and Lleida in Catalonia. The area climate features hot summer days, cool nights and even colder winters – perfect for growing some spectacular crops. The vineyards of Conca de Barbera are primarily planted along river valleys and protected by the cover of nearby mountain ranges which shelter the harvests from dangerous weather and wind. If you’re a fan of white wine or light roses, you’ll enjoy the selection from Conca de Barbera, many of which feature a delicious blend of both whites and reds.
For centuries the regions of Catalonia have been at the heart of wine production, with the blends, flavors and styles produced there sought after by wine connoisseurs the world over. Today the area is still at the height of production, featuring ideal climates and conditions and age-old traditions that result in exquisite fine wines of virtually every variety. If a visit to Catalonia is in your future and wine is something you’re interested in, each of these three regions is certain to deliver the unique taste, bold personality and unforgettable experience for which Catalan wine has become known and loved.