• Catalan wines

    Catalonia is a leading wine producing land. It produces high-quality red, rosé and white wine, as well as many different sweet wines. In addition, it is the motherland of Cava. Flagship cellars such as Freixenet, Codorniu, Raimat and Torres lead Catalonia’s wine producers, which are distributed in 11 appellations (DO) for wine plus an extra one for Cava. Catalonia is a land of wine, present since the Ancient Greeks and Romans arrived to its shores. Since then, the vineyards have been an irreplaceable part of the Catalan landscape, as well as its culture.

    Wine is rooted in Catalonia’s tradition and nowadays represents a rising sector, which is gaining international prestige year after year. Wines from Priorat, Penedès and Empordà are among the best in the world, and Cava is no longer a cheap replacement of Champaign but a quality product in its own right available all over the world. More than 200 million bottles of Cava certify this success, joined by 180 million for of wine.

    Which are Catalonia’s protected wine appellations (DO)?

    There are 11 Protected Geographical Status (DO) for red, white and rosé wines and an extra one for Cava.

    The 11 wine ones are:

    DO Alella: Though the smallest, it is one of the oldest and most unique. It covers a small piece of land between the Mediterranean shore and the coastal mountains, north of Barcelona. It produces quality wines and is famous for its white wines, in which some are considered one of the best in the world.

    DO Catalunya: It is a DO that fosters experimentation, as wines can be produced with a great variety of grapes in a wide range of soils. This DO has been growing significantly in the last few years, exporting more than 40 million bottles to more than 100 countries.

    DO Conca de Barberà: It corresponds to a Catalan county with a very old wine tradition, coming from Medieval monasteries in the zone. Since the creation of this DO in 1989, there has been a continuous effort to modernise the cellars and the vineyards. The speciality of this DO is top-quality red wine, which is produced together with white and rosé. Most of these wines use a grape type that is autochthonous from the county that is called Trepat.

    DO Costers del Segre: It is Lleida’s DO, split into the following sub zones: Artesa, Vall del Riu Corb, les Garrigues, Pallars Jussà, Raimat, and Segrià. It employs advanced technology and is famous for its innovation, changing grape varieties and fostering “Ull de Llebre”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnatxa, Sirah and Merlot.

    DO Empordà: This DO is seeing new cellars booming in the Northern coast of Catalonia. New and old cellars are easily adapting themselves to new technology trends, changing harvest patterns and restructuring vineyards.

    DO Montsant: It is the youngest Catalan DO, located in the southern part of Catalonia. Despite this fact, it has achieved a good market positioning. This DO includes the sub zones of South Priorat and some zones in Ribera d’Ebre. The soil has a high percentage of mineral salts, which is one of the main characteristics of this region. The cellars are young and modern, producing a small quantity of wine but of a great quality.

    DO Penedès: This is probably the most famous wine region within Catalonia. It has powerful cellars, always improving their technology and innovating. It has traditionally been associated with white wines, but in the last years it has also started to produce top quality red wines, which have been internationally recognised.

    DO Pla de Bages: It is a small DO but that produces quality wines. In the last years, wine producers from this DO have put effort recuperating an autochthonous type of grape: the “picapoll”, which is very small and can be either red or white.

    DO Priorat: In the last 10 years, this DO has lived through a revolution, being recognised worldwide and seeing some of its red wines reaching the highest prices in specialised shops all over the world. The DO has new cellars, young entrepreneurs and experts who all work to maintain this DO among the best of the world. Their wines have a unique strong taste, full of peculiarities.

    DO Tarragona: It is the oldest Catalan DO, producing liquor wines of great quality, such as Tarragona Clàssic. In the last years, red-wines have joined their traditional white and rosé wines.

    DO Terra Alta: Many of the cellars from this DO work as a cooperative. Their wines have a singular taste and are reaching great levels of quality in the last years. Their rosé varieties are very fruity, the white have a low acidity and the red have a round body and a dark colour. Finally, there is one DO that needs to be explained aside, the DO Cava.

    DO Cava: This DO is shared with 6 other Autonomous Communities within Spain apart from Catalonia. However, 95% of DO Cava’s production come from Catalonia. More than 200 million bottles are sold each year, a number that grows year by year. Cava is famous all over the world. In the past it was sold as a cheap replacement for Champaign, but in the last years top-quality cava has started to be exported and has become famous for its great quality which is at a much more affordable price than the French Champaign.

Abadal's dry stone hut in which the grapes are fermented (by E. Escolà)

21.10.14 - 17:25

Catalan vineyard first in Europe to produce wine in a dry stone vat reviving an old method

Abadal wine cellar, in Pla de Bages appelation in central Catalonia, is the first in Europe to begin fermenting their grapes in big vats of dry Stone located outdoors, in the midst of the vineyards. The method is at once innovative and...

Cava exports have broken a new record this 2012 with nearly 161 million bottles sold (by E. Escolà)

02.04.13 - 22:32

The cava sector sold of 243 million bottles in 2012, a 1.53% increase thanks to exports

The exports of this sparkling wine very similar to Champagne reached 161 million bottles sold, representing an historical record. 41 million bottles went to non-European markets, such as China and Brazil. In Japan, the consumption of cava...
Albert Vilà, the owner of Mas Comtal winery, picking some grapes to be checked and decide the best moment to harvest them (ACN)

23.08.12 - 22:59

Start of the grape harvest in Penedès that will produce an ‘excellent’ vintage

The Penedès wine appellation is expecting “excellent” wines from this year’s harvest. Catalonia’s most important viticultural area has already started harvesting its chardonnay grapes and is expecting to harvest the other varieties in the...
The shop of Alella Vinícola (by K. Zitnanska)

10.04.12 - 20:32

Alella DO, one of the oldest wine regions in Spain on Barcelona’s doorstep

Alella offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a wine culture in vineyards just 15 kilometres from Barcelona. One of the smallest and oldest Spanish wine appellations (DO), it is perfectly situated on the Mediterranean coast, protected by the Litoral...
Grapes from the Empordà Appellation (by X. Pi)

16.07.13 - 17:24

Empordà Wine Appellation exported 13% more in 2012

The Empordà wine Appellation located in north-eastern Catalonia has seen a significant increase in its export levels in 2012. With more than 40 small cellars and cooperatives, Empordà has a large assortment of red, white and...

Medieval stairs at the old Royal Palace of Vilafranca del Penedès (by J. Polinario)

09.10.12 - 15:05

Penedès wine’s museum reopens its doors after a big renovation to strengthen enotourism

Located in the centre of Catalonia, the area of Penedès is known for its high quality wine and cava. Due to the long tradition in this region of the production of these drinks and the growing presence of wine tourism, it was decided to strengthen...
Harvesting grapes at the Alta Alella winery (by J. Pujolar)

20.08.12 - 23:00

Alella wineries begin a grape harvest of “exceptional” quality and comparable to 2005

Alella wineries, in Greater Barcelona, have started this summer’s harvest, with predictions that this year’s vintage may be better than 2005 thanks to the absence of plant disease and favourable weather conditions throughout the year. For now,...
Freixenet workers packing cava bottles (by ACN)

22.02.12 - 00:01

Cava wine sales abroad grow by 2.07% in 2011

The total amount of sales of the Catalan wine fell by 2.14% last year, due to poor results in the domestic market. The record of 152 million cava bottles sold abroad does not compensate for the fall at home.
The Catalan sommelier Isabel Chuecos-Ruiz at Barcelona's Airport (by E. Romagosa)

25.06.13 - 21:53

Barcelona's VIP Airport lounge users are able to taste Priorat DO wine for free

The ‘Pau Casals VIP lounge’ at Barcelona's Airport Terminal 1 offers the opportunity to taste between three or six Priorat (Tarragona) DO wines. Every Thursday afternoon in May, June and July, VIP travellers who leave or stop over in Barcelona...
High quality Cava is started being discovered in Europe (by ACN)

12.09.12 - 23:40

Cava starts to become the sparkling wine of choice in Europe with record levels of exports

150 million bottles of Catalan Cava were exported last year. It is a historic record for Cava producers with Germany and the United Kingdom being the main importers. The Catalan sparkling wine has the perception of being inexpensive in these...
Etim bottles, produced by a cellar from the Montsant DO (by ACN)

05.06.12 - 01:35

Catalan Wine on show in New York

A selection of wines and cellars from Catalonia have travelled to New York to find new distributors. The event is being held on Tuesday June 5th at The Carriage House, from the Gabarrón Foundation. After New York, the Catalan red, white and cava...
Poboleda hosted the Wine and Vineyard Old-Fashion Festival (by DOQ Priorat)

12.09.11 - 21:00

Priorat wines from 2011 will be scarcer but of greater quality

The strong heat diminishes the production of grapes of the wine region Priorat, but their quality is better. Priorat’s Protected Geographical Indication, which brings together some 600 farmers, expects a fall in grape production of around 15%,...
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