This is the first in a series of posts about Cataluña’s Priorat wine region. Over the series we will introduce you to this region and wine type, which has been gaining popularity, and then share with you information from our visit to a few of the vineyards in the region.
The Priorat wine region is located about 1.5 hours south of Barcelona in the province of Tarragona. It is easily accessed via the motorway AP-7 (toll road) south towards Tarragona. Get off the AP-7 at exit 34 and follow the signs to T-11 towards the town of Reus. Once past Reus look for signs to N-420, which is the smaller, local road that will take you to Falset, which is the capital of the region, and a good place to select as a base for exploring the surrounding villages and wineries.
The wine region received its Denominació d’Origen (DO), which means Designation of Origen, in 1954. But winemaking in the region can be traced back to the 12th C. when the monks from the Carthusian Monastery Scala Dei (Ladder to God) began planting vineyards on the steep terraced hillsides of the region and making wine. The monks ruled over the seven nearby villages for over 600 years, until their land was seized by the state in 1835. The monks fled and the monastery was subsequently ransacked and burned down by the local peasants who revolted against the oppression they had been subjected to by the church. The ruins of the Scala Dei Monastery can still be visited, and this site is a must see for visitors to the region. For more information on the monastery, click here.
Our next post in the series will provide info on how this region was revitalized in 1979 and caught the attention of wine lovers and critics the world over.
To read the next post in this series, click here.
Photo credit: © Christopher Pappas · All rights reserved.
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