Wine tasting in the Priorat
Visiting the wineries in Catalonia can be the perfect excuse to travel. Start your wine route through this autonomous community that's full of history.
TRAVELLING WITH TASTE
When it comes to wines from Catalonia, we must mention El Priorat, a region with an ancient winemaking tradition, where wines known for their full-bodied flavour were already famous by the 12th century. Currently, there are two protected designations of origin (DO) in El Priorat: the certified DOC Priorat, which is made up of the historical territory of El Priorat, and the DO Montsant, a newer DO but which is every bit as good as the most classic wines of the area.
Wine tourism in Catalonia
With its diverse but largely unknown wine-growing landscape, the Priorat region is full of hidden and unexpected places of great beauty, walks among vineyards that are full of intense colours and aromas that delight us with an ever-changing landscape throughout the four seasons. As well as being a special terroir, El Priorat is characterised by a rugged topography, with steep slopes and spectacular landscapes. So much so that winegrowers have to build terraces to cultivate their vineyards. Not to be missed are the range of wineries that can be visited in the region, as well as the various activities they offer: from grape-treading to watching the grape harvest or taking part in a guided wine tasting, they make for a very appetising tourist experience.
Gastronomy of El Priorat
In this region of Tarragona, the game cuisine and the fish caught on the Costa Daurada really stand out. But if the area has one dish par excellence, it is the "tortilla con zumo", an omelette made with white beans and spinach. Cooked on a bed of tomato sauce, garlic and other vegetables depending on the version, the omelette is then boiled. Versions can be found which add other ingredients, such as dried, salted cod or minced meat, etc. to the sauce.
Another of the typical regional dishes that leaves no one indifferent is "llebre amb xocolata", a gastronomic delicacy, which is hare cooked in local red wine and served with chopped almonds, pine nuts and chocolate.
When it comes to desserts, almonds are a notable part of the region's typical sweet dishes. Some of the most typical regional sweets include "Menjar blanc", made with almond milk, "garapinyadas" and "barretets" (meringue with nuts), not forgetting almond "ensanguinades" (a kind of cake) and quince jelly, which is very popular in El Priorat.
Must see places in El Priorat
- Cartoixa d'Escaladei. A construction dating back to 1215 and which, according to accounts, was the first Carthusian monastery in the Iberian Peninsula. Today, you can visit the ruins by walking around the exterior of the three cloisters, the church and the refectory, and even a reconstructed cell.
- Castell del Vi, Falset. This is the wine castle of the Counts of Prades in Falset, which was built in the 12th century after the Christian reconquest of New Catalonia. Take a tour of the wine culture and the particularities of the region's two appellations of origin: DOC Priorat and DO Montsant.
- Siurana's historical and scenic landscape. Located on top of a cliff, it is the perfect place from which to enjoy magnificent views of the Montsant mountain range as well as the Gritella and Prades Mountains. The most important building in the town is the Romanesque church, with a portal that features a figurative tympanum framed by three half-point archivolts resting on columns that are decorated with various motifs. It is also a perfect destination for climbers and hikers.
- Mine Museum of Bellmunt del Priorat. Located in the municipality of Bellmunt, this mining complex was the most important of the mining operations of the El Priorat basin due to its output and dimensions, about 14 km of underground galleries, 620 m deep, with 20 underground floors. Galena, the ore that was mined there, was obtained and exported in ingots.