The geographical location of Catalonia, its natural characteristics as the weather and its soils, as well as the use of advanced techniques, have made its viticulture fruitful for the production of its wine, achieving a great variety, quality and constancy throughout the weather.
All this has made Catalonia a recognized part of the world, as an enoturist destination with a notoriety that is increasing.
For Catalans, this delicious drink is so rooted in its own history and culture, that every good wine that is enjoyed maintains the millenary essence that precedes it.
Brief review of the vineyard in Catalonia.
It was in the Roman Empire when the vineyard became stronger and produced a large export market for wines throughout the Mediterranean. But it is not until the eighteenth century that the vineyard becomes one of the main sources of income for the peasants in Catalonia.
By the end of the 19th century, a very important artistic movement called the Modernism exploded, where architects such as Gaudí, César Martinell, Cadafalch, among others, built huge wineries, known as the Cathedrals of Wine, which gave a great boost to this red liquor.
That’s why, when you have a wine tradition and history, like Catalonia has, they make wine an important part of their culture. And that’s what the wine tourism of Catalonia is based on, to make the world know another of its assets; wines full of tradition, nature, perfection and modernism.
Wine tourism in Catalonia
For Catalonia, the possession of wine and cava lands have made their potential to make tourism in their area and attract more visitors even greater.
It is one of the precursor territories of this activity, and for people who love discovering new places where wine is the protagonist it is about more than just smelling, sipping and tasting, it is about discovering the wonderful landscapes of the region and its valuable architectural and cultural heritages.
So if you decide to have the interesting experience of wine tourism, either because you are a connoisseur on the subject or because you are excited about the idea of knowing new flavors, you won’t regret choosing Catalonia.
Based on its 11 appellations of origin wine and one of origin cava, the Tourism Agency of Catalonia established an enotourism program with the aim of promoting the marketing of tourist offer based on tourism in wine production areas.
An experience where the vine is the star
Catalonia has more than 300 wineries that can be visited, providing tourists with valuable information on how the winemaking process works, as well as the care of the grapes, the choice and the combination.
You will also know all the steps related to the vintage, the fermentation, the packaging, the labeling and the most desired of the whole journey, the tasting of its delicious wines.
And what better way to get to know and enjoy all these steps with family or friends, than with the extensive range of activities that Catalonia offers for lovers of wine tourism, such as walking through vineyards on foot, cycling or segway or to make a delicious picnic in which there is a good wine.
The Cathedrals of Wine
The Cathedrals of the Wine are called like this by their imposing and similarity to the religious sanctuaries, these are some agricultural cooperatives that rose at the beginning of the 20th century in the rural areas of the province.
These wineries conditioned to the process of winemaking and which were declared in 2002 cultural goods of national interest, are part of an immense architectural value, designed by great referents of modernism, among which the most relevant is César Martinell.
Routes of the Wine Cathedrals that you can not miss:
- Gandesa Corporate Warehouse: a modernist style building, designed by César Martinell. The building houses the winery of the village cooperative where they make Terra Alta Designation of Origin wine, where you can take guided tours with wine tasting with prior reservation.
- Pinell de Brai Corporate Winery: it is one of the most surprising wineries in the Terra Alta and a visit that must undoubtedly be on your wine tourism trip. You can tour this winery with audio guides or with guided tours, the views include wine tasting and the oil produced in the area. It has a store for shopping and a restaurant.
- L’Espluga de Francolí Agricultural Corporate Warehouse: in this winery you can visit the Wine Museum, which has three levels. The first one teaches the history, the cultivation and elaboration of the wine, in the second level the elaboration of the wine is explained and in the third level the building is exposed as a modernist work.
It also has guided tours, tastings of wines and oils and has an online store.
There are just a few options, if you want more information related to wine tourism, you can find it on the website of the Catalan Institute of Vine and Wine of the Generalitat of Catalonia (www.incavi.cat)
Some reasons for wine tourism in Catalonia:
- It has 2500 years of culture of the vineyard and wine.
- More than 300 wineries to expose the secret of their wines and cavas.
- You will taste wines and cavas of international renown.
- It has 12 DO’s: 11 denominations of wine origin plus one of cava.
By walking through the wineries, you will know and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the sea, mountains, valleys and coasts, where the spectacular Mediterranean vineyards are located.