A Brief Introduction To Catalan Wine (Local Grapes & Wine Regions)

Luckily, Barcelona has good Catalan Wine. In fact, Catalonia is home of fantastic wines. Wine and food define our culture and folklore. Keep reading to learn more about the best wines in Catalonia.

Quick History Of Wine In Catalonia

The Greek colonies in the Emporda region introduced the cultivation of vines probably over 2000 years ago. Later, the Romans centralized the production around Tarraco (Tarragona) and Alella, near Barcino (Barcelona).

During the medieval ages, monasteries developed and improved the varieties, such as in the cases of Priorat.

Catalan Wine Industry Nowadays

The Industry nowadays represents ~25% of the total Spanish production of wine with ~380 million bottles per year.

Best Catalan Wine Producing Regions

The region boasts 11 protected regions, with very marked styles and production qualities.

DO Alella
DO Catalunya
DO Conca del Barbera
DO Costers del Segre
DO Emporda
DO Montsant (Recommended!)
DO Penedes (Recommended!)
DO Pla de Bages
DOQ Priorat (Highly Recommended!)
DO Tarragona
DO Terra Alta.

Grapes Used In Catalan Wine

Native Catalan Grape Varieties

Macabeu
Xarel·lo
Pansa blanca
Picapoll.
Sumoll (Red)
Trepat (Red)

Traditional Catalan Grapes

Garnatxa (Grenache)
Malvasia
Monestrell
Moscatell
Parellada
Samsó
Ull de llebre.

In addition to the native and traditional grape varieties, Catalan wineries also produce international modern varieties such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah, and many others.

The Best Catalan Wine Regions

DOQ Priorat

Wines from Priorat are usually considered among the best three reds in Spain, along with Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

Without any kind of doubt, Priorat produces some of the best reds in the world. This is no exaggeration.

Recommended DOQ Priorat Wines:
Martinet Bru, Red, 92 Parker (19EUR Check on Amazon)
Plaer, Red, 92 Parker (19EUR)

DO Montsant

Wines from Montsant region are usually full-bodied garnacha reds. They are similar to Priorat, but usually offer a much better price-quality ratio.

Recommended DO Montsant Wines:
Les Argiles D’Orto, Red, 91 Parker(8EUR)

DO Penedes

Just about 30 km away from Barcelona, Penedes is an area famous for the sparkling Cava, the Catalan version of Champagne.

Recommended DO Penedes Wines:
Can Sumoi Xarel.lo, White, 91 Parker, (11EUR)
Miranius, White, 91 Parker, (10EUR)

The region hosts one of the most modern production facilities and wineries and is famous for producing a good range of affordable decent reds.

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Finally, Penedes is great for wine fans who want to discover wineries. Big names like Codorniu, Freixenet, or Torras are open for visits.

If you are curious about the wine process, give yourself half a day and head to the Penedes to visit one of the local wineries.

Where To Buy Catalan Wine In Barcelona?

In Barcelona, virtually every supermarket has a relatively acceptable set of wines and cavas – even 24h shops.

Larger supermarkets and specialised shops are also recommended, for example La Tienda del Gourmet in El Corte Ingles.

My favorite wine shops are El Celler D’En Dani and Vila Vinateca, and Vinissimus franchise stores.

Where To Buy Catalan Wine Online?

Online shops like Decantalo and Enterwine are the best options and offer Europe-wide deliveries at very acceptable prices.

Buying online is specially recommended for purchased of 6 or more bottles or special wines that are hard to find in local shops.

Did you visit any winery that you would recommend? Let us know in the comments section below! 🙂