Naturalis Historia, written by the famous Roman historian Pliny the Elder, documented the winemaking region of Alella. At that time, it was know as the winemaking centre of Roman Laietania. Today, you can visit the cella vinaria archaeological park in Teia.Wine from the region was made by the Romans until the 4th century AD. After the Romans, Alella was the favoured wine of the court of the Kings of Aragon.
Like many wine regions of Europe, Alella fell victim to the deadly phyloxera outbreak, destroying wine production. Vineyards of the region planted the plague-resistant vines from the New World, and wine production was restored. In 1906, the wine cooperative Alella Vinicola was founded, and included the construction of an Art-Nouveau winery in downtown Alella, designed by noted Antoni Gaudi disciple Jeroni Martorell. The cooperative become known for their Marfil brand of wine. Today, you can still visit Alella Vinicola, and drink in the historic architecture of the winery.
Alella has been registered as a Denominacion de Origen (DO) in Spain since 1956. It is unique as it is the only remaining “urban” wine growing region in the world, with its close proximity to Barcelona. While an extension in 1989 granted it extra territory in 1989, it still is much smaller than it was in 1956.
In 2010, Alella DO established a presence to promote the region and provide information to the local and international visitors of all the events occurring throughout the year. Alella DO also maintains close connections to wine bars, restaurants, and accommodations in the area, offering many opportunities for tourists to enjoy their visit.
The region features the following varieties:
- Garnacha blanca
- Garancha Negra
Vineyards are also authorised to grow the following varieties:
- Chardonnay, Chenin, Macabeo, Malvasia, Moscatell de gra petit, Parellada, Picapoll blanc and Sauvignon blanc
- Cabernet sauvignon, Garnacha peluda, Merlot, Monastrell, Pinot noir, Samso, Mazuela Sumoll negre, Syrah, Tempranillo
The two principal regions for growing are Maresme and Valles. Maresme is on the Mediterranean coast on the vast number of hills above the beach areas. Maresme also has a unique topsoil, known as “saulo” in Catalan. The sandy soil has a granite composition giving it a better ability to retain heat. Valles is located on the opposite slopes of the coastal mountain region of Maresme, facing inland towards the north.
The Vineyards of the region are listed below. You can click on the the name, and it will take you to websites, as applicable. If the link is not active, the vineyard has not listed their website address, or does not have a website.
- Alella Vinicola
- Alta Alella
- Altrabanda – Serralada de Marina
- Bouquet d’Alella
- Can Roda
- Joaquim Batlle
- Marques de Alella