Conca de Barbera is located in the northern part of the province of Tarragona, in the areas surrounding the Francoli and Anguera rivers. While the Conca de Barbera was only granted official DO status in 1985, the region has a long and storied history of winemaking.
Conca de Barbera is the home of the oldest wine cooperative in Spain, established at the Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet in the 12th century. It was there that the Cistercian monks worked the fields side by side with the fabled Knights of the Templar to create treasured wines; the techniques used by the monks and knights have been passed down through the generations and are still used today.
Beginning in the late eighteenth century, the region specialised in the export of wine to North Europe and also North and South America. The vineyards in the region constructed terraces and bancalades on the mountain slopes to maximize their yields and increase production. The success of the industry led to the expedited construction of the Montblanc-Reus train route to deliver their bounty for export to the coastal towns of Tarragona.
Building on the long standing tradition of wine cooperatives, the farmers of the village of Barbera founded a union in 1894, in order to collectively deal with the phylloxera epidemic which struck Europe. The union began replanting vineyards in order to revive the industry, and the success of their efforts led to the construction of the cooperative winery in the village of Barbera in 1903.
The main varieties of wine are whites and pinks, directly related to the production of Cava. Conca de Barbera vineyards have a focus on traditional white wines, utilising Macabeo and Parellada grapes for white wine production. The region has introduced Chardonnay in recent times.
The El Trepat variety of grape is a native variety to the region, used in the production of rosado Cava. Trapat grapes are finicky about their soil and not fans of calcium rich soils. The Trapat thrives in Conca de Barbera due to its lower altitude location and warm climate, as Trapat does not do well with colder climates, and susceptible to frost damage.
Conca de Barbera is the home of the famous Grans Muralles wines, produced by one of the most famous wine brands in the world, Torres. The estate borders the Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet, and is certainly a destination for wine pilgrims from around the world.
The variety of grapes grown in the region are as follows:
- Parellada, Chardonnay, and Macabeu whites
- El Trapat, Ull de llebre, Garnatxa negra, and Cabernet Sauvignon reds
The office and interpretive centre for DO Conca de Barbera is quite noteworthy in itself, as it is located in Torre del Portal de Sant Antoni, one of the towers of the medieval walls surrounding the old town of Montblanc.
The member vineyards of DO Conca de Barbera. Active links to websites are highlighted in blue:
- Abadia de Poblet
- Agricola de Barbera
- Agricola de Pira
- Agricola i Seccio de Credit de l’Espluga
- Bodegas Miguel Torres
- Cara Nord Celler
- Carlania Celler
- Celler Cal Joan
- Celler Carles Andreu
- Celler Clos Montblanc
- Celler Escoda-Sanahuja
- Celler Heredad Pallares
- Celler Jordi Llorens
- Celler Mas Foraster
- Celler Rende Masdéu
- Celler Rosa Ma Torres
- Celler Sanstravé
- Celler Tintore de Vimbodi i Poblet
- Celler Vega Aixala
- Celler Vins de Pedra
- Cellers Domenys i Seccio de Credit (Blancafort)
- Cellers Domenys i Seccio de Credit (Rocafort de Queralt)
- Cellers Roset
- Dasca Vives Celler
- Gatzara Vins
- Gerida Viticultors
- Mas del Tossal
- Moi dels Capellans
- Simo de Palau
- Succes Vinicola
- Vinicola de Sarral Seccio de Credit (Covisal)
- Vinyes de l’Alba
- Viticultors de Solivella
- Viticultors Mas del Nen