Popular folklore in Catalunya, documented by the Generalitat of Catalunya, indicates that it was the region of Emporda was the first to have wine vines in the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, Phoenicians were producing wines in the region as early as the 6th century B.C., when they established colonial settlements in the region.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMonks played an important role in creating fabulous wines during the 11th and 12th centuries, with Father Pere de Nova producing a treatise on wine from inside the walls of the hallowed Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes in 1130. The slopes of the Rodes Mountain range were filled with terraced vinyards, honing the craft of the monks who tended to the vines. Sant Pere de Rodes is fabled to have been a potential location of the Holy Grail, and in 1903 a case with relics was unearthed, rumoured to be remnants of St. Peter. The items recovered are now on display at the Museo d’art de Girona.

Emporda achieved its DO status in 1972. However, the region was focused on bulk wine production with lower quality wines, including sweet wines and lighter fair such as rosés.This began to change in the 1990s, leading noted wine connoisseur Robert Parker to declare in the September 2005 edition of The Wine Advocate that the region could become the next Priorat.

Today, Emporda is a vibrant region led by the world famous Castillo Peralada, which has been producing top quality wines for three generations and whose location is a tourist destination in itself with festivals, a literary museum, concert venue and well preserved religious architecture. DO Emporda consists of two areas, one on the French border from Cadaques on the coast to La Jonquera inland, extending down to Figueres. The other section is in the coastal region on the eastern side of the Les Gavarres range of mountains, concentrated near La Bisbal Emporda, and also around the area of Palamos.

The Castle in the town of Peralada, home of the vineyard of the same name.
The Castle in the town of Peralada, home of the vineyard of the same name.

The tourist trade has become an important focus for DO Emporda, with their announcement in April of 2014 of a “Wine Route,” publicised on the Costa Brava tourist website, where you can find links to vineyards, boutique hotels and restaurants in the region.

As far as varieties are concerned, Emporda production focuses on Granatxa blanca, Macabeu, and Moscatell for whites. In red varieties, you’ll find a focus on Samso and Garnatxa tinta.

The full list of varieties authorised are as follows:

  • Granatxa blanca, Macabeau, Moscatell, Chardonnay Gewurztraminer, Malvoisie, Muscat a Petits Grains, Picpoul Blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Xarel lo.
  • Samso, Garnatxa tinta, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot Monstrell, Tempranillo, Syrah, Garnacha Peluda


The vineyards of DO Emporda are in the following list. Vineyards highlighted in blue have active hotlinks to the their websites.