Whilst it’s only small in area, Priorat produces the most expensive red wines in Spain. If you like powerful reds, similar to the Rhone Valley, then Priorat could be the area for you! Be ready for high alcohol levels as this area gets a lot of sunshine and very little rain so the fruit concentration is high.
The licorella soils of volcanic origin, which make Priorat famous, are special because of their light-reflecting and heat-conserving characteristics which confer a special quality to the wine.
At Winerist, we think Priorat is a wine lover’s dream. Its natural beauty and rich history make it a fascinating place to visit, and, because of its small area, wineries are located close together making it easy to visit several in one day. With over 50 wineries concentrated around the towns of Gratallops and Falset, you have your pick of wineries to choose from.
Priorat isn’t just for wine lovers though; foodies can happily enjoy the local cuisine which is out of this world! Organic, locally-produced ingredients create hearty meals that’ll leave you stomach full and your mouth watering, such as lamb, sausages, goat’s cheese and ‘pa am tomaquet’ (bread with garlic and tomato).
If you’re booking a trip, combine a Priorat wine expedition with a city break in Barcelona; it’s only 130km between them, so you can enjoy wine and the city in one stay. We recommend at least 1-2 days in Priorat plus a few more if you want to visit Barcelona. Any time of the year is good to travel, as Priorat is a very dry region with limited annual rainfall.
Between the amazing wines, delicious foods and beautiful scenery, Priorat is a must-visit destination for wine lovers.
Our top things to do in Priorat:
Clos Figueras Winery – no trip is complete without a visit to Clos Figueras winery. This beautiful, family-owned wine estate is right in the heart of Gratallops and winery tours are available to guests (be sure to book in advance though). Winerist tip: don’t miss lunch at their restaurant which specialises in Catalan tapas and ecologically, locally-farmed products like olive oil, charcuterie, Catalan sausages and lamb, all paired with their beautiful wines. Tours from €15.
Priorat Wine Tour and Winery Visit – visit two wine cellars to learn about wine production. Ask your questions to discover what goes into the wines before enjoying a wine tasting of the properties’ finest wines paired with a food tasting. From €195.
Scala Dei Wine Tour of Priorat – explore the beautiful monastery of Scala Dei where monks once made wine. Throughout the day enjoy wine tastings, meeting the winemaker at wineries along the way and a delicious Catalan lunch. From €110.
Wineries and Vineyards of Priorat – let the winemaker lead you around the vines during this day tour near the breathtaking Montsant mountain range. Feast on a lunch typical to the region and enjoy your day discovering new and mouth-watering flavours. From €110.
Hotel Rural Cal Torner – this beautifully-restored old country house offers cosiness and comfort to all guests visiting Priorat. From €99.
Hotel & Restaurant Cal Llop– With only 10 rooms, this boutique hotel boasts privacy, rest and relaxation. Wine loves from all over the world enjoy staying here as the hotel hosts many wine related events. From €112.
Hotel Hostal Sport – This family-run hotel is located in Falset, the capital of Priorat. They highlight Catalan wines of DO Montsant and Priorat DOQ and the local gastronomy through their splendid restaurant, wine tours and special wine offers. From €99.
Don’t miss these Priorat events:
Priorat Wine Fair – held at the beginning of May in the capital town of the Priorat, Falset, and the surrounding towns is a truly unique event, popular with wine lovers. Hotel and tour reservations are recommended months in advance. Many wineries take part with street stands showcasing their wines as well as special cellar tours, wine & food pairings and professional tastings.
Poboleda Wine Harvest Festival – this festival marks the beginning of harvest in Priorat, and this year it will take place on 13th of September 2014 (typically the weekend in mid September). The day starts early at around 7.30am when villagers go harvesting using old fashioned methods and traditional local dress. It is followed up by wine tastings and a popular paella and more wine!
Find more information on Priorat, plus great things to do with our regional Travel Guide.
Winerist is a travel website dedicated to bringing unique and unforgettable experiences to food and wine enthusiasts worldwide. From staying with winemakers in California to cycling through the vineyards of Chile, Winerist believe that wine and food travel can be simple. (ed. All photos in this article are courtesy of Winerist)