The Priorat county or region is to be found to the south of Catalonia and only 130 km from Barcelona.  From its hidden location, away from the ever-changing bustle of the outside world, this land has watched history unfold. It is a land of steep vineyards, harsh cliffs and imposing rock-faces, hidden valleys and cool ravines. It is a place of flatlands and mountains, crystal-clear streams, sunny and ordered cultivated areas. It is a world of small but resilient villages which have survived plagues, severe frosts, conquests and floods. This land has been inhabited since men lived in caves; since they started to work the land and build dry-stone walls to support the slopes. They cleared the forests...
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The Priorat county or region is to be found to the south of Catalonia and only 130 km from Barcelona. 

From its hidden location, away from the ever-changing bustle of the outside world, this land has watched history unfold. It is a land of steep vineyards, harsh cliffs and imposing rock-faces, hidden valleys and cool ravines. It is a place of flatlands and mountains, crystal-clear streams, sunny and ordered cultivated areas. It is a world of small but resilient villages which have survived plagues, severe frosts, conquests and floods. This land has been inhabited since men lived in caves; since they started to work the land and build dry-stone walls to support the slopes. They cleared the forests and planted their crops; they constructed bridges, hermitages.

The region of the Priorat has two wine designations of origin or wine appellations, the DOQ Priorat (the more prestigious) and the DO Montsant (DOQ- Denominació d’Origen Qualificada; DO– Denominació d’Origen).

The first recorded evidence of grape growing and wine production dates from the 12th century, when the monks from the Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei, founded in 1194, introduced the art of viticulture in the area.

The prior of Scala Dei ruled as a feudal lord over seven villages in the area, which gave rise to the name Priorat. The monks tended the vineyards for centuries until 1835 when they were expropriated by the state, and distributed to smallholders.

The traditional grape variety grown in El Priorat is the red Garnacha Tinta, which is found in all the older vineyards. Also authorised are the following red varieties: Garnacha Blanca, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Four white varieties are also authorised: Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo, Pedro Ximénez and Chenin.

WHEN TO GO AND HOW LONG FOR?

Priorat is a good place to visit all year round, but as it is an area which is based on agriculture, the landscape is ever changing.

Priorat is a very dry region with limited annual rainfall (around 400 litres a year) and is clearly a region of stark contrast: intense heat in the summer and cold in the winter with some snowfall, mainly in January and February.

Its small geographical area and proximity between wineries facilitates an easily trip to visit different wineries in one day. If what you want is a visit of several days, Priorat offers many alternatives such as hotels, rural guesthouse, restaurants, idyllic countryside of vineyards and cultural visits.

WHERE TO GO?

  • There are more than 50 wineries in Priorat region that would like to share their excellent wines with you whilst showing you how they are making wines for the future.
  • The Olive oil of the Priorat is a superb oil. We would like to invite you to get to know how it is made, its characteristics and the various oil mills or presses which make up the Olive oil Route.
  • Falset wine castle
  • Bellmunt del Priorat Lead Mine and Museum
  • The Llaberia Mountain Ranges
  • The visitor’s centre for the interpretation and reproduction of the Hermann tortoise and the Marçà Aroma Park
  • Siurana reservoir

DON'T MISS!

  • Carthusian Monastery of Santa Maria d'Escaladei: Wander around this monastery founded by French monks from Provence, who established here the first charter-house on the Iberian Peninsula.
  • The Montsant Mountain Range symbolises the Priorat and the Montsant hermitages: It is not one of the highest mountains, neither is it the one that stretches the furthest, and yet, the strength of its geography is unquestionable and visit some of more than 10 hermitages located between mountains, some of them with hermits.
  • The gastronomic choice in the Priorat is very varied. The region is home to traditional restaurants, but also to modern cuisine which promote the culture of quality wines and olive oils.
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