We have a new obsession we can’t wait to tell you about: Priorat Wine. You know our passion for Spanish vino runs deep, and Spain’s Priorat Wine Region has us over the moon with its exquisite wine, stunning views, and rich history. 

Just a short two-hour drive from Barcelona, you’ll find Priorat: a hidden gem surrounded by the Montsant Mountains. Once you reach one of the hilltop vineyards, you will see some of the most gorgeous views: little picturesque villages, rugged rock walls and terrain. On a clear day, you can even spot the Pyrenees Mountains! You’ll fall in love with this place as soon as you get there. 

Now, let’s talk wine: get ready to be wowed by the world-class wines you’ll discover in the cellars here. Priorat is one of only two regions in Spain to hold the prestigious DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) status, the highest recognition for Spanish wine regions. This status really speaks to the exceptional quality and unique notes of Priorat’s wines. 

But it’s not just about the wine. A visit to Priorat means enjoying Mediterranean cuisine that pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of the region’s wine. 

And for those with an appreciation for art and architecture, you’re also in for a treat. Most wineries incorporate contemporary art installations, sculptures and modern architecture that blend seamlessly with the rustic surroundings.

So, why wait? Your next adventure should definitely be a wine tour in Priorat. First, let’s explore together and discover why it’s such a dream destination for wine lovers.  

The Unique History Behind Priorat Wines

What first drew us to the Priorat wine region was its incredible story, stretching all the way back to the 12th century. So, grab a glass of wine and settle in, because we’re about to share an epic story! 

Believe it or not. It all began in 1163 when wine was first introduced to this area. Legend has it that a shepherd dreamed of a long ladder reaching up to the sky from this very land. Inspired by this vision, Carthusian monks founded the Scala Dei Monastery (Ladder to God) and began the tradition of winemaking in Priorat. The symbol for Priorat’s prestigious DOCa status is even based on the original monastery’s emblem: featuring the heavenly ladder surrounded by angels and grapes. 

For the next few centuries, these monks mastered the art of grape-growing, creating unique terraces that are still in use today. But, like any great tale, Priorat’s story had its dark days. In the late 1800s, the region was devastated by the phylloxera epidemic, which destroyed most of the vineyards. For decades, Priorat struggled to recover. 

Fast forward to the 1980s, when a group of forward-thinking winemakers saw potential in the region’s rugged, abandoned vineyards. They began revitalizing the area, planting low-yield, high-quality vines like Garnacha and Cariñena, which thrived in the distinctive slate soil known as “Ilicorella.” They adopted meticulous vineyard management practices, such as careful pruning, to ensure highest grape quality. 

Blending traditional methods with modern techniques, these winemakers used practices like foot treading and aging in large oak barrels to bring out the complexity of their wines. Their dedication and innovation eventually led to the international recognition that Priorat wines have today. 

So, if you’re a wine lover looking for something truly special, Priorat’s rich history and exceptional wines are not to be missed. Let’s see what exactly makes it so incredible! 

What Makes Priorat Wine So Special?

There’s a reason why Priorat wine is famous around the world. While its rich history plays a part, there’s so much more that contributes to the unique complexity and deliciousness of this wine. Here are four key factors that make Priorat wine truly special: 

Unique Soil

One of the standout features of Priorat wine is the soil in which the grapes are grown. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill dirt—Priorat’s soil, known as “Ilicorella,” is a fascinating blend of slate and quartz. This unique mix gives the wine its distinctive taste and character, setting it apart from wines produced in other regions. The rocky, mineral-rich soil ensures that the vines work hard to reach nutrients, resulting in grapes that are bursting with intense and bold flavors. 

The Different Grape Varieties

Priorat wine isn’t a one-grape wonder; it’s a beautiful medley of different grape varieties that each bring something special to the table. The main stars are Garnacha and Cariñena, but there’s also a supporting cast of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. This diverse blend creates a wine that you will enjoy with all your senses; its complexity and depth will be the reason you’ll want to come back here once you leave! 

Traditional Winemaking Techniques

In Priorat, winemaking is more than just a process—it’s a tradition deeply rooted in the region’s history. Winemakers here have been following centuries-old techniques passed down through generations. From hand-harvesting the grapes, to carefully controlling fermentation temperatures, every step is executed with precision and respect for the art of winemaking. This tradition is what makes sure that each bottle of Priorat wine is a true reflection of the region’s heritage and experience.  

Strong Aging Potential

One of the great features of Priorat wine is its ability to age remarkably. Like a fine work of art, these wines continue to evolve over time, revealing new layers of complexity each year that passes on by. The rugged terrain and harsh growing conditions of Priorat produce grapes with intense flavors and concentrated tannins, providing a very sturdy foundation for long-term aging. Whether it’s a bold red, or an elegant white, you’ll know that when you cellar a bottle of Priorat, you’re not just investing in your drink, you’re investing in a future masterpiece!  

Priorat Wine region

Why You Need to Go On a Wine Tour in Priorat

Aside from the history and delicious wine, what else is there to Priorat? Why should you go on a wine tour there? Whether you’re planning a trip with family or friends, Priorat promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here’s why you should plan to visit sooner rather than later: 

The Wine Tastings Are More Private and Intimate

Priorat is popular, but it’s still a hidden gem compared to other well-known wine regions. This means you’ll encounter fewer crowds and enjoy a more relaxed intimate setting with your friends and loved ones. It’s like having your own private wine-tasting experience in a historic and peaceful setting. Imagine trying world-class wines without the hustle and bustle of the more touristy spots—it’s a wine lover’s dream come true!   

You’ll Make Friends Who Have the Same Interests as You

One of the best parts of a wine tour is meeting fellow wine lovers. In Priorat, you’ll be mingling with people who share your passion for wine. Whether you’re chatting over a glass of Grenache or strolling through the vineyards, you’re likely to connect with like-minded individuals. Who knows? You’re probably going to leave with a few new friends and some unforgettable memories. 

Food and Priorat Wine Pairings Are To-Die-For

Prepare your taste buds because Priorat isn’t just about the wine; it’s also about the fantastic food that pairs perfectly with it. From savory tapas to Mediterranean dishes, every bite is a new experience! The bold flavors of Priorat wines complement the hearty Catalan cuisine perfectly. Trust us, the food and wine pairings here are a match made in heaven. 

Small Production = High-Quality Wine

One of the best-kept secrets of Priorat is its commitment to quality over quantity. Unlike mass-produced wines, the winemakers here focus on small-batch production, allowing them to focus and pour their heart and soul into every bottle. The result? Exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of the region, flavor and character. When you raise a glass of Priorat wine, you’re not just tasting a glass of red or wine; you’re tasting a piece of the region’s unique history and passion!  

What Are You Waiting For? Let’s Go Wine Tasting!

Priorat is truly a one-of-a-kind place. From its fascinating history with the “God’s Ladder” legend to its traditional winemaking techniques, it’s a destination that will stick with you long after you’ve left. As wine lovers who’ve explored vineyards around the world, we know what makes an epic wine trip, and Priorat checks all the boxes. 

Seriously, trust us with this one. Check out our trips! We have the perfect wine adventure already prepared for you to experience the region as authentically as possible. Whether you’re a seasoned wine traveler, or just starting to explore, we are here to make sure that your wine journey is unforgettable. 

And, we can’t say enough good things about the Priorat Wine Region. Sure, Spain has loads of fantastic wine spots, but there’s something special about the hidden treasures of Priorat. It’s a beautiful, off-the-beaten-path area that’s just waiting for you to explore. 

Check out what Cindy Rynning has planned on her next trip to Priorat with us for some of the best wine tasting you’ll ever experience.