THE PRIORAT, SYNONYM OF WINE

ANNA FIGUERAS
The Priorat region has been associated with the concept of wine for centuries. The sum of ideal soil, climate and relief and the toil of men and women who have been engaged in wine making following the techniques of a millennial tradition with the help, today, of technology adapted to the demands of quality has yielded a unique, exclusive product: the wine of the Priorat.

The first people who recognized and exploited the qualities of the land for vine cultivation and wine production were the Carthusian monks from Provence, who in 1194 settled in the foothills of the Montsant range. The Carthusians almost certainly chose that place by virtue of the fact that it offered the ideal conditions to meet the Order’s requirements of solitude, contemplation and seclusion, while the presence of water guaranteed their subsistence. Even so, in places charged with symbolic value tradition creates its own version of events and history becomes legend.

Legend tells how King Alfons “The Chaste” sent two of his knights to reconnoitre the land in search of the ideal place for the Carthusian Order to settle in Catalonia. When they reached the foothills of Montsant, they were immediately struck by the extraordinary beauty of the area, and they requested information about the place from a local shepherd. Besides informing them, the shepherd told them about a supernatural phenomenon that had been occurring for some time in the middle of the valley. On top of the highest pine a ladder appeared by which angels ascended and descended from heaven. This having provided them with the perfect pretext, the knights duly informed the king , who offered those lands to the order. The Carthusians built the altar for the church dedicated to Santa Maria on the site of the tree. History gave the monastery its name and generated an iconography with deep roots in the region.

Visit Priorat?

best barcelona wine tours
One day Priorat Wine Tour
Best Priorat Wine Tour by BUS

WINE IN THE TIME OF THE CARTHUSIANS

During the Middle Ages, wine became an essential part of the staple diet. For this reason, as the feudal lords gradually reclaimed land back from the Moors, they hastened to plant vineyards and cultivate other produce essential to self-sufficiency. Wine became at the same time a prestigious product for the wealthy places and an indispensable element in Christian rites. Consequently, vine cultivation reached its zenith in those land occupied by religious orders.

Nonetheless, very few written records have come down to us about the presence of vineyards or wine making during the early years of the monastery. Indeed, the earliest documentary evidence of these activities dates from 1218 and refers to neighbouring Cistercian monastery of Bonrepòs, in the municipal district of La Morera, although an inventory from 1204 lists vineyards, casks and wine presses. This monastery became part of Scala Dei in the fifteenth century. Documents from 1263, when scala Dei purchased the municipal district of Porrera, specify that along with the lands and rights the monks also bought aa the wine casks and all the utensils needed for wine making, not only those of the village but also those of the mountains of Prades.

As the years went by, the Carthusian monastery of Scala Dei grew and became consolidated as a feudal estate and farms were built on strategic sites that would constitute the nuclei of the present-day villages of Gratallops, Poboleda, La Morera, Porrera, Torroja del Priorat and La Vilella Alta. Although we lack precise information in this regard, the documents on the period suggest that the amount of cultivated lands progressively increased. Records of the payment of delmes –a tax levied by the prior, amounting to a tenth of the produce- reveal the veriety of crops that were cultivated. For example, in 1425 Poboleda paid delmes of all kind of cereals, legumes, olives, fodder, wicker, garlic, onions and wine. From this we learn that grapes were cultivated along with other produce of prime necessity.

The Carthusians fostered the expansion of agriculture and discovered the excellent qualities of area for wine making. They knew perfectly well which soils were the most suitable for each grape variety, conducted oenological studies and established trade strategies, as we discover from a manual from Scala Dei. They produced wines of different kinds: red, white, Garnatxa, vi moscat or muscatel, vi remoscat, vi grec and Malvesia
visit priorat

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY: THE EXPANSION OF VINEYARDS AND THE BRANDY TRADE. 

While in the late fifteenth and much of the sixteenth centuries many European countries were enjoying economic prosperity, Catalonia was going through a period of political instability and demographic and economic stagnation. In this con-text, the Dutch brandy trade flourished thanks to the major demand for alcoholic beverages on the part of the wealthier English classes. The south of France was the main wine supplier to British and Dutch merchants until political events in Europe led to hostilities between these countries accompanied by the corresponding blockades. The situation changed radically and it was now Catalonia that came to control the international wine and brandy markets. The Catalan wine industry began to undergo a revival favoured by a period of peace and optimism and significant population growth, thanks to immigration above all from Provence.

It was as the outcome of the international demand for wine and brandy that the Priorat began to specialise in vine cultivation. Brandy was a solid exchange asset since, unlike wine, it provided stability, did not spoil and was the most popular strong drink among sailors as they made their long ocean crossings. Brandy was added to wine to increase its alcohol content and preserve it for longer periods. At the end of the eighteenth century a vine grower from Porrera recommended adding one part of brandy to four parts of wine. This practice led to savings in transport costs as the wine was distilled at the point of origin. Hence the fact that early in the century many towns and villages of the Priorat requested authorisation to set up brandy distilleries, known as oIles or fassines, the first of which were established in Poboleda ( 1710), La Morera de Montsant ( 1743) and La Vilella Alta (1773).

The proximity between the Priorat and the city of Reus favoured the demand for wine in the area. Throughout the eighteenth century Reus was Catalonia's major brandy distilling centre and became one of the most important markets from which the big companies organised trading expeditions that sailed from Salou, Tarragona and, to a lesser extent, from Cambrils. Indeed, this is the origin of the popular expression "Reus, Paris and London". By way of example, the average of 68,609 consignments that sailed from the port of Salou between 1773 and I 775 rose to 98,520 between 1797 and 1798. The ports of destination were in northern Europe, particularly France, Holland and England, and in the American colonies. Between 1731 and 1815 the landscape of the Priorat changed radically. Entire forests were cleared to make way for vineyards. Thus, for example, in 1752 vineyards occupied 47.7 % of cultivable land in Torroja, whereas by 1818 the figure had increased to 93.51 %. A further example of this transformation is Gratallops, where between 1804 and 1808 wine production accounted for almost 70% of the agrarian income. As the eighteenth century unfolded, the region accumulated large amounts of capital and great fortunes were made, as we learn from a trade report dated 1796: "The people of the Priorat are accustomed to selling their wines at 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 pounds, with which they are well-provided and want for absolutely nothing". During this period, Scala Dei came to enjoy the highest income of all the monasteries in the entire diocese of Tarragona.

With the rise in their standard of living, the towns and villages of the Priorat attempted to shake off the burden of feudalism, a system which though it had be-come an anachronism still persisted. Poboleda, Porrera and La Morera filed a string of lawsuits against the Scala Dei estate. In 1764, when the monastery proposed to introduce an excessively strict levying of the delme, the people of Porrera set fire to two pipes of brandy stored on the friars' premises (casa dels frares) in the village. Years later, the situation having remained unchanged, the people engaged in sabotage, which took the form of extracting great quantities of wine from one of the presses in the casa.

In 1775 the Englishman Henry Swinburne, on his travels through Spain, wrote about the merited fame of the wines of the Priorat in a passage referring to the city of Reus, stating that the city's main products were wine and liqueurs and, of the wine, the best was from the mountains owned by the Carthusians, while that from the plain produced alcohol fit only for burning. 

Visit Priorat?

wines of priorat
5 * Hotels, 5 * Restaurants and
5 * wineries
best priorat wine tours

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE WINE INDUSTRY 

During the nineteenth century grapes were Catalonia's main crop and, in the Priorat, vineyards continued to encroach on woods and wasteland. The abolition of religious communities by the liberal regimes led to the end of the Priorat as a feudal district and the destruction of the monastery of Scala Dei. In 1820 the government abrogated the monastic communities, whose assets were put up for auction in 1821 , In 1823, however, absolute monarchy was restored and the monks of Scala Dei were allowed to return and recover part of their losses. But finally, around 1835, a new change in the prevailing regime definitively abolished the religious orders. Scala Dei was abandoned and immediately sacked. Its properties were subsequently sold to merchant and landowners who did not hesitate to turn over much of the monastery land to cultivation.

1840 saw the beginning of a new period of economic prosperity for the Priorat. With the suppression of the delmes in 1841, a transition took place from what were still feudal forms of production to an incipient capitalist model, which meant that peasant farmers' income rose significantly. The amount of cultivated land quickly increased once again, since around 80 % of the Scala Dei properties had hitherto remained unexploited. By way of example, on a farm in the municipal district of Porrera vineyards increased from 7 jornals (old measure of land, around 0,40 hectares or 1 acre) in I800 to 145 in 1846. Lured by the profits to be made from the wine industry and the need for labour, immigrant families settled in the area, giving rise to a significant increase in the population.

Such prosperity temporarily fell early in the second half of the century due to the outbreak of a hitherto unknown disease, vine mildew, known locally as malura vella or cendrosa. The harvests of 1854 and 1855 dropped to a tenth of the normal and did not recover until after 1860, when the remedy was discovered. From that year onwards, sulphuration became an additional annual task and expenditure in the wine-producing process.
A few years later, the vineyards of Europe were ravaged by a new plague. In 1868 phylloxera hit France and spread like wildfire. Wine production in the neighbouring country plummeted to the extent that the French had no option but to import great amounts of wine from elsewhere in order to meet the home demand. Catalonia, whose vineyards had hitherto remained unaffected by the plague, was in an excellent position to supply the market. Consequently, the Catalan wine industry went through a period of economic euphoria, known as the febre d'or or gold rush.

Although the Priorat wines were of high quality and enjoyed great prestige, they were still sold exclusively in bulk through wholesalers. Merchants bought wine directly from the producers and bottled it in warehouses, from which it was dispatched to consumers. Priorat wines were most in demand for coupage, above all in combination with French wines that given the virtues of their Priorati counterparts improved substantially in quality. For many decades the French firm of Violet bought huge quantities of wine from the region to make Byrrh, a tonic wine highly popular as an aperitif.

The world exhibitions held during the nieteenth century were attended by a significant number of Priorat wine producers. For instance, at the 1878 Paris International Exhibition, Macabeu, Garnatxa, muscatel, Carinyena, Malvasia, white, ranci and sweet wines were presented. Wine experts of the period extolled their strong alcohol content — of between 17 and 19 degrees —, amount of their extractive matter, their pleasant bouquet and their excellent manufacture. For their part, by attending exhibitions wine producers became familiar with the latest oenological studies and learnt of the most recent techno-logical innovations. During the later part of the century they began to use mechanical treaders, while wooden presses were replaced by iron ones and the pruning scissors gradually came to take over from the billhook.

The great demand for wine, high prices and demographic growth led to an increase in the extension of vineyards, despite the proximity of phylloxera. On all slopes, even the coastal ones, however precipitous and stony they may have been, woodland disappeared to make way for terraces on which the vine was cultivated. Between 1884 and 1886 wine fetched a high price, but in 1887 a recession began that later became exacerbated by the disastrous effects of phylloxera. 

Visit Priorat?

Visit Priorat by Train
Wine Tour Priorat by Train
Visit Priorat by Train - 1 day
Barcelona Wine Tours

1893: THE PHYLLOXERA PLAGUE

The recession in the wine-producing sector began in 1887 with the drastic drop in prices caused by an equally drastic drop in exports. On the one hand, France placed obstacles in the way of wine imports from Catalonia and, on the other, Spain lost its colonial markets. At the same time the French vineyards, by now repopulated practically in their entirety, became productive once more.

And to make matters even worse, the phylloxera plague hit the Priorat. Hopes that the mountains of Alforja, Puigcerver, La Teixeta and L’Argentera would act as a natural barrier were dashed when in June 1893 the insect appeared in the municipal district of Porrera. To be precise, on June 27 in La Solana de les Viudes. By the following year phylloxera had spread to La Vilella Alta and Gratallops, in 1895 it attacked El Lloa and in 1896 it spread to La Morera de Montsant. In the space of only a few years, phylloxera ravaged the prestigious vineyards of the Priorat and ruined the harvests in the entire region.

The replacement of autochthonous vines by American stocks — Vitis rupestris —immune to the plague was the only solution if the economy of the region was to recover, since the rugged relief of the Priorat made it impossible to exploit the land for other crops. The phylloxera disaster led to general disconcertion: it was feared that autochthonous vine varieties would become extinct and serious doubts were cast on both the potential longevity of the new stocks and the quality of the fruit. Although the Prioratins set to the task with enthusiasm, the replanting process was a slow and costly one. It was set in motion first on the most productive estates, nearest to the population nuclei, while the more remote slopes were left until later, while the steepest and the most difficult to reach were never cultivated again. Consequently the phylloxera plague reduced the extension of vineyards and changed the landscape.

The replanting process involved a reduction in the number of varieties that had hitherto been cultivated, to the extent that the already dominant Garnatxa and Carinyena came to prevail, particularly the latter, which adapted best to grafting onto American stocks. Varieties such as Malvasia, Macabeu, Picapoll, Moscatell, Pansal, Tendra and Pedro Ximenes were cultivated to a far lesser extent. The most widespread American variety was Rupestris de Lot or Riparia. The new plantations required much more labour and a greater degree of specialisation than those that had thrived prior to the phylloxera plague, and the three-year gap before harvesting could resume further aggravated the already precarious economic situation of local vine growers. Indeed, had it not been for the institution of syndicates and rural savings banks they could hardly have met the expenditure involved in replanting. In 1905, one year after its foundation, the Sindicat Agricola i Caixa Rural d'Estalvis i Prestec del Priorat negotiated a total of 1,479 loans.

Given the absence of improvement prospects in the wine-producing sector and the almost total lack of job opportunities, the Priorat underwent a process of depopulation. The first of the sector's recessions in 1887, years before phylloxera hit the region, led to an initial exodus that increased with the devastating effects of the plague. The respective censuses show that between 1887 and 1900 the population of the Priorat fell from 9,365 to 6,757. 

Visit Priorat?

visit priorat
Priorat 2 days wine tour by train!
Best Priorat Wine Tours Here!
priorat montsant wine tour

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: THE DECLINE OF THE WINE-PRODUCING SECTOR 

During the first third of the twentieth century, the recession worsened considerably. Ruinous policies on the part of the Spanish government in combination with bad harvests caused by persistent drought brought the sector practically to its knees. Shortly before the end of World War I, in 1917, production costs, both the price of materials and utensils and agricultural labourers' wages, had increased by almost 100 %. To make matters worse, sales prices had remained stable due to the huge surplus of wine that had flooded the markets. The outcome was that wine producers lost money with every harvest and for a number of years were forced to sell their produce below cost price. This imbalance between income and expenditure persisted during the following two decades. The lack of reasonable profits that would allow them to meet the costs of re-planting and adapting vine cultivation to the capitalist system left wine producers defenceless against the prevailing hard times.

Furthermore, the French government passed a law forbidding the use of foreign wines for coupage. This practically put paid to exports, since coupage was the main end purpose of Spanish wines in general and those of the Priorat in particular. Moreover, the wines were adulterated by wholesalers and retailers alike, The outcome of all this was that the Priorat became the victim of a double fraud: adulteration on the one hand and, on the other, use of the name Priorat to sell wines that bore no resemblance to those produced on the region's slate soils, which consequently lost the prestige they had hitherto enjoyed. In this context, we read the following comment from I 923: "On any street in Barcelona, if you see a sign in big letters advertising 'Wines from the Priorat', enter the establishment and ask for Priorat wine, you will be served an abhorrent mixture nobody would regard as wine, least of all wine from the Priorat". Many of the establishments that dealt in wines would attempt to attract customers by displaying a cask containing wine presumably from the Priorat.

wines of priorat

THE COOPERATIVE MOVEMENT.

One of the initiatives set in motion to rise above the adverse circumstances was the setting up of cooperatives. Membership of agrarian syndicates allowed small-scale and medium-scale wine producers to organise themselves in an attempt to overcome the difficult situation. The cooperative movement allowed them to purchase products at reasonable prices, engage in more advantageous trade practices, modernise their production plants and, most important of all, solve the problem of the labour shortage, fruit of the successive waves of migration that had left the potential workforce of the Priorat below minimum.
For the people of the Priorat, the creation of syndicates was the fruit of titanic efforts, iron will and altruism at a time of severe economic recession. In most cases, members had to put up their private estates as guarantees for loans to construct buildings and purchase machinery.

In Gratallops the Sindicat Priorat de Scala Dei was founded in 1917, followed by its Bellmunt counterpart that same year. Two years later, the Sindicat Agricola del Priorat was set up in La Vilella Baixa. In La Vilella Alta a consumer cooperative was created in 1926, while the Sindicat d'Agricultors was founded in 1933. In El Lloà, a group of farmers bought an old cellar in which they produced their first consignment of wine in 1930. In Porrera the Sindicat Agricola was founded in 1932, while in Torroja the Sindicat Agricola Centre del Priorat was set up in 1934. Organisation in syndicates required a change in mentality at a time when the sector needed to adopt new cultivation practices, assessment in the use of fertilisers, pesticides and weed-killers, and improved production, preservation and commercialisation processes. 

THE PROTECTION OF A NAME

Although the recession in the wine-producing sector affected Catalonia as a whole, its effects were most bitterly felt in areas such as the Priorat, given the low productivity of its vineyards, low profitability due to the high harvesting costs, particularly in terms of labour, and the expenditure involved in transporting grapes or wine in a mountainous region lacking in adequate communications networks.

Even so, the Prioratins were perfectly aware of the excellent quality of their wines and the idea began to spread that by fostering their good name it might be possible to overcome the crisis. To this end, producers had to seriously consider the potential of their wines and cease to market them merely as the product of that year, for by doing so they placed themselves entirely at the mercy of unscrupulous dealers. Exploiting such potential involved introducing the concept of vintage wine and marketing it as such with all the guarantees this implied. This possibility was aired in a local publication in 1922: "Priorat wine enjoys great renown; Priorat is a name of repute; Priorat wine is of such superior quality, by virtue of its taste, proof grading, characteristic bouquet and consistency, that it does not spoil. The older it is, the better, and it is perfectly able to compete with the best vintages from elsewhere. Properly matured, bottled and labelled, this wine would be a source of great wealth, and yet we totally ignore this potential treasure. Our wines are sold to be mixed with and improve the low-quality produce of other regions, and yet we are paid the same price as if it, too, were just ordinary wine. This explains why the Priorat is in such a state of destitution".

In order to carry this project through, a brand name was needed that would protect and guarantee the provenance of Priorat wine, as in other wine-producing areas. The aim here was to recover the name of El Priorat so that it might be applied only to the wines from the municipalities that had belonged to the former administrative district controlled by the Carthusian monastery. Indeed, the international renown enjoyed by Priorat wines and the great demand for it during the mid-nineteenth century had led to the use and abuse of the name by dealers, who applied it to any strong, deeply-coloured wine produced in the south of Catalonia. On the initiative of one of the Torroja vineyard owners, in 1927 a public call was made for the collaboration of local municipal councils and wine makers. The people of Porrera responded actively to the call by organising a sensitising campaign in the seven towns and villages that had formerly come under the jurisdiction of El Priorat d'Scala Dei.

The municipal councils agreed to claim the right to establish not only a historical nucleus by virtue of former dependence on the prior but also a geographical one based on oenological criteria. The movement did much to raise the morale of Priorat wine producers, who were prepared to go to any lengths to ensure that "our wines are the only ones with the right to be marketed under the genuine, invariable Priorat label. There are those who will oppose us, certainly, and we shall have to overcome strong resistance, but we have right on our side and we shall place our cause in the hands of the supreme powers of the State. And in the last instance, it is the experts who will be entrusted with the task of defining precise limits". A commission was set up and in 1928 a formal petition specifying the aims of the initiative was submitted to the Spanish Ministry of Labour.

In general, the idea was well received by the main agricultural associations of the area although, as one might expect, it generated a certain degree of controversy. A controversy that overlapped with the one caused by disputes over the territorial division of Catalonia that the Generalitat proposed in 1931 and further aggravated by the ambience of social and political unrest that characterised the years of the Republic. In December 1931 , an assembly of delegates and mayors took place in Falset, at which it was agreed that the administrative and oenological limits did not coincide and that it was up to the experts to establish precise boundaries in both cases.

The Estatut del Vi (Wine Statute) promulgated in 1932 by the Ministry of Agriculture, which governed the establishment of the Consells Reguladors, recognised the Priorat as a vinicultural area to be protected. On September, 5, 1933 the order was published by which the Consell Regulador de la Denominació d'Origen Priorat was constituted, with its head office at the Estacio Enologica de Reus, the director of which acted as president of the Consell. A deadline of thirty days was set for it to draw up its own set of regulations. Due to a number of circumstances, it was not until January 1935 that negotiations were resumed and a new thirty-day deadline was set for the municipalities involved to present appeals. Many municipalities expressed interest in forming part and eventually, in April of that year, a project was approved that divided the wine-producing areas into two: one was the "Priorato Scala Dei", which comprised the seven municipalities that had formerly belonged to the Carthusians, while the other, of a more commercial nature, which was called simply "Priorato”. The determination on the part of dealers to include Gandesa and Corbera in the designation of origin met with opposition from the towns and villages of the Priorat as a result of which the project failed and no further meetings took place until May 1936. The outbreak of the Civil War in July that year brought the process towards safeguarding the quality of Priorat wine to a standstill.

In 1947, by which time a minimum of stability had returned to the country, the heads of the Gremi Oficial de Criadors-Exportadors de Vins de Reus i Tarragona (Official Guild of Reus and Tarragona Wine Producers and Exporters) resumed negotiations to create a designation of origin, but once again no consensus was reached as to limits. Finally, in 1953 on the initiative of the local cooperatives, discussions took place that led to the official approval of the Denominació d'Origen Tarragona, which had acted as an umbrella designation for the municipalities in discord. Former discrepancies having been smoothed over, on July, 23, 1954 the Consell Regulador de la Denominacio d'Origen Priorat, with its head office at the Estacio Enologica de Reus, was at last approved.

Wines had finally attained the necessary juridical framework by which to protect the name and the quality of the Priorat, as well as improved commercialisation and the opportunity to prevent manipulation and fraud, Furthermore, the existence of an official Denominacio d'Origen created new prospects for the area, which had hitherto been severely chastised by depopulation and by the general recession affecting the rural world. With a view to attaining effective administrative organisation and ensuring that the Consell Regulador become an efficient instrument for controlling quality and overseeing the interests of the region, the urgent need was expressed to establish a register of wines, wineries and export practices. The Consell sought to greatly foster the development of the sector, recover the prestige of Priorat wines and participate in trade fairs. It was even proposed that a wine contest be organised. The Denominacio d'Origen, however, proved incapable of meeting expectations and the sector did not recover from the recession.

At the end of the 1970s the sector was still in decline, and the situation was further aggravated by constant emigration from the land, the ageing of the population, low production and technical difficulties involved in harvesting. The number of people belonging to cooperatives fell, installations had become obsolete, opportunities for investment were practically nil and some vinicultural concerns were practically forced to close due to the lack of available labour. 
barcelona wine tour

THE NEW TIMES

The situation seemed to have reached a point of no return when in the early 1980s a group of wine connoisseurs convinced of the potential of the Priorat radically changed the prospects of the area, although they were not overly aware of the effects this would produce. In the space of little under a decade, the size of vineyards, wine-production figures and the number of cellars increased astonishingly. Nobody, not even the most optimistic, could have foreseen such an about-turn in circumstances.

The Consell Regulador de Ia Denominacio d'Origen had only a few years at its disposal to adapt to the new situation. In 1999 it transferred its head office from the Estacio Enologica de Reus to the very heart of the Priorat, which made legal formalities easier to conduct and led to greater commitment on the part of the sector. The next major step was recognition of the Priorat as a Denominacio d'Origen Qualificada (a designation of origin at a higher level with a stricter set of rules), which led to new regulations being drawn up that emphasised the importance of the region, advocated technical innovations and established stringent wine protection measures in order to guarantee its quality.

The D.O.Q. Priorat has gained merited prestige that together with the international recognition of its wines, but above all the proven high oenological quality of the area, has attracted major concerns both from the vinicultural sector of Catalonia and from abroad, all eager not to miss the opportunity to produce top-class wines.

This resurgence is based primordially on exploitation of the oenological potential of the land with the application of state-of-the-art techniques of cultivation, wine-making and ageing and the orientation of production towards the international quality wine sector. The high regard in which Priorat wine is held has offset production costs.

The outcome of this process is the generation of greater profits that have begun to reverse the dramatic process of depopulation in the area. And re-investment of these profits has led to a progressive increase in the capacity to generate wealth. The refurbishment of old wineries and disused buildings, coupled with the construction of new plants, has improved the urban environment and fostered the development of other economic sectors.

The modification of the landscape resulting from the plantation of new vineyards that increase local prosperity must go hand-in-hand with endeavours to preserve a privileged natural environment. Rather than large-scale exploitation, the orographical and geological characteristics of the Priorat foment the production of wines closely linked to a specific physical milieu and meticulous individual endeavour, a phenomenon known locally as vins de poble or vins de finca ("farm-produced" wines).

The wine industry has generated an entire culture that attracts visitors and fosters other economic activities. Progress in the region that comes under the Denominacio d'Origen Qualificada Priorat must therefore be compatible with conservation of the local natural and historical heritage as part of a process geared towards genuine sustainable development. 
visit priorat
2 days in Priorat.
By train!
Custom Tours!
montsant wine tours
PRIORAT WINE REGION: BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANDREU, Jordi, "Creixement demografic i transformacions economiques al Priorat (segles XVI-XIX)", in Penell, no. 3, Reus, 1989.

ANGUERA, Pere; ARAGONES, Manuel, “El Priorat de Ia Cartoixa d'Scala Dei,” Santes Creus, 1985.

CIURANA, Jaume, “Els vins de Catalunya,” Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, 1980.

FIGUERAS, Anna; CALVO, Joaquim, “El Priorat, la vinya i el vi,” Carrutxa, Reus, 1996. GORT, Ezequiel,”Historia de Ia Cartoixa d'Scala Dei”, Fundacio Roger de Belfort, Reus, 1998.

JUNCOSA, Isabel, “Tractat d'agricultura. Manuscrit anonim de Porrera. Segle XVIII”, Reus, 1998.

Cannot find your tour?
Please do not hesitate to contact us to find your custom tour 

Email Support
Are you ready for the best wine tours barcelona?
Call Center
Have any questions about your wine
tour?
Documentation
Contracting policy
and
Secure Payments