The vineyards of the Priorat; one of the hidden treasures of Catalonia In my teens I spent some summers in La Vilella Baixa, in the heart of the lands of Priorat (150 km. South of Barcelona). At that time there was a very poor region, that traditionally produced a very strong wine loved especially by the elderly, and without any international appreciation apart from – as used to say the village people – strengthening certain Italian wines.
But a few years ago I returned to that region to recall those golden years, and had the opportunity to visit a small winery in Gratallops, a village 5km. far from the one I summered. A friend who has his own wine’s blog recommended it to me, and I had the opportunity to discover the new Priorat wines firsthand.
The owner is a young man named Xavier Gracia which reminded me of Gerard Piqué, current player of FC Barcelona, also known for being married to the Colombian singer Shakira. His property includes a few hectares of old Garnatxa vines, that we could visit accompanied by himself. They are near the village on a hill where we could admire the magnificent view of the Serra Major of Montsant and the neighbouring villages.
The morning continued visiting his cellars, the old and the new, tasting his excellent red wine and finally buying him some bottles. From my experience I invite you to visit this friendly young producer in a region which currently produces some of the most appreciated wines in the world. Not only you’ll learn more about these wines, but you can also take some bottles home. The trade name for its wine – internationally awarded – is ‘l’Obila’, and the winery is ‘Costers del Ros‘. If you want to visit this little gem the contact is email@example.com Phone: 0034 610 66 41 35.
Another interesting winery in the village of Gratallops is that of Alvaro Palacios, a living legend of Priorat, since he’s the architect of the conversion of those traditional battle wines in some of the most internationally acclaimed wines, from his arrival in the Priorat in 1989. Currently he produces the most expensive wine in Catalonia, “La Ermita”, with a market price between 600 € and 1,000 €. But if your pocket – like mine – doesn’t let you buy it, don’t worry. A bottle of “Les Terrasses”, from the same winery, can satisfy the most demanding palates at a much more affordable price to any wine lover.
This is perhaps the largest and best known of Priorat cellars. In this case the tour of the winery is restricted to professionals. For that reason I’ve started the text recommending you another cellar, more affordable to your curiosity in case you don’t belong to this restricted group. Their contact data: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 0034 977 839 195.
The villages of Priorat, as Gratallops, Porrera or La Vilella Baixa, are very small, but in them you will find many more wineries that can be visited. There you can buy bottled wine directly from the producer, especially if you go on a weekend. Take advantage of your stay in Catalonia to discover some of its hidden treasures and spend a few hours in this amazing part of the world.
Cheers ! Jordi
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