Catalonia

The Catalonia wine region is obviously located in Spain, when we go 100 miles east from Rioja and Navarra, we find Catalonia. There is the sub region called Ampurdán-Costa Brave, it is located separately from the main part of Catalonia. In this sub region there are some good-quality red and white table wines produced. But none of these wines are classified to the DO.

 

Alella

A sub region called Alella, which is located north of Barcelona, does have wines that are classified to the DO. The primarily grown white grape varieties grown in this area are the Macabeo and the Malvasia. The red wines from this region are made from the Garnacho and Temperanillo. Generally, wines are blended from the northern and southern slopes in order to create balance in acidity. After blending, the wines are aged from one to three years in oak barrels before bottling.

 

Panades

The Panadès sub region has a sandy lower section called Port of Sitges, this part of Panadès is known for its Malvasia de Sitges. Malvasia de Sitges is a sweet, light amber coloured dessert wine made from Malvasia, but also has some Sumoll blended in. The higher section of the Panadès is made of limestone, the grapes grown here are the Macabeo and Parellada. These grape varieties produce dry table wines.

The Sparkling wines also called Espumos, are also produced in Panadès. The Espumos are produced according to the French Méthode Champenoise. The best Espumos are produced with white grapes that are selectively picked for its superior quality. This selectively picking is comparable with épluchage.

These are the Spanish indications for taste in sparkling wines:

Bruto                     =             Extra-dry

Seco                      =             Near-dry

Dulce                     =             Sweet

Semiseco             =             Semi-dry

Semidulce           =             Semi-sweet

 

Tarragona

Red Bibby, as a nickname for very red dessert wines with poor quality is produced Tarragona. This nickname is mainly used in England. Tarragona has bettered by producing a quality aperitif wine. Two other noteworthy products from this sub region of Tarragona are: an altar wine and Sangria. Sangria is rather well-known, it is made of red wine mixed with citrus fruit slices, sparkling soda and a bit of Brandy. The altar wine is a wine that is produced for the Vatican.

 

Priorato

An inner region within the sub region of Tarragona is called Priorato. Priorato gets its name from the priory of the Scala Dei, a Carthusian Monastery. This monastery is currently in ruins on the volcanic slopes of the Sierra de Montsant. Dry red wines from this region are made from the Carinena and Garnacho Negro, these often are vinified to make a wine that has 16 percent alcohol. Sweet dessert wines are produced from Garnacho Blanco, Macabeo and Pedro Ximénez. These sweet dessert wines are classified as DO Priorato. A wine-related beverage called Mistela also comes from Priorato and is made of brandy and grape juice. This is mixed together before any kind of fermentation happens. Mistela is sometimes consumed straight, but most of the time it is used for blending with other dessert and aperitif wines.

Some big wine producers within Catalonia are Vinedos Torres, Cordorniu and Freixenet. The fact that these producers are big does not mean that they are producing great wines.