Priorat

Priorat is Spain’s most traditional and yet most modern, exciting region. In the tiny village of Scala Dei, wine styles have hardly changed in 500 years. In the town of Gratallops, there are wines of such quality (and price) as to gladden the heart of an international auctioneer. All this from one of the most remote highland locations in Catalonia. Priorat lies in Tarragona province. Although almost surrounded by the Tarragona D.O. zone, its microclimates and soil structure are unique. The vineyards are situated between 100 to 700 metres, planted on terraces up craggy escarpments or buried deep in lonely mountain valleys. The range of microclimates includes Alpine meadows, windy natural amphitheatres, and valleys surrounded by astonishingly steep cliffs.

Schist is almost perfect for vines. Its crystalline structure provides apertures for vine-root tendrils as well as space for storing rainwater for use during the ripening period, especially important in highland areas such as Gratallop, where the topsoil can be eroded and dry. Down in the river valleys, the bedrock is slate with alluvial topsoils. Here, too, is abundant water for vines, although the style of wine made from them is very different. The most characteristic soil is called Llicorella where vines grow wherever are planted with pitifully small yields. The main quality grape has always been Garnacha though Cariñena occupies more vineyard space. Other traditional varieties include Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo and even little Pedro Ximénez.

Here, in the mid-1980s, a group of winemakers invested jointly in eight plots of vineyard land, high up in the Siurana Valley on schistose soils. The idea was to plant the best grapes, harvest low yields, and make wines in small cooperative winery. The survivors of this group include Álvaro Palacios, Costers del Siurana, Mas Martinet and René Barbier.



Wines from this Region

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Abellars Priorat de Vinos The Spanish Wine Specialist in London & the UK

Abellars 2011 Priorat

Region Priorat

Producer Noguerals

Variety Garnacha,
Mazuelo / Cariñena,
Cabernet Sauvignon,
Syrah

Type Red

£14.99

inc VAT
Mas d'en Blei Clos Martina 2010 Priorat de Vinos The Spanish Wine Specialist in London & the UK

Blei Clos Martina 2014 Priorat

Region Priorat

Producer Mas d'en Blei

Variety Garnacha Blanca,
Pedro Ximénez,
Xarel.lo

Type White

£17.99

inc VAT
Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi 2001 de Vinos The Spanish Wine Specialist in London & the UK

Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi 2002

Region Priorat

Producer Alvaro Palacios

Variety Garnacha,
Mazuelo / Cariñena,
Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot

Type Red

£56.99

inc VAT