Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia, is renowned as being a bustling metropolis with beautiful beaches and a rich cultural heritage steeped in history and architecture – ranging from centuries old Romanesque churches to modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Catalonia also happens to be one of Spain’s most appreciated wine regions, which is predominantly associated with Cava – the country’s sparkling wine relation to French Champagne that is created using the same ‘method traditionelle’.In fact, Cava was introduced to Spain by Josep Raventos of the now famous Codorniu winery in 1872. After a visit to France, he learned the production method and returned home to make the country’s first sparkling wines from vineyards in Penedes.
Although Cava can be produced in six wine regions in Spain, 90% of the country’s entire production comes from Penedes – traditionally from Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello grapes, although Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Subirat also make exemplary sparkling wines.Barcelona wine tasting tours usually leave the city for Penedes, which can be reached within 40 minutes. There is a collection of esteemed wineries scattered across the region, ranging from internationally renowned estates such as Codorniu, Torres and Freixenet to small boutique vineyards.
Wine tasting from Barcelona typically involves visiting vineyards accompanied by a professional guide to explain the region and the Cava making process, which involves the secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle it is sold, before sampling several premium vintages – often paired with delicious local cuisine such as tapas.For a more involved experience, some wineries also offer visitors the opportunity to make their own Cava. You can take part in the so-called ‘disgorgement’, one of the most important parts in the life of Cava that occurs at the end of its magical ageing process, and leave with your own self-labelled bottle.
Another popular wine tasting Barcelona Spain experience is a day trip from the city to Montserrat, a mountainous site famed for a Benedictine monastery that brings thousands of Catholic pilgrims from across the country to view the Virgin of Montserrat – one of few so-called ‘black madonnas’ left in Europe.Visitors can marvel at the region’s 10th century religious history and spectacular views from the serrated mountain peaks before returning to Barcelona via a few wineries on the way.
Wine tasting in Barcelona itself can be enjoyed in the many ‘Xampanyerias’, or Cava bars, where locals enjoy drinking the sparkling wine with ‘bocadillos’ and tapas dishes.The city is also home to numerous vinotecas, where you can enjoy a private Barcelona wine tasting – sampling Cava vintages from Penedes as well as Catalan wines from the nearby Priorat region.
Priorat is located in a remote and unforgiving landscape that is less than three hours from Barcelona. It is one of only two regions (with La Rioja) to qualify as DOCa – the highest status for a Spanish wine region. The traditional grape is the red Grancha tinta (Grenache), which is typically used for single bottling or as a ‘Bordeaux style’ blend with French varieties.Visiting Barcelona will also give you the chance to wander the narrow alleyways of the Gothic district, wonder at art collections in glorious museums, laze away days at the beach or party through the night in the city that never sleeps.And, the Catalan capital is also a haven for food enthusiasts whether you want to enjoy Michelin starred fine dining, sampling street food that has been eaten by locals for centuries or visit some of Europe’s most impressive produce markets,
If you are interested in wine tasting Barcelona style, contact Wine Paths’ local expert for more information and inspiration ideas.
If you're interested in one of our Catalonia Wine Tours, please visit this link.
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