In San Francisco, California, the Wines of Catalan presented a tasting of select wines from seven DO’s, or Denominaciones de Origen. “Denominaciones de Origen” are what wine appellations are termed by the Spanish government. Most Spanish wine enthusiasts know about only a few wine regions of Catalan, namely Cava, Penedes, the Montsant, and the Priorat. This seminar and wine tasting introduced the guests to smaller and lesser-known wine regions of Catalunya.
Here is what you should know about the wines of Catalan
- Catalan is one of 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain. Think of it as one state or province
- There are 12 wine regions (Denominaciones de Origen) in Catalan
- Catalan has a wide geological range. From the coast at sea level, to the Pyrenees at 10,000 feet
- Catalan is a region with its own cultural background, traditions, language, cuisine, and lifestyle
- The history of wine in Catalan dates back 2300 years ago.
- There are 850 wineries in Catalan
- 70 to 75% of the grapes are white varieties
- The biggest demand for white grapes is Cava for the production of sparkling wine
- There is a large variety of red grapes including Ull de Llebre, Garnacha, Carblah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon
- Many of the smaller D.O.’s in Catalan are planning to export wines to the U.S. Many are sold for under $20.
How to shop for the wines of Catalan
A good place to start is the Spanish Table’s wine Website. The Spanish Table has three stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Supermarket stores and big wine shops, like Total Wines and BevMo, are not likely to have a wide selection of wines from Catalan. Find a local wine shop and ask the proprietor to suggest wines from this region. Stock your cellar and begin to discover what this great wine and food region has to offer. The next step is to head to Barcelona and tour the area. The easiest regions to visit are the Penedes, and the Priorat and Montsant regions.
Wineries and Denominaciones de Origen represented at the Catalan Wines seminar and tasting
- Can Descregut – DO Penedès & DO Cava
- Canals & Munne – DO CavaCastell d’Or – DO Cava and DO Penedès
- Castell d’Or – DO Cava and DO PenedèsCava & Hotel Mas Tinell – DO Cava and DO Penedès
- Cava & Hotel Mas Tinell – DO Cava and DO PenedèsCeller Ronadelles – DOQ Priorat and DO Montsant
- Celler Ronadelles – DOQ Priorat and DO MontsantDe Muller – DOQ Priorat and DO Tarragona
- De Muller – DOQ Priorat and DO TarragonaForward Gourmet – DO Penedès DO Cava
- Forward Gourmet – DO Penedès DO Cava
- Heretat Montrubí – DO Penedès
- Julià & Navinés – DO Cava and DO Penedès
- L’Olivera – DO Costers del Segre and DO Catalunya
- Nadal – DO Penedès & DO Cava
For additional information go to this link at the Catalan Wines Website