Priorat wine facts and information
The Priorat wine region is only one of two wine regions of Spain that has been awarded the highest wine qualification, Denominación de Origen Qualificada, or DOQ, by the Government.The other region to achieve this qualification is the Rioja wine region. The Priorat soil consists of layers upon layers of slate, with a thin clay soil separating each layer. They call this soil “llicorella.” For the most part, the red wines are intense wines because of the soil and the way the vines and grapes are treated. The vines produce berries of intense flavors. When the grapes are picked and brought into the winery, they are usually double sorted. There is much manual labor to this process.
The main grapes in this area are Grenache, Carignane, Grenache Blanc and a few other varietals. Wines can be produced that are 100% Granacha or 100% Carignane, but most are a blend of the two with Granacha being the predominant grape. There are 4,500 acres of vineyards in the Priorat farmed by 600 vintners.
Montsant Wine Facts
The two wine regions are very competitive. The Montsant wine region surrounds the Priorat. The Montsant folks say they are the donut and Priorat is the hole. In Priorat they say that they are the yolk of the egg and the Monstant is the white of the egg. Yes indeed, they are rivals. There are a few winemakers who have wineries in both regions.
The Montsant soils are very different from the slate found in the Priorat. In the Monstant there are are limestone, red clay, stone, and some of the same slate that’s in the Priorat, but only in a few areas of the region. We found in our travels that the Montsant wine owners and winemakers are very much into biodynamic and sustainable farming. We did not hear much of this in the Priorat. The same grapes that grow in the Priorat are also the major grapes of the Montsant. There are 4700 acres of vines in the Montsant. Overall, we found the wines of the Montsant to be lighter in style and not nearly as bold as the Priorat wines. The Montsant wines are also, on average, less expensive.