Wineries near Barcelona?
We're taking a Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona in October, but we'll have a few days before and after in Barcelona and we'd like to visit some wineries. Are there wineries close to Barcelona, and which ones do you recommend? If we need to rent a car (which is a possibility, though it makes me nervous) but we still want to stay pretty close, how far will we have to drive to find some good wine in the making, and which direction should we head?
We are currently in Barcelona and just toured the Cava wineries Codorniu and Freixenet yesterday, and they were awesome. You can get there by the local train from Sants station. You should call ahead to book the tours - they have English tours at certain times. We booked for Codorniu's 1:30 pm tour. To got to Codorniu, you take a taxi from the train station. Freixenet is right across the street from the train station. Both tours were about 1.5 hours long, had a short audio visual and then they took us to the Cava "caves" where they store the wine underground. Spectacular!! Both took us on a trolly "train" through the storage areas. Then there was a tasting and a shop to purchase wines. Both were impressive facilities in very picturesque settings. I highly recommend it. Next week we are going to go to the Penedes wineries. Haven't decided which ones yet - Jean Leon and Torres likely.
There are plenty of wineries within 1 hour of BCN and PBSF is correct, you will need a car to get there and the smaller wineries are not set up for visits. In general, Spanish wineries have not fully embraced tourism but this is changing and there are plenty that will welcome your visit. We recently visited Albert i Noya ( http://www.albetinoya.com/) a small winery about an hour from BCN that was one of the first to practice organic viniculture in Spain. You have to arrange in advance but they will do the tour in English. Highly recommend the Codorniu tour.
As stated in the earlier post, the Penedes is a large wine producing region about an hour from Barcelona. You will be able to tour large wineries such as Torres, Codorniu and Freixenet. You can google for their website, etc. Small wineries are not equipped to give tours but might welcome visitors by appointment. Most likely, one would have to speak either Catalan or Spanish. Unless you arrange a visit with a wine tour company, you will need a car to get to any of the wineries.
I don't have a specific recommendation for you (primarily because I've never visited them in person), but Barcelona is very close to the Penedes wine region, where a lot of cava (sparkling wine) is produced. The region is pretty much less than one hour due west of Barcelona, and sits between Barcelona and Tarragona. Probably one of the more recognized producers is Miguel Torres.
You need to make a trek to Tarragona anyway to see that city's Catedral.