Visiting Priorat Wineries?
We will be visiting Barcelona in May and would like to make a side trip to the Priorat wine region. Any recommendations for wineries to visit, or perhaps a town to visit where the wines can be experienced/purchased? Any tips would be welcome.
The Priorat Tourism Board has a useful website in English:
And this Priorat Wine Tour should be helpful in your planning (towns, wineries, suppliers):
The big cities of Reus (birthplace of Gaudi) and Tarragona (famous for its Roman-era monuments) are only a 40-minute drive from/to the Priorat, so they're a great base to start a day out in the wineries.
Priorat is beautiful, mountainous, rural and rather isolated. Few tourists. Do you know any Spanish or Catalan? Hopefully you do! :-)
Must hit Palacios (Finca Dofi). Not only is this one of the best wineries in the region, it is also one of the most 'important'.
I really like Rotllan Torra.
Clos Erasmus gets massive points from WA but I'm not a fan of the style.
Clos Mogador, Mas Doix, are both great.
There are lots of other good wineries there, but these are the ones I am most familiar with that I like...
As you know most of the great Priorat wines are produced in small quantities and high prices, thus people like Alvaro Palacios are not designed to welcome visitors. Others like Rene Barbier, Sr. and Daphne Glorian go out of their way to avoid the public. On the other hand, the younger generation Sara Perez of Mas Martinet (among others) and her husband Rene Barbier, Jr at Clos Mogador are far more accomodating. Contact either of them through their respective wineries and depending upon their schedules they may try to allow you to visit. Both are involved in projects not just in Priorat but all over Spain so they travel often.
You could also contact Vall Llach in Porrera and see if they could accomodate a visit. Also, the estate at Mas d'een Gil in Bellmunt del Priorat is more accesible and in addition to great wines, produces excellent olive oil and red wine vinegar.
The tiny village of Gratallopos is the true epicenter of the Priorat region. This is where Mogador, Martinet and Palacios are located. In the village Sara, Rene and Sara's brother from Cims de Porrera own the really fun restaurant and wine shop Irreductibles. A must visit in the region and a place where many of their wines can be enjoyed at reasonable prices. A newer hotel and restaurant has also open named Cal Llop which provides a place to stay in the center.
It's more common for people to stay just down the mountain at the Hostal Sport (acceptable restaurant with very good wine list) in Falset, the center of the Montsant wine region. Larger village with several restaurants including the fun La Vizzeria (with a great inexpensive Montsant wine list) and wine bars to visit in the evening. The best restaurant in the region is Celler de l'Aspic in Falset. There are also a couple of wine shops in Falset to buy wines to go.
You may also like to visit the ruins of the Scala Dei monastery, which also has a small wine outlet for the wines named the same.
All in all, it will take more legwork than some places to visit the wineries, but well worth it if you are successful.
re: Trip Klaus
We've been looking into starting our own small time Spanish wine importing company. From your posts on both Rioja and Priorat, I assume you either work in or have spent a great deal of time in or around the Spanish wine industry. Any insight you could offer would be of great assistance.