Priorat is a land of contrasts, the region is home to some of Spain's most expensive and sought-after wines, yet the landscape is rugged and unpretentious. The climate is hot and dry, with vineyards often clinging to steep slopes, this combination of factors creates wines that are powerful and intense, yet also complex and nuanced.
The history of wine in Priorat dates to the 12th century, when monks from the nearby monastery of Scala Dei founded vineyards in the area. These vines were planted on limestone soils known as llicorella, which are unique to the region. The harsh climate and difficult growing conditions meant that only the hardiest grapes could survive here. Over time, the monks developed a unique blend of grapes that was well-suited to the terroir, this blend, known as the Priorat DOC, is still used today.
The most important grape in Priorat is Garnacha Tinta (aka Grenache). This variety provides the backbone of many of the region's wines, lending them their characteristic power and structure. Other important grapes include Carinyena (aka Carignan), Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Make sure to serve the wines at the ideal serving temperature for full enjoyment!
While the history of wine in Priorat is long and rich, it is only in recent years that the region has begun to receive international recognition. In the 1980s, a group of visionary winemakers began producing high-quality wines that showcased the potential of the region's unique terroir. These wines quickly gained a following among wine lovers and critics alike, and today Priorat is widely considered to be one of Spain's top wine regions.
The wines of Priorat are powerful and intense, with plenty of ripe fruit flavors. They often have high alcohol levels and firm tannins, making them ideal for cellaring. The best examples display excellent balance and harmony, with a long finish that lingers on the palate.
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"Hi l am Wim, sommelier, and wine enthusiast just like you! My fellow sommeliers understand the importance of serving wine at the correct temperature. They know that if wine is too warm, it will lose its flavors and complexities, and if wine is served too cold, it will numb your taste buds. A few world renown sommeliers and myself will explain this further, and share some interesting (taste) case studies."