Catalunya - DOQ Priorat - The Growing Environment and Grape Growing

4 important questions on Catalunya - DOQ Priorat - The Growing Environment and Grape Growing

Priorat vineyards are challenging, why?

  • Lack of easy access
  • Challenging topography (100-700m)
  • extreme weather
  • Yields very small
  • Competition for labour by textile industry

What are the reasons of the success of Priorat as the regions best wines? It became a DOQ in 2009.

  • The producer René Barbier spotted its potential and his faith in it was rewarded.
  • Modern Spanish winemaking with old vines
  • Traditional red wines made of 100% Garnacha Tinta
  • It is the wines from the Gratallops wineries that have grown up over the past 10 years or so that really show what can be achieved – these are some of Spain’s most exciting and most expensive wines.

What is the climate and growing environment of Priorat?

  • Warm continental, protected by mountains, high diurnal range. Irrigation permitted.
  • Very steep slopes! (Costers): 5-60% - hand work, expensive
  • Narrow terraces
  • 1700ha incl. Garnacha (900), Carinena (300ha). Whites; 500Ha (garnacha, viuda, px)

Priorat has specific soils, which are these and what are they called?

  • Varied, poor, volcanic and stony with some clay
  • Llicorella is a specific subsoil; a reddish slate subsoil containing particles of mica (quartzite) that sparkle in the sun and reflect the heat – the alternate layers of slate and quartzite present a black and gold “tigerskin” effect in bright sunlight. This subsoil is known locally as Llicorella. The topsoil consists of decayed slate and mica and is only 50 cm deep.

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