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Travel Guide to Catalonian Wine Region

Catalonia is one of Spain's most popular destinations, offering amazing beaches, distinctive rural areas, world-class wines, and gastronomy. Whether you choose to spend your day at the beach or in the city, absolute splendour awaits. The unique architecture of the famous architect Gaudi, the Monastery of Poblet in Tarragona, the archaeological site at Tarraco, and the churches of the Boí Valley in Lleida are all not to be missed. Catalonia is also one of the top wine destinations in Spain and is home to several distinct wine regions, each with its own unique character and winemaking traditions. Starting from Penedes, famous for Cava production, and finishing with Priorat, known for its high-quality red wines, there is an array of wines for every palate to discover in Catalonia.

For the wine experiences, check out our list of wine tastings & tours in Catalonia wine region.

Catalonia Wine Region Wt
Beach of Lloret de Mar, Catalonia Region, Spain

Where is Catalonia Wine Region?

Catalonia wine region is located in the northeast of Spain, in the south of the eastern Pyrenees, bordering France and along the Mediterranean coast. The region has almost 600 km of coastline, being strongly influenced by the maritime climate. The big majority of the vineyards in Catalonia are located in the south of Barcelona, areas that cover the coastal plain and hills to the west.

Interested in customizing your Catalonia wine vacation? Simply send us your preferences here, and our team of experts will tailor the perfect itinerary for you.

What You Should Know About Catalan Wines

Catalonia is a fascinating Spanish province, home to some of the most sought-after Spanish wines in the country. Penedès is the largest and most significant wine-producing region in Catalonia wine region. It is also one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Europe, with traces of early viticulture dating back to the sixth century BC. The diversity of its terrain makes it particularly well-suited for a variety of grapes. Today, it is known as the home of some of the most avant-garde wine producers in Spain. Its capital, the city of Vilafranca del Penedès is also a popular destination for wine tourism, famous for its wine-related activities and wineries around.

The most traditional and popular wines of the region include Cava, a fresh style sparkling wine, dry white wines and powerful reds, known as "black" wine or vi Negre in Catalan, due to the colour of the wine. Catalonia’s best wines also feature intense minerality derived from vineyards planted on granite, chalk and fractured slate soils. Catalonia’s best wines also feature intense minerality derived from vineyards planted on granite, chalk and fractured slate soils.

Major Wine-Producing Regions of Catalonia

Just as Chianti and Barolo are the greatest regions of red winemaking in Italy, Catalonia hosts 1 of the 2 greatest appellations of Spanish red wines - Priorat (the other one is a separate wine region - Rioja). It is one of only two regions in Spain to have the special appellation D.O.C or Denominació d’Origen Qualificada, recognizing the outstanding quality and consistency of its wines. The special volcanic properties of the soil lend flavour to the wines and produce low-yielding vines compared to other regions.

Located in the northeast of Catalonia, near the popular seaside area known as the Costa Brava, the Empordà wine region has a long history of making rosé wine. And additionally, red wine accounts for 60 % of its annual production. The reds tend to be full-bodied and are sometimes aged in oak barrels for added depth of flavour. There are more than 20 grape varieties allowed under the official appellation DO Empordà including the non-native Gewürztraminer white grape variety.

Tarragona wine region is named after the southern Catalan town of Tarragona around which it is situated. The area has long had a history of producing rich, heavy reds, similar to fortified wines such as Port, which were already being enjoyed in the time of the Ancient Romans. Conca de Barberà is a historic wine-producing area in the province of Tarragona famous for its white wines, which account for more than 60 % of its total production.

Catalonia Wine Map

Catalonia Wine Map Infographics
Santa Maria de Poblet Cistercian monastery, Province of Tarragona, Catalunya wine region
Santa Maria de Poblet Cistercian monastery, Province of Tarragona, Catalonia wine region

Catalan Grape Varieties

Catalonia wine region in the northeast of Spain has a rich viticultural tradition and is known for its diverse grape varieties. Catalonia wine regions focus mostly on what is considered Mediterranean grape varieties:

  • Garnacha (Grenache): This red grape variety is widely grown in Catalonia and produces wines with fruity flavors, moderate tannins, and medium to high alcohol content. It is often used in blends and can be found in both red and rosé wines.
  • Tempranillo: Also known as Ull de Llebre in Catalan, Tempranillo is a red grape variety that is commonly grown in Catalonia. It is known for its versatility and is used to produce both young, fruity wines and complex, oak-aged wines.
  • Macabeo (Viura): This white grape variety is widely cultivated in Catalonia and is often used in the production of sparkling wines, such as Cava. It contributes to the freshness and acidity of the wines and is sometimes blended with other varieties. You can taste wines made from this grape at Casa Vermouth Padró.
  • Xarel·lo: Another important white grape variety in Catalonia, Xarel·lo is primarily used in the production of Cava. It adds structure and body to the sparkling wines and can also be used to make still wines with citrus and herbal notes.
  • Parellada: This white grape variety is a key component in the production of Cava, adding delicate aromas and acidity to the sparkling wines. It is often blended with Macabeo and Xarel·lo to create balanced and aromatic Cavas.
  • Carinyena (Carignan): A red grape variety that is found in Catalonia, Carinyena produces wines with deep color, firm tannins, and rich flavors. It is often used in blends and can add complexity and structure to the wines.
  • Monastrell (Mourvèdre): While not as widely planted as some other varieties, Monastrell is grown in certain areas of Catalonia. It is a red grape variety known for its dark fruit flavors, robust tannins, and potential for aging.

The region's diverse terroir and climate allow for the cultivation of many other local and international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir from red grapes and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc & Gewürztraminer from whites.

Organic vineyard in Priorat (aka Priorato), Spain
Organic vineyard in Priorat, Catalonia wine region, Spain

Story of Cava - An Authentic Spanish Bubbles

While the majority of the region's wines are the Cava blends, many varietal wines are also produced. The roots of the Cava wine industry can be traced back to Josep Raventos' travels through Europe in the 1860s, where he was promoting the still wines of his Codorníu winery. His visits to the Champagne region sparked an interest in the potential of a Spanish version, using the same sparkling wine production methods. The local Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel·lo have since become established as the most popular grapes for producing Cava. Early versions were called Catalan champán or xampany after Champagne but this practice ended when the EU awarded Champagne Protected Geographical Status.

Catalan’s main sparkling wine producers agreed and adopted the name Cava after the Catalan word for a cellar, where the wines were traditionally stored. According to Spanish wine laws, Cava can be produced in six wine regions (such as Aranda de Duero, Navarra and Rioja) but 95% of Spanish Cava production takes place in the Penedès wine region. In order for the wines to be called 'Cava', they must be made in the traditional méthode champenoise.

A rosé style of Cava is also produced in small quantities by adding still red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, or Monastrell to the wine.

Caves Planas Albareda and Giró del Gorner are producing sparkling wines under the appellation DO Cava.

Experience Catalonia Wine Region with Locals

You can taste good quality Catalan wines everywhere across the region either in a wine bar with tapas or in a gourmet restaurant with fine dishes. However, we think that the best way to learn about these wines is to visit Wineries in Catalonia, or join the organized wine tours offered by local wine guides.

ametller top view of the white estate and vineyards around winery

At the foothills of national park

Ametller winery is located at the foothills of Ametller National Park surrounded with breathtaking landscapes.

Visit the winery and listen to their story of seven generations producing exceptional wines.

planas albareda winery entrance to the estate and beautiful yard

In the heart of Penedès

Caves Planas Albareda is a family-owned winery located in the heart of Penedès, an area of long winemaking tradition and good weather for grape cultivation.

The family produces wines exclusively from the grapes obtained from their own vineyards. You can discover the exceptional care given to their vineyards and wines in your glass.

Top 3 to Visit in Catalonia Wine Region

Barcelona - The True Heart and Soul of Spain

Wherever you are in Barcelona, there's always something to see nearby around the neighbourhood or district: jewels of home-grown Catalan architecture, both modern and contemporary. Millions of visitors travel to Barcelona every year to see the iconic Sagrada Familia church or other modernist buildings designed by Gaudi. Even though Gaudi was born in Reus, a little town in the province of Tarragona, most of his works he dedicated to Barcelona. Discover some of Gaudi's masterpieces while wandering around the city. Casa Milà, Casa Battló, The Park Güel and many more. Several markets are located throughout the city centre that entices the senses, as well as treasures of the ancient Roman and medieval city, and beautiful parks to wander through. markets that are a treat for the senses, treasures of the ancient Roman and medieval cities, and parks where you can unwind.

Check out our list of wineries near Barcelona to discover amazing wine experiences.  

Park Güell, the park of Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain
Park Güell, the park of Gaudi, Barcelona, Spain

The Costa Brava - Travel On the Footsteps of Salvador Dali

The Costa Brava runs the length of the coast from north of Barcelona all the way to the French border. The area is characterized by quaint little villages, rugged coastlines, mountainous peaks, and stunning beaches. The best way to reach some places in Costa Brava is to hire a car as many towns are difficult to reach by public transport.

One of Costa Brava’s most famous former residents is the eccentric artist Salvador Dalí. Dalí was born in the town of Figueres, around 43km north of Girona. Here you will find one of the most celebrated museums of Salvador Dali, Dali Theatre-Museum. Other great spots to visit include his quirky summer home in Portlligat and his castle in the town of Púbol. The Costa Brava is without a doubt home to some of the country’s best beaches. They may not belong and sweeping – but they’re small and intimate, surrounded by soaring clifftops and unusual rock formations. Many beaches can be reached on foot by climbing down steep coastal paths. Below you will often find private, pebbly shorelines kissed by clear blue waters.

Tossa Del Mar, Costa Brava, Spain
Tossa Del Mar, Costa Brava, Spain

Girona - A Classic Medieval Town

Girona, an intriguing town, which sits between Barcelona and Costa Brava, has medieval walls, narrowed city streets, and one of the best-preserved Jewish Quarters in Europe. The historic city of Girona is filled with architectural landmarks, fascinating museums, and an impressive array of churches, cathedrals and monasteries. When you’ve had your fill of history and quaint cobbled streets, however, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to Girona than meets the eye. The historic Catalan city of Girona is known for its well-preserved Jewish quarter, unique history, festivals, and, of course, its architecture. Girona lies approximately 100km northeast of Barcelona and is well worth a day trip for anyone staying in the area.

Discover all Spanish wine-growing regions in this article.

Bringing you Closer to the Natural World

Catalonia wine region is home to a range of beautiful coves and beaches, tall and uniquely sculptured mountain ranges, and wide rivers that turn into deltas when they reach the sea. Moreover, here, you can also enjoy freshwater streams, endless natural parks, lakes, dormant volcanoes, and loads of fun. Nature is ever-present in Catalonia in multiple forms with thousands of options to explore. You can also visit our partner winery Vila Morgades , Venus La Universal and Terres De Vidalba - Doq Priorat for their amazing wine experiences.

Natural Park That Embodies the Beauty of Pyrenees Mountain

The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park presents the typical high mountain features of the Pyrenees, as well as its own distinguishing feature, the water. This park is characterized by its crystal-clear waters that run through its many lakes and rivers and make this Pyrenean landscape rich. As well as the torrents and waterfalls, there are thick forests that look extremely beautiful when it snows. But its landscape is not the only important feature, the biological diversity is extraordinary. It is a real paradise for nature lovers with rugged landscapes, a biodiversity of plants, and interesting flora and fauna.

Cap de Creus National Park - a True Ocean Paradise

The peninsula of Cap de Creus constitutes the last buttress of the Pyrenees and the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. The coast is abrupt and jagged, with towering cliffs and remote coves. The park was created in 1998 and is the first natural park covering both sea and land in Catalonia.

Within the land area there are 3 natural zones of declared national interest: to the north, the sector around Cap Gros-Cap de Creus; to the south, the sector around Punta Falconera-Cap Norfeu; and to the west, the sector of the Serra de Rodes.

Inside the Natural Park of Cap de Creus, one can take part in a very large number of leisure activities and visits. The walking and mountain bike itineraries are especially attractive. The majority of the walking itineraries follow the tracks of former cattle trails, which gives them an added interest. A very interesting itinerary from the botanical, geological, and scenic point of view is the path from Mas Paltré in Port de la Selva, to Cap de Creus, following the route of the GR-11 long-distance footpath.

Camino de Ronda - Exploring Catalonia on Foot

The Camíno de Ronda, also known as the Costa Brava Way, is a public footpath that traverses the rugged and picture-perfect calas all the way along the Costa Brava. This path provides a perfect out-of-season adventure, or escape from bustling beaches during the summer, and the chance to discover the Catalan Coast from a unique perspective. Dating from the 19th century, the Camíno de Ronda originated as a series of small pathways connecting one cove to the next, enabling fishermen, smugglers, sailors, travellers, lighthouse keepers, and cart and mule drivers, to navigate this once remote coastal territory.

Camino de Ronda, Catalonia, Spain

This historic hiking trail invites visitors to follow in the footsteps of the many heroes and villains, artists, and dreamers who once roamed these parts, and become acquainted with another Costa Brava. The Catalan coastal mountain range, which runs parallel to the coast, sets the backdrop for the southern stretch between Blanes and Pals, where tree-clad hills drop down to erratically shaped rocky coves, crystal clear waters, secret sandy inlets, and long golden beaches.

Moving north, the landscape becomes progressively wilder, as towering limestone cliffs give way to bio-diverse wetlands and ancient Greco-Roman ruins. Finally, the igneous Pyrenean foothills emerge dramatically out of the sea between Cap de Creus and the French border. The overall trail can be broken down into 12 stages and is of easy-moderate difficulty. It can be undertaken in its entirety as a 12-day hike, backpack on tow, or simply a day or half day’s walk between resorts.

Discover the finest Catalonia Wine Tour Guide and embark on unforgettable Guided Wine Tours in the heart of Catalonia.

Gastronomical Specialties of Catalonia Wine Region

One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not eaten well

Catalonia wine region has become renowned internationally for its food and gastronomy culture. In recent years, the new wave of experimental gastronomic chefs has brought the region to the world's attention. However, Catalonia wine region has been a must-visit location for food lovers for many years. Its location on the Mediterranean coast offers a generous and varied selection of ingredient options, allowing for some imaginative results. Due to Catalonia's location on the coast, seafood dishes are impressive and vegetables such as tomatoes, red peppers, aubergines, mushrooms, and artichokes are in abundance. However, it is easy to forget that a lot of Catalonia is also made up of mountains and fields where pigs and sheep can roam. Thus, the Catalan interest in 'May Y Mantagna' ('Sea and Mountain' - think 'Surf n Turf') - the concept of having fish and meat on the same plate is continually evolving.

Esqueixada de Bacalla- the Quintessential Taste of Catalan

Esqueixada is a traditional Catalan dish, a salad of shredded salt cod, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and vinegar, salt, and sometimes a garnish of olives or hard-boiled eggs. Esqueixada is particularly popular in warm weather and is sometimes considered a summertime dish. Esqueixada is sometimes described as the "Catalan ceviche" because it is made with raw fish (although the cod is salt-cured and dried) in a marinade. The name of the dish comes from the Catalan verb esqueixar, to tear or shred. The salt cod in the dish is always shredded with the fingers, never sliced or chopped, to achieve the correct texture.

Faves a la Catalana - The Taste of Catalonia

Faves a la Catalana is a traditional Spanish dish originating from Catalonia. The dish is made with fava beans (broad beans) that are cooked in stock with a bit of botifarra negra (blood sausage). Apart from those key ingredients, the dish also contains bacon, onions, garlic, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, and paprika. Faves a la Catalana has been prepared for hundreds of years, and some of the recipes date back to the mid-19th century. Nowadays, this hearty stew is typically consumed during the harvest season (from February to late June), and it's traditionally served in an earthenware dish.

Faves a la Catalana

Espinacs amb Panses I Pinyons - Traditional Spinach Served with Raisins and Pine Nuts

This traditional dish is made by sautéing fresh spinach and adding fired pine nuts, chopped garlic, raisins, and often finely chopped bacon. The result is a healthy, tasty, and texture-filled treat. Partner Wineries to Visit in Priorat:

Sao Del Coster - Wines that express Priorat

Sangenis I Vaque - A taste of history with a Modern touch

Perinet - Joan Manuel, a Well-Known Barcelona Guitarist & Singer, has a Partnership with Perinet

Mas Dels Estels - Spanish wines of the Priorat wine region

Marco Abella - Award Winning Wines

La Conreria Dscala Dei - Ecological winery started in 1997

Gratavinum - Respecting the Lands that Gives Wines

Clos Pachem - Discover the Story of a Surgeon-Turned-Winery Owner, Michael Grupper

Clos Mesorah - A place where modern technology meets world standards

Clos Figueras - Finest Wines in Priorat

Celler Vall Llach - Located in the Beautiful Poetic Landscape of Priorat Region

Cellar Nin Ortiz - Sustainable Viticulture in Priorat

Celler Lo - A Tribute to the Great Land of Priorat

Celler Joan Simo - The Boutique Winery That Produces a Limited Run of Their Wines

Cellars Capafons Osso S.L - One of the First Wineries in Montsant Region Producing Rose Wine From Syrah

Bodegas Grifoll Declara - Fifth-generation winery making pure Priorat wines aged in French Oak Partner Wineries to Visit in Penedès:

Suriol - For the love of Spanish family made wines

Satyrs Artisan Wines - A magical space where visitors will be able to travel in time and space from the very heart of Catalonia and through the Mediterranean sea until the heart of Greece

Pares Balta - Organic Wines and Cavas from Penedes

Pagès Entrena - Exceptional Spanish cava and wine since 1950

MontRubí - A family-owned winery that produces high-altitude organic wines

Montesquius - A Wide Variety of Grapes

Mas Bertran - Where the vines are sculpted by the winemaker's hands

Joan Segura Pujadas - Making wines since the early 1900s

Jané Santacana - Traditional Family Production with the Determination to Improve Every Day

Finca Mas Perdut - Making Wines with Passion and Respect

Colet - Visit a Unique Catalan Winery: 100% Ecological, 100% Sparkling, 100% Penedes

Caves Blancher - Certified Quality in Grapes Harvested

Cavas Ferret - Discover a winery making Cavas since the 1940s

Cava Oriol Rossell - Discover a Family-run Winery that Produces Handcrafted Cava

Castelo de Pedregosa - Years of Winemaking Experience

Bodegas Sumarroca - A Family Winery in Penedes

ArtCava - Wine in the Form of Art

Frequently Asked Questions about Catalonia Wine Region

1. Where is the Catalonia wine region located?

Catalonia wine region is located in the south of the eastern Pyrenees, bordering France and along the Mediterranean coast. The region has almost 600 km of coastline, being strongly influenced by the maritime climate.

2. What are the most famous sub-regions and appellations in Catalonia?

Catalonia wine region has different sub-regions dividing the main area and those are also appellations, namely: Costers del Segre, Emporda, Cava, Penedes, Pla de Bages, Alella, Conca de Barbera, Tarragona, Montsant, and Terra Alta as DOs and Priorat, as DOCa. The region itself is also an appellation (Catalunya DO).

3. What are the main grape varieties in Catalonia?

Catalonia wine region has an interesting array of grape varieties, with the whites Chardonnay, Grenache Blanca, Macabeo, Muscat, Parellada, and sparkling Cava, alongside with the reds Tempranillo (locally known as Ull de Llebre), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Pinot Noir, Carignan, Trepat, Merlot and Monastrell completing the range.

4. What is the best wine to try in Catalonia?

When looking for Catalonian wines, try the powerful and full-bodied reds from Priorat. The wines of this region tend to have flavors of red and dark fruits, carrying bold tannins, with grapes such as Garnacha (grenache) and Cariñena.

5. What is the most famous wine from Catalonia?

Catalonia has incredible wines, but one highlight of this wine region is the Cava sparkling wine from Penedès. This dry white is sometimes referred to as the "Spanish version of champagne", using traditional grapes such as Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada.

Discover Catalonia With Local Wine Guides

Check out our local wine tour guides with their wine tour offers to have everything organized when visiting the Catalonia wine region.

Displaying 1-12 of 12 local wine guides



Offers tours in:
Penedès, Catalonia, Spain

Hola! I'm Gabby, your personal wine aficionado and the proud owner of Wine Fantasy Barcelona!...

German Zapata

German Zapata

Offers tours in:
Priorat, Catalonia, Spain

We are a company in which we are in charge of helping the different agencies that request our...

World Experience

World Experience

Offers tours in:
Penedès, Catalonia, Spain

We design innovative leisure and travel experiences for those looking for a unique, memorable and...



Offers tours in:
Priorat, Catalonia, Spain

Originally from Germany, now I am enjoying the beautiful scenery and the amazing wines in the...

Filippo B

Filippo B

Offers tours in:
Catalonia, Spain

Spanish Trails is a boutique travel agency that has been operating since 2001. We focus on...

Barcelona By Road

Barcelona By Road

Offers tours in:
Catalonia, Spain

At Barcelona By Road we provide Wine Experiences in Barcelona and Catalonia. We pride ourselves...



Offers tours in:
Penedès, Catalonia, Spain

Bikemotions - Guided & Self-guided Bike Tours Albert offering bicycle and walking tours to the...



Offers tours in:
Penedès, Catalonia, Spain

Easy Cycling Sitges is a company based in Sitges, Barcelona. We do bike tours and cycling...

Christian and Michael

Christian and Michael

Offers tours in:
Penedès, Catalonia, Spain

Originally from Germany I have been living in Amsterdam and Barcelona for several years. Next to...



Offers tours in:
Catalonia, Spain

We offer visits to remarkable wine regions through the wineries Celler De L'encastell and Celler...



Offers tours in:
Penedès, Catalonia, Spain

I am a licensed official tour guide in Catalonia and certified sommelier. I love wine, food, art,...



Offers tours in:
Empordà, Catalonia, Spain

Want to visit Spain, but not sure where to start? We understand. Planning a trip to Spain and all...

Map of Wineries in Catalonia

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Subregions in Catalonia

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