Catalonia Wine Tours, cava country & heavenly landscapes
If you are interested in setting up your own tour through Catalonia’s wine country, please schedule a call with us.
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia, is famous for its stunning architecture, world-class cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. However, what many travellers don’t know is that Barcelona is also a wine lover’s paradise. The region is home to some of the finest wineries in Spain, producing world-renowned wines like Cava, Priorat, and Penedès. See our Barcelona Wine Tour so you can explore the rich culture, history, and flavours of Catalonia’s wine country – even without leaving the city.
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about Catalonia wine tours, including the best wineries to visit, the best time to go, and what to expect on your tour. So, let’s raise a glass to the beauty of Catalonia’s wine country!
Why Barcelona Is a Great Destination for Wine Lovers
Catalonia’s wine industry dates back to the Roman Empire, and the region has been producing wine for over 2,000 years. Today, the region is one of the most prominent wine-producing areas in Spain, and its wines are enjoyed worldwide.
Barcelona is an ideal starting point for exploring Catalonia’s wine country, as it is well-connected and easily accessible by plane, train, or car. You can also explore the city’s many wine bars and restaurants, which offer a wide selection of wines from Catalonia and beyond. We offer a private wine tasting in a wine shop in the Eixample district for you to sample 5 Spanish wines along with 5 local cheeses. Perfect for Spanish wine novices and experts.
Barcelona’s location on the Mediterranean coast also provides an ideal climate for winemaking. The region’s warm summers and mild winters, combined with the fertile soils and gentle slopes, create the perfect conditions for growing grapes. As a result, Catalonia is home to some of Spain’s most famous wine regions, including Penedès & Priorat.
When Is the Best Time to Go on a Wine Tour in Catalonia?
The best time to go on a wine tour in Barcelona is between May and October when the weather is warm and dry. During this time, the vineyards are lush and green, and the grapes are starting to ripen, making it the perfect time to experience the grape harvest.
However, if you prefer a quieter and more peaceful experience, you may want to consider visiting the wineries in the off-season, between November and April. The winter months may not be as picturesque as the summer, but the wines are just as good, and you’ll have more time to chat with the winemakers and learn about the winemaking process.
Choosing the Best Catalonia Wine Tour
There are many wine tours to choose from in Barcelona, and it can be challenging to know where to start. To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a list of the best wine tours in the region.
Penedès is the largest wine region in Catalonia, known for its sparkling wine, Cava. On our “Catalonia’s Great Wines” Private Multi Day Tour, you will have a full day throughout Montserrat & Penedès.
Montserrat in Cava Country
Your guide and driver meet you at the hotel for the one-hour upward drive through a landscape of dramatic rock formations to the hilltop sanctuary of Montserrat. The Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat is a 1000-year-old shrine built and still occupied by Benedictine monks. It’s linked by cable car to the Sant Joan viewpoint where you take in the full sweep of the surrounding peaks and walk the high ground on a light 15 minute hike across flat terrain.
Next, a 45-minute drive into the cava country of Penedès, home to one of Catalonia’s oldest wineries. The Llopart family have been in viticulture for 25 generations, and have grown on these high slopes since the 19th century. On a tour of their facility – state of the art, but still rooted in the Llopart clan’s feel for the soil – you learn how they have helped develop the region’s signature Saignée method for making sparkling wine, before tasting various premium varieties. We’ve got a range of recommendations for lunch in the area, according to your preferences and hunger levels. Then back for a relaxing evening at the hotel.
The Priorat region is located in the mountains of Tarragona, and it is known for producing some of Spain’s most prestigious wines. On the same “Catalonia’s Great Wines” private multi-day tour, you will also have a complete 2 days to visit two bodegas in very different settings and fully take in the landscapes:
First is Bodega Burgos Porta, a winery centred on a geological marvel, where a natural amphitheatre of slate orbits a remote mountain farmhouse. The resident Burgos-Porta family has developed a reputation for turning out high-quality, organic craft wines by use of traditional methods. Owner Salvador Burgos himself shows you around, revealing some of the secrets of the pure spring water and mineral-rich slate soil, or licorella, that nourish his grapes. This spectacular terroir is laced across costers (a Catalan term for “steep slopes”), with vines planted at angles so sharp and narrow that they cannot be worked by farm machinery. Sit with a glass or two of the end results while gazing out over those hills.
Scala Dei, on our “Catalonia’s Great Wines: from vineyards to bodegas, Private Multi Day Tour”
Next, it’s an onward journey to the Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei. The name means “staircase to heaven”, and refers to a chivalric legend of the Middle Ages, when 12th-century knights were so wonderstruck by the scenery that they claimed to see angels ascending to paradise. Even today a reverent hush still reigns around the monastery ruins, the sense of calm and quietude on that high ground marking a pleasant contrast to the more bustling, ultramodern cellars of the region.
After, you’ll stop for lunch at a rustic restaurant of your choice – they’re all well-stocked with wines to match the regional cuisine – before moving on to the storybook village of Siurana for a light nature hike at your own pace. Perched on a rock in the river, Siurana was the last Muslim stronghold in Catalunya, a towering fortress, with its sheer cliff walls reaching up into the clouds. Your walking route also takes you through the cobblestone streets to see the remains of a Moorish castle and Medieval Romanesque church. A deeply atmospheric end to the day, before returning to Falset for a restful evening.
The next day, you will have Part II of the Priorat region:
In the morning, you’ll meet your driver and guide in the hotel lobby and depart for Priorat, in the deep Catalonian countryside some 90 miles southwest of Barcelona. It’s a land straight out of folk tales and monkish chronicles, evoking images of lonely hermitages, hilltop castles, towering rock-faces, and vertical scrolls of mountainside vineyards. The region was named after the Prior of Scale Dei, the beautiful 12th-century Carthusian Monastery that still stands today, and the wine produced by and for its resident holy men has made Priorat famous. The rustic nature of the terroir and techniques caused a long decline in local winemaking until the 1980s, when pioneer Renée Barbier enlisted the help of like-minded growers to restore that viticulture. In the process, they established new standards that gave rise to some of Spain’s finest wines, as you learn on our first private visit to a family-run vineyard at the epicenter of this resurgent region.
You are met at Clos de l’Obac by one of the owners: the extraordinarily knowledgeable and convivial journalist Carles Pastrana, or his wife, the expert winemaker Mariona Jarque. Together they have dedicated 30 years to the recovery of half-forgotten Carthusian wines that might otherwise be lost to history. On an exclusive tour of the property you can hear the full, miraculous origin story – how a band of hippies arrived in Priorat and turned generally bad table wine into some of the most admired in the world.
After a tasting of four of their vintages, it’s on to lunch in the beautiful hilltop village of Gratallops, overlooking the Siurana river. Your guide has a number of favourite restaurants to recommend, and you can choose according to your appetite.
The afternoon concludes with a visit to the main winegrowing hub of Priorat, around the village of Falset. Vermouth is a native nectar and a social custom in this part of the world, and you can taste some of the best at Cooperativa Falset Marca, a centennial winery styled and detailed with Art Nouveau flourishes by César Marinell, a friend and disciple of Gaudí. This site is often referred to as the “cathedral of wineries” in southern Catalonia. Your private tour leads you to the century-old vats in which Falset vermouth is made, and talks you through the ageing process before you try a sample selection of the label’s outstanding Etim wines.
Your driver and guide then leave you to settle in at the surpassingly charming, family-run Hostal Sport, where you will be spending the next two nights.