Penedes & Priorat Delight (5 days)

special Departure Year Round
Penedes & Priorat Delight (5 days) with Samuele Colombo is a fully escorted immersion into the history and delights of wine making in the DO Penedes and DOQ Priorat regions of Spain. On this gastronomical journey we visit six wineries, dine on the best local food and enjoy enchanting villages and secluded valleys. We stay in lovely rustic accommodations in some of the wineries. Visit organic bodegas, learn about bio-dynamic technique and understand Cava. You taste some of the finest olive oil produced in this region. Your travel tasting buds will thank you for the full senses expereince!

All Photos courtesy of Samuele Colombo

Your Escort/Guide, Samuele Colombo  

DAY 1: Arrive Barcelona
Arrival in Barcelona where you will be met and driven to your lovely accommodation.
Dinner meet and greet with your escort/guide, Samuele.

Day 2: D.O. Penedès
We will begin our trip by heading south to the DO Penedès to visit two organic bodegas. Small batch wines and also bio-dynamic techniques are here the core of the philosophy . This experience is meant to show you what the traditional Cava is all about, avoiding the cheap fizz of the big commercial producers. We’ll taste organic certified cava as well as innovative and surprising reds, whites, and rosé in small wineries run by enthusiastic young winemakers.

The morning stop will consist of a tour of the fields and winery, visiting the traditional underground Cava cellars followed by a 4 wine tastings. Lunch will follow suit, sampling local products and exploring traditional Catalan country gastronomy. After lunch we will drive a short distance to the second vineyard, where we will witness a true family-run wine business with a long history and a very interesting look at the organic farming process of the past and present and an explanation of how the different micro-climates of the appellation allows a great number of varietals to be grown and a stunning variety of wine styles. The tasting session will then show this richness.

After all this array of flavors we will head to our winery-hotel where we will spend the first night and also enjoy a lovely dinner at the excellent restaurant in situ.

Day 3: DOQ Priorat
Priorat is complicated and beautiful. There’s scarcely a straight line in the place. It’s the same with the soil. It is all about the slate: llicorella. it’s what gives the stunning minerality.
Yet look at any geological map and you’ll be dazzled by the contrasting selection of soils. Then there are the dizzyingly different vineyard aspects; the steep slopes,the very poor average rainfall, the very old vines (some of them 100+ years old).

This photo courtesy of Bernie Guzik

And irrigation is not allowed! There’s nothing consistent about the place, except perhaps its soothing isolation and glorious mystery.

After an invigorating gourmet breakfast we will move on to the incredibly beautiful and rugged Priorat DOQ wine region. The drive will take us through mountainous areas peppered with 800 year-old monasteries, some of the best examples of Romanesque architecture (10th-12th century) illustrating the active role of the monks in wine making during the troubled Middle Age.

During the first part of our day, we will visit the tiny village of Morera de Montsant to take in the stunning views at the foothills of Montsant range and visit a small winery perched on the hill for a tasting of full-bodied Priorat wines of high altitude Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. Then we will move on to visit the monastery of Escaladei, where the history of Priorat began.

Lunch and tasting at Clos Figueres in Gratallops, the acclaimed winery-restaurant owned by Christopher Cannan,one of the pioneers of the Priorat wine “revolution” of the late ’80s and ’90s.
In the afternoon we will drive shortly to the bottom of the valley to the village of Porrera to meet Paco and Dominic and tour their incredible old-vine vineyard on a pure slate soil super steep slope and savour the unique minerality of their wines.

After this triumph of different nectars we’ll finally head to our next hotel-winery. This hotel is the perfect place to relax and get in touch with the countryside. Once checked in, you can relax on the grounds for a while, until we sit down for a great dinner of deliciously prepared ecologic dishes in a quirky restaurant in Poboleda village and turn in for the evening.

Day 4: More Priorat, the spectacular Siurana village, olive oil tasting, Montserrat and Barcelona.
After a nice country breakfast of bread, meats, cheeses and homemade marmalade we will drive to Siurana, an incredible small village of stone houses and cobblestone alleys built in medieval times right on top of an escarpment with truly stunning views and lots of history. We will stroll around and soak in the unique landscape offering superb photo opportunities, go for a delicious local olive oil tasting (Siurana village is known for its for olive oil production) and last we will head to our final winery and rustic lunch just a few miles down the road.

After tasting and lunch, we’ll head back to Barcelona and will stop en route at the Montserrat holy mountain to visit the monastery and enjoy the incredible views and the 2400 ft. (720 mt) bizarre rock formations, visit the Basilica and black Madonna and see the Escolania boy’s choir sing (when available), a musical tradition that dates back to the early 14th century. We will be back to Barcelona by the evening so you have time to relax before dinner.

Day 5: Depart Barcelona
After breakfast, you will be driven to the airport for your departure flight.

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