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The History of the Priorat

On this webshop you will find the beautiful wines from the D.O.Q Priorat wine region. A still unknown small wine region  just under two hours drive from Barcelona that has a huge amount to offer. From the rugged and remote, rocky hills of Priorat come some of Spain's leading wineries. The DOQ Priorat stands for Denominació d'Origen Qualificada and is the only region with this high quality recognition besides Rioja.

The Middle Ages

The Priorat wine region, also known as Priorato, is located in the province of Tarragona in Cataloniaë, Spain. It has a long history dating back to Roman times. The name "Priorat" comes from the Latin word "prioratus", which means "priory". The area was originally known for its religious significance, as there were several monasteries and priories that dominated the landscape.

In the Middle Ages, monasteries played an important role in the development of viticulture in Priorat. The monks introduced new techniques and improved agricultural practices, including viticulture. They developed terraced vineyards on steep slopes and began cultivating grapes such as Garnacha and Carignan, which are still the main variëtees in the region.

Since the Middle Ages, wine has been grown in the Priorat wine region in Cataloniaë. However, when the vines in this geïisolated area in eastern Spain were devastated by a plague of lice in the 19th century, wine was no longer grown for a long time. Many vintners left the area and the vineyards fell into disrepair. Until an energetic group of young winemakers started investing in this wine region south of Barcelona around 1980. And wine production in the Priorat wine region started to develop again.

The new revolution

Winemaker René Barbier, then working at a winery in Rioja owned by the Palacios family, bought his first land of Priorat vineyards in 1979, convinced of the region's potential. At that time, there were 600 hectares of Priorat vineyards. In the 1980s, he convinced others, including Alvario Palacios, to follow suit and plant new vineyards in suitable locations, all named Clos. For the first three vintages, 1989-1991, a group of five wineries pooled their grapes, shared a winery in Gratallops and made ééone wine sold under five labels: Clos Mogador (Barbier), Clos Dofi (Palacios, later renamed Finca Dofi ), Clos Erasmus, Clos Martinet and Clos de l'Obac. Starting in 1992, these wines were made separately

Catalan authorities approved the elevation of Priorat from DO to DOQ in 2000, but confirmation at the national level from the Spanish government in Madrid did not come until July 6, 2009.

The Present

Today Priorat has become one of the most highly regarded wine regions in Spain and enjoys worldwide recognition. However, production is limited, as vineyards are small in size and yields are low. This contributes to the exclusivity and price of Priorat wines. Priorat winemakers remain true to the area's traditions and heritage, while also embracing innovative approaches and sustainable practices. They are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of the wines and capture the unique expression of the terroir.

With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes and beautiful wines, Priorat has become a destination for wine lovers and tourists looking for a unique and authentic wine experience.

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