Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Christian Heide
History of the beautiful Barcelona wine producing region of Penedès
Catalonia, the most northwestern autonomous region of Spain, is a beautiful wine-producing region mostly famous for its D.O.Q. Priorat and D.O. Penedès wines. The latter region is situated only one hour away from Barcelona with a history of wine making going back as far as the 6th century BC, thus making the Penedès one of the most ancient wine regions in Europe.
Next to its superb white wines the region is famous for its Cava, the sparkling wine that is produced in the same method like Champagne from France. Actually, it used to be called Champagne in Catalonia as well but when the French wine region had protected its name in the 1980s by the European Union, Catalonia needed to change the naming of their product. That is when the name Cava was born – a Catalan word meaning “cellar” – the place where the bottles are stored.
The wine maker, Freixenet Cava, from Sant Sadurní d´Anonia has become one of the most famous foreign brands for this sparkling wine in Germany throughout the last decades. Other internationally well known wineries are Codorníu Cava or Torres Winery.
You can find all kind of experiences and tastings of Cava in the Penedès region. Especially Sant Sadurní d´Anoia with its 300 cava makers provides a large variety of tours such as Freixenet Cava where you can learn about mass production of their Cava. However, smaller wineries can offer you much better local experiences. That is why we also offer our private tour “Intimate Champagne & Chocolate Experience” , a visit to a small, family run Cava winery: Giró I Giró.
Another great experience is Adernats – Vinicola de Nulles where you can enjoy a tour around the premises and a fantastic five course dinner. In the early 20th century – after that the phylloxera plague had devastated many grapevines – the wine making families of Nulles decided to join forces by unifying their resources and knowledge into the Sant Isidre´s trade union. Together they built a new wine cellar: the Nulles Wine Cathedral.
The beautiful Wine Cathedral designed by Cèsar Martinell (scholar of Gaudí) is one of the greatest exponents of the modernist movement. You can get a very lively tour around the cathedral just before dinner starts.
For the five course dinner you will be seated between the arches of the cathedral providing a very special ambience. The food comes from a local Nulles restaurant and is truly exquisite. During the evening you will have to compete in a wine tasting contest.
Private tour tip:
Intimate Champagne & Chocolate Experience, The Barcelona Feeling: Spend a day with us tasting Cava and Chocolate. Visit a cava winery during your Barcelona trip and learn all about how Cava is produced and chocolate is made.