The Denominació d’Origen Catalunya, approved in 1999, includes about 4,000 hectares of vineyards with a Mediterranean climate.
In this territory there are twenty-five varieties of grapes, which emerge among the white grapes, the white garnacha, the gewürztraminer, the macabeo and the malvasía. Among black grapes, cabernet franc and sauvignon and black garnacha.
Many of the vineyards of the Denominació d’Origen Cataluña are located around monasteries from the Middle Ages, such as those of Montserrat, Santes Creus, Poblet or Sant Pere de Rodes. This is because, in many cases, the monks had royal permits to produce wine.
Let’s find out more from the words of Xavier Pié Dols, President of DO Catalunya.
Since DO Catalunya was born, what are the goals achieved so far?
DO Catalunya was born in 1999 even if the wine tradition of our territory is older than our own history. Phoenicians and Romans introduced the cultivation of vines in Catalonia and, since then, wine has been part of our daily life, our diet, our culture, our daily life and our moments of celebration.
DO Catalunya is the heir to this tradition. The wineries that are part of the DO are very different, as well as the orography and climatology of the entire region, but they have a common goal: to make a quality wine. In fact, DO Catalunya represents over 50% of Catalan wine with Designation of Origin, it has become the Designation of Origin that bottles more wine with more than 62.1 million bottles sold annually and with a very important weight in export markets, bringing together more than 100 countries around the world.
What are the characteristics of the territory and the wines?
DO Catalunya extends in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees. It covers 42,985 hectares. Viticultural area extended over 426 municipalities in Catalonia, where the vine has traditionally been cultivated, becoming a characteristic and intrinsic element of its landscapes and its culture.
Catalonia has exceptional natural conditions: a great diversity of soils, microclimates and orographic conditions and a geographical position that has allowed it to achieve the variety, quality and continuity of its oenological potential.
All DO Catalunya wines can seek the maximum expression of the raw material: grapes, by fermenting the musts in stainless steel tanks and under strict temperature control. Or they present the characteristic bouquet of contact with oak which, in turn, enriches them with complexity.
As for wine tourism, what kind of proposals and territories are offered to the user?
Currently, DO Catalunya brings together the vast majority of Catalan wine communities. In this sense, the wine tourism offered by the DO is very wide, as it extends over the whole Catalan territory. The user can feel free to explore the cellars in different areas of Catalonia and learn about the diversity of the territories and wines that exist throughout the territory, always keeping in mind a common element: they are the wines protected by the DO Catalunya, whose seal IT it is a guarantee of quality and proximity, where landscape, traditional and cultural values intervene.
What are the goals for the near future to spread the excellence of the DO de Catalunya more and more, both nationally and internationally?
The goal is to gradually improve the quality of wines and vineyards, promoting the research and application of the latest technologies, as a necessary mechanism to respond to today’s demanding markets.
Consolidating, creating and innovating are the fundamental guidelines that explain DO Catalunya: this is why it has a wide range of authorized grape varieties, so that winemakers and wineries can produce their wines with flexibility, creativity and freedom.
The same winery can work with different designations of origin, even if a wine can only have one. In fact, 90% of our wineries have wines with other designations of origin. Even so, although there are DOs more locally, DO Catalunya plays a vital role in the international market.
DO Catalunya is the key to export. It is attractive and internationally recognized because, being the largest DO, it is also the one that allows more grape varieties, in order to offer oenologists a more flexible creation framework, because it is the only one that allows you to make wines by extracting the best from different Catalan areas.
Why are DO Catalunya wines special?
DO Catalunya allows the production of wines with freedom, creativity and flexibility, as it has a wide range of authorized varieties. Winegrowers and wineries act as creative agents, easily adapting to consumer demand.
DO Catalunya has 36 authorized indigenous and international grape varieties that allow the winegrower to create the blend of his wine. Rosé and white red wines, crianza, reserva and gran reserva are produced, with a minimum stay in cask in the case of red wines, of 6, 12 or 24 months, and a total aging period of 2, 3 or 5 years respectively. Also sparkling wines and liqueurs.
We will find unusual cuts based on the multiple options offered by its wide range of authorized grape varieties. The traditional cultivation varieties of Catalonia are often combined with the foreign varieties recently planted in our territory.