In the last decade Priorat has risen from obscurity to become one of Spain’s top wine regions, a source of some sought-after, superstar red wines. At the beginning of the 1990s few outside of Spain had heard of Priorat (known as Priorato in Castilian), an ancient wine region predating the arrival of the Romans, but the emergence of several ambitious new winemakers has led to a quality revolution, producing wines that now express the full potential of these spectacular terroirs.
Priorat is a small, isolated region, located slightly west of Tarragona in Catalonia, approximately 60 kilometers southwest of Barcelona. It's trump card is its unique soil, known as llicorella (licorice). This is a dark slate which sparkles in the high sun from the quartzite that runs through it. The climate is ideal for fine wine production, with hot days and cool nights during the growing season. Low rainfall levels force the vines to root deeply into the soil to find a steady but controlled water supply. Couple this terroir with the low-yielding old Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan) vines that predominate, and the result is concentrated, profound red wines with heady aromas and complex, minerally flavours.