Since the 18th, century wine production has become the most important agriculture activity in Catalonia, especially in the Penedes area. Penedes DO (District of Origin) is the largest and the most productive wine region in Catalonia, Northern Spain.
It has an area of 25 000 hectares and produces around 33 million liters of wine per year.
The Penedes District Of Origin (DO) is made up of three zones: The Penedès Superior (near the inland mountain range), The Penedès Marítim (between the sea and the coastal hills) and the area in between, known as The Penedès Central. Due to different altitudes and distance to the sea, the Penedes DO has a wide variety of micro climates: e.g. The Penedès Maritim has a mild and warm climate as it is the closest to the Mediterranean, the Penedès Superior has a big contrast between max and min temperatures and more rainfall, it also has vineyards that are amongst the highest altitude in Europe (up to 800m above sea level). Whereas Penedès Central is more of a mixture of the other two microclimates.
The region has a long winemaking history and is widely acknowledged as having very modern and innovative bodegas. Furthermore most of wineries in Penedes DO produce organic wine, as various chemicals were stopped being used in wine production in the 1950s, e.g. one of the largest producers, Torres, has more than a third of their vine lands as organic. Spain is the number one producer of organic wines in the world. In 2014 there were more than 160 wineries registered in Penedes DO. Apart from the already mentioned famous Torres, there are many other well-known bodegas, such as: Freixenet, Codorniu, Jean Leon, Torello and Gramona.
Due to the short proximity to Barcelona the Penedes region has a strong export market. Moreover, this region is a leader in the wine tourism sector as it has a lot to offer for people who want to discover the rich culture of wine.
If you like to read more about the Penedes region, please visit: http://www.dopenedes.cat/en
The Penedes wines include sparkling Cava, dry white wines and strong reds. The most famous wine grapes in the Penedes region are: Xarel.lo, Macabeo, Parellada, Garnacha and Tempranillo. Xarel.lo is the most popular variety in Penedes DO, as it adapts well to the mixed microclimates of the region. This native grape gives a great structure, body and fruitiness to white wine or cava. Whereas Macabeo adds more floral notes, creamy texture and Parellada creates refreshing acidity and citrus notes. Tempranillo and Garnacha are red grapes with lush textures and red fruit characters.
Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel.lo are the most common grapes used in Cava production. The history of Cava – Spanish sparkling wine that uses similar production method as Champagne (méthode champenoise) – started in the beginning of the 19th century, in the Cordorniu Winery.
Today 95% of Cava production comes from the Penedes region and is being exported to more than 120 countries worldwide.
If you like to find out more about grape types in Penedes region, please visit the official Penedes DO site: http://www.dopenedes.cat/en/grape-varieties