The word Priorat has its origin in the word Prioratus. It is believed that it was the monks who brought from the provença in the twelfth century the knowledge and techniques to develop a viticulture that took root strongly and has evolved over the centuries.
El Priorat, together with the Rioja Denomination of Origin, are the only two appellations of origin in Spain that have obtained the category of Qualified Designation of Origin (D.O.Ca). These denominations are obliged to comply with much stricter regulations since their level of protection is greater. Wines that wish to opt for the D.O.Ca must also have been produced in a region with D.O. at least ten years before. The Priorat produces some of the most appreciated wines by connoisseurs in the world.
The Priorat is a mountainous region located in the province of Tarragona. This territory is within the region that bears the same name. This area is sheltered by the Siurana River and its tributaries, with a total area of 1,000 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards sit on slate soils called "llicorelles", which are composed of reddish and black slates.
The area has a continental climate with long, hot and dry summers. The temperature, however, can reach below-zero in winter. The vineyards are located at altitudes ranging from 100 meters to 700 meters above sea level and the annual average temperature is 15 degrees. The grape varieties that are most producedcare the following ones:
White Grapes: White Grenache, Macabeo, Pedro Ximénez, Chenin, Muscat of Alexandria, etc; Red Grapes: Garnacha, Garnacha Peluda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.