Penedès is one the richest wine regions of Spain and is primarily known for its wines and cavas. Although small, this Spanish wine region is full of surprises, and even though the key elements that have molded the Penedès area are Grapes and Wine, the character of the region is also shaped by its history, nature, gastronomy and it’s dynamic people.
The Penedès scenery is full of vineyards, bodegas, quaint Catalan masia farmhouses and small villages and towns with a great history. One of our favorite Penedès villages is Sant Martí Sarroca, an ancient settlement. This lovely Penedès village, with its tiny houses and cobbled streets huddled around a great rock, offers uninterrupted views of the Penedès vineyards with the Montserrat mountains as a backdrop. Apart from the magnificent views, an atmospheric 10th Century castle and the beautiful Romanesque church of Santa Maria stand proudly at the top of the hill. There are some small restaurants in the village where you can enjoy a good local lunch accompanied by good Penedès wine and, of course, the fantastic views.
The Penedès locals are open and friendly with a love of showing off their land. There are not many Penedès residents who cannot identify which grape is on the vine or prepare the correct glasses for wine-tasting. They know the wineries like their own families and are always delighted to give you insider tips on what’s hot in the Penedès air at the moment.
There are over 150 bodegas in the Penedès wine region of Spain producing a diversity of wines. The trained vines of the Penedès vineyards enable the grapes to have more exposure to the sun which enables them to ripen better. The Montserrat mountains protect the Penedès from the North Winds, so with the Mediterranean climate, warm soft temperatures and little rain, it is the perfect place for the Chardonnay, Macabeu, Xarel.lo, Cabernet and Merlot grapes to grow, among many others.
The Penedès area is a big producer of White Wine, a good part of this being cava, as in the 20th century the revolution for Catalan sparkling wine changed the way of everyday life and habits here in Penedès wine country. Today, the traditional white wines are light, aromatic and happy, with the local variety of Xarel.lo adding personality to the wine, and the sparklers and rosés are fragrant and persistent with an intense aroma.
Even though the white grape varieties dominate in Penedès, a host of well-made red wines are now notably on the rise in production and defend their place with a balanced, silky and aromatic body. However, in the category of reds, Penedès have yet to catch up with their illustrious neighbor Priorat.
With the multitude of wine cellars, either famous mass marketers or discreet local sellers, Penedès is a great region to learn of traditional wine-making methods along with new technologies, organic practices and innovative ideas. Proud of their world class wines, many bodegas in Penedès open their doors and invite you to tour their premises to view their beloved vineyards and vast cellars, and, of course, to taste their craved results.
Early Spring in Penedès sees the vines ooze with sap, which is a sure sign that new shoots are ready to grow. In Spring and Summer the vines are alive with green leaves. Harvesting will occur in late summer and in early Winter the pruning will begin.
Discover this great Spanish wine region of Penedès while on one of our private wine tours. Our fantastic Luxury Grand Wine Tour of Spain and France includes not only the Penedès Wine Region of Spain, but also the wine regions of Ribera del Duero, La Rioja, Bordeaux (France), Emporda and Priorat as well as the cities of Madrid, San Sebastian and Barcelona.