The DOCa area (Catalan priory) in the middle of the province Tarragona in the Spanish region Catalonia is named after the monastery Priorato de Scala Dei (priory of the divine leaders). Legend has it that a shepherd boy saw angels descending on a "ladder" in the middle of the 12th century. Then founded Carthusian monks in 1163 the monastery named after this incident. The wine is made by the Franciscan monk Francisc Eiximenis (1340-1409) in his work "Lo Crestia" mentioned. He describes the "decent drinking of wine" and advises mixing the strong wine from the Priorat with water. Already in the Middle Ages, the Priorato was one of the most important wine regions in Spain. The decline began in 1835, when the monks left the monastery. Then at the end of the 19th century came the phylloxera and destroyed the then 17,000 hectares of vineyards. Only a small part of it was replanted afterwards.
From the mid-1980s, then justified "young, wild winemakers" as above all Álvaro Palacios from the eponymous winery, René Barbier (Clos Mogador), Adrian Garsed, Dafne Glorian and Carles Pastrana (Costers del Siurana) today's glory of the area. The real discoverer is the biology professor José Luis Pérez (owner of the wineries Mas Martinet and Cims de Porrera). This recognized by numerous experiments, the great potential of some over 100 -year-old Garnatxa (Garnacha Tinta) and Carinyena vines (Mazuelo), according to the latest oenological Findings recultivated and ecologically were managed. He also acted as a mentor to the winemakers. As a supplement to the autochthonous Varieties were introduced to French varieties and for this area new techniques such as Barrique introduced.
Today Priorato covers 1,600 hectares of vineyards in the eleven municipalities Bellmunt, Falset, Gratallops, La Morena de Montsant, La Vilella, Mola, Lloa, Poboleda, Porrera, Scala Dei and Torroja. It is from the DO area Montsant almost enclosed. The vineyards are on terraces or steep slopes are between 100 and 700 meters above sea level on the Sierra de Montsant with some extreme Tilt, They are among the steepest vineyards Europe. It is mild, mediterranean-influenced climate with dry summers in front. The Siurana (Ebro tributary) flows through the area, whose soil of volcanic origin, ideal for viticulture, consists of small-leaved slate (Llicorella). Especially the red wines are due to the special terroirs and often extremely low yield with max. 10 hl / ha and less to the most famous and expensive Spain.
The most important red wines here are Garnatxa ( Garnacha Tinta ) Garnacha Peluda, Carinyena ( mazuelo ) Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot. Pinot Noir and Syrah; the most important white varieties are Garnatxa Blanca ( Garnacha Blanca ), Macabeu ( Macabeo ) Pedro Ximénez. Chenin Blanc and Viognier, The deep dark, concentrated, tannin and strong alcohol red wines (at least 13.75 to 15% vol alcohol content) take at least five years bottle aging to maturity and are capable of aging for up to 25 years. Priorato was in 2001 as after Rioja only second Spanish area to the stage DOCa qualified. Well-known producers are Capafons-Ossó, Cartoixa de Montsalvat, Celler Cecilio, Cims de Porrera. Clos Mogador, Clos i Terrasses, Costers del Siurana, Dixneuf, Fuentes (with the brands Finca el Puig, Gran Clos and Vinya Llisarda), Mas d'en Gil. Mas Igneus. Mas Martinet. Álvaro Palacios, Pasanau Germans, Rotllan Torra, Scala Dei, Vall-Llach and Vinicola del Priorat.