Camping out in the wine district of Priorat
Climbing in the province of Tarragona, home to Siurana, Montsant and Margalef, can be more than intense. So why not mix up the hard climbing with some great cultural experiences? And when the culture we’re talking about is wine – who can resist! Maybe you didn’t know but DO Priorat and DO Montsant are known as two of the best and most exclusive wine areas in Spain with plenty of price winning wines.
The impressive terraces of Priorat
The main village for Priorat is called Gratallops. Around this village you have about 15 wine producers and some impressive installations to visit, a lot of money has been invested here the last decade. All wine producers offer tasting and guided visits. It’s best to call ahead or pass by and ask when the next visit is and be prepared to come back, especially during the harvest season (september-november) they have several visits every day that you normally can join.
If you’re in Siurana you can visit a the local vine cooperate in the village of Cornudella de Montsant with very good wine.
Tasting the wine from Scala Dei
If you want to find the roots of the Priorat wine you can visit Scala Dei. The wine the monks produced in the old monastery brought a lot of money to the area, if you decide to drive the extra 5 minutes up to the monastery (now in ruins) you’ll see this first hand.
Olive oil in chocolate with sea salt on top – taste explosion!
Next doors to Scala Dei is a small olive oil shop. We had a proper oil-tasting, starting with drinking it from a cup, then trying with bread and a special breathing technique(!) and ending with chocolate, their top oil and sea salt. Wow, what an explosion! The woman running in the shop told us that all the oil they sold was from her own land, her son was now responsible for the production. Really a great, great experience! And of course we came out from there with 3 liter of price winning olive oil…
So, during your next visit to this beautiful corner of the world make sure to add some wine culture to your climbing trip. And for the full experience, of course you should rent a van through Climb in Spain and sleep in the middle of the vineyards!