And the wine tours begin

priorat

And so we come to that point in year when making a little trip to Spain is on the mind for many. I know this because I live here and because, as shown by the throngs of groups in Barcelona I saw today, tourists have indeed arrived en masse–and this is just the start. While Barcelona is a fine place to visit (or even live in) it pays to be a touch more curious and venture outside this densely packed coastal city of some three million people.

That was how a couple last week found their way to my wine tours and had me take them around cellars in Priorat with a touch of Montsant which only seemed fitting given that my new book for that region is ready to buy next week. That was a fun day with stops at Trossos del Priorat in Gratallops, Terroir al Límit in Torroja and Cellers de Scala Dei in Escaladei along with a nice meal in La Villela Alta and a quite view of the Cartoixa monastery.

Naturally, I can’t really take part in the drinking, but I can enjoy the tasting and while I know all of the wines well from writing the book last year, re-tasting is always fun as well. Love Dominik or hate him, the evolution of the Terroir al Límit wines is something to behold. The whites are truly fascinating and like nothing else really being produced in DOQ Priorat. There are some that are similar in DO Montsant, but those are other adventures there.

While a trip through Priorat on those infamously winding roads is a long day, the end of it is quite satisfying given that most anyone who likes wine, even a little is like a kid at Disneyland there and goes home happy. It’s a beautiful region with wines that equal it and while I thought I’d get tired of rampantly unreliable mobile phone coverage and it taking 20 minutes to drive 5km, I never have and I always come out of there rejuvenated and alive. Maybe there’s some energy in the slate that makes up the mountains or maybe it’s just the wine. Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to what this summer will bring.