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Penedès

Penedès: growth thanks to new ideas

With a vineyard area of roughly 25,000 hectares, Penedès is the largest wine-growing region with DO status in Catalonia. The spectrum of locally produced wines here is immense. Aging in a pronounced Mediterranean climate, they range from refreshing sparkling cava wines to sparkling whites and fully textured reds. Premium wines are vinified from long-established and international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay.

Sparkling wines from Penedès

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Cava brut de brut

DO, Maria Casanovas, 750 ml
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Cava brut Nature Gran Reserva 2018

DO, Maria Casanovas, 750 ml
In Stock

Cava brut Nature Gran Reserva 2017

DO, Maria Casanovas, 750 ml

Hardly anyone has influenced the wine history of Penedès in the last 50 years as strongly as Miguel A. Torres, the patron of the wine house of the same name. In the 1960s, while Spain was isolated from Europe under the Franco dictatorship, he studied viticulture in Dijon (Burgundy). He returned to his native country with new ideas – and new varieties – in his luggage. In the 1980s, when quality development began, the majority of new premium Penedès wines were produced from varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Chardonnay. It was also Torres who sparked the renaissance in older, long-established varieties. In the 1990s he created a prestigious wine produced from the Monastrell, Garnacha, Garrut, Samsó and Mazuelo varieties. Many wineries have since followed suit.

Three subzones with individual characters

The Penedès cultivation area consists of three sub-regions. In Penedés Superiore, the grapes ripen at elevations of up to 800 metres above sea level. In the cool climate, the native white Parellada variety yields elegant wines. Even Pinot Noir is cultivated here. The slightly lower-lying Penedès Central is the centre of cava production. In addition to the standard bruts, more and more producers are bringing exclusive specialties such as “brut nature” or vintage selections to the market. Above all, the white Xarel-lo variety is seeing a surge, with fresh fruity table wines increasingly produced in addition to cavas. The Bajo Penedès stretches across the lower elevations along the coast. Wines here age with a Mediterranean fruitfulness, in addition to sweet Moscatel (Muscat) wines. 80 percent of the vineyards in Penedès are planted with white varieties.

Substantial rainfall

Penedès sits in a temperate Mediterranean climate; however, due to the considerable amounts of rainfall (1,000 millimetres a year) disease pressure is high. The soils are generally deep, with ideal clay, and often interspersed with sand or gravel. The most widely planted varieties are Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada (all whites), along with Garnacha, Cariñena and Tempranillo (known here as Ull de Llebre). The international Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties are cultivated on around 4,000 hectares combined.

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