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Collection: D.O. Empordà


This Denominación de Origen is located all the way to the northeast of Catalonia, just over the border from France, where the Pyrennees descend into the Mediterranean Sea.


Long before our time, wine was already being made in Empordà, under the influence of the Greeks and Phoenicians. They were followed – as was so often the case in the history of European winemaking – by the Romans and by monks of the Benedictine Order.

Originally, the region's speciality was sweet, unfortified wines, like over the border in France, but nowadays the bodegas get increasing recognition for their modern, young, red wines. 

Winegrowers and winemakers from the vineyards of Ampurdán, called Empordà in Catalan, have turned their attention to healthier vines and new fermentation technologies. As a consequence, this area promises to become a producer of high quality wines. 

Although this area originally had a lot of cooperatives, more and more family bodegas are popping up, often led by young oenologists. They too are reforming winemaking methods.

Terroir, Climate and Grapes

D.O. Empordà is subdivided into two parts, Alt Empordà (the north) and Baix Empordà (the south). The soils consists predominantly of chalk and sand, with granite in the more mountainous parts and clay by the rivers. It has a moderate Mediterranean climate with a rather humid south wind and a recurrent, fierce, dry wind from the north: the Tramontana. The Tramontana is very important to viticulture, because this wind contributes hugely to the health of the vineyards and keeps them mostly free of infections and disease. The winters are mild and the summers temperate. The average temperature across the year is 16°C, with 600 to 700 mm rainfall. 

Cariñena is still the most widely planted grape. It is not only used for rosés, but also for reds and whites (made without maceration and subsequently mixed with other white grapes). Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Gewürtztraminer, Picapol and Muscat are all commonly used grape varieties. In addition to the above mentioned Cariñena, the black grapes planted here include Garnacha Tinta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Monastrell, Merlot and Tempranillo. Empordà is known for experimenting with all these varieties.

In general, the red wines are mostly 'young' in character, even if there are also Crianzas. More than half of the total production is red wine, the quality of which improves every year. As well as good white and rosé wines, you will also find Cava and a few very good dessert wines from Garnacha and Malvasia.

© Photo: Markus Winkler - Burst

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