Wine Tour at the Penedès – The Spanish Toscana

Only a few people know but close to Barcelona is one of the largest wine regions in Spain, the Penedès. Easy to reach by train or car, it is one of the most visited wine regions for its proximity to the coast and tourist towns like Tarragona and Barcelona.
An accessible paradise for all wine lovers like me and you, today you`ll join me in this wine tour at the Penedès – The Spanish Toscana!

Castell de Gimenelles, PenedèsSunset hour between grapevines. That`s my hotel in the back!
The wine region of the Penedès, Spain
Look through a window and you`ll see vineyards to lose sight of under an infinite blue sky!

 

The Spanish Wines:

Spanish wines are first sorted by regions, and then by the type of grape. In practice, this means that wines from the same region may contain different types of grapes, and the composition is not always present on the label, which may be a bit more complicated when choosing a good wine here – do not worry, the Spanish wines are great!

Wine Tour at the Penedès - by Guiri Insider

The local grapes that would soon the turn into delicious wines!
A quick guide to wine tasting in the Penedès: The most common grapes of Penedès are: Garnacha (red), Cabernet Sauvignon (red), Tempranillo (red), Parellada (white), Xarel-lo (white) and Macabeo (white). These last three are used in the elaboration of the Cava, which is the denomination of origin (D.O.C.) of the Spanish sparkling wines.
Wine Tour at the Penedès - by Guiri Insider
The barrels of wine, stored underground to keep the best conditions for temperature and humidity.
Large producers of Cava as Freixenet and Cordoniu are based in this region. Both can be visited in a day trip, leaving from Barcelona by train (soon there will be a post about it!) but the best way to explore the Penedes region is by spending a few days and renting a car. That`s what I did.
Wine Tour at the Penedès - by Guiri InsiderI loved going for walks among the grapevines at sunset. The light was beautiful and the place so peaceful…

 

Wine Tour at the Penedès - by Guiri Insider

The landscape is just like you could find in Tuscany: Little villages surrounded by mountains and vineyards!
The Penedès has no less than 153 wineries, among known producers and small family businesses. A good way to explore is to visit a large and a small winery, to see both sides of the wine tradition. I visited two:

Mas Comtal:

Mas Comtal is a small, familiar winery, what was really nice because since it was a small business the attention was totally personalized. We had a great wine tasting and the daughter of the owner spent a lot of time with us, explaining everything and telling the story of family and the property. It is essential to make an appointment for the tours.

Wine Tour at the Penedès. Mas Comtal vineyard - by Guiri Insider
The patio of Mas Comtal, a small family business with a lot of charm where we had a great wine tour!
 She walked with us through the property, showing us the fields were we wondered around grapevines and tried the grapes, while she explained the story of the house and the family. Later we had a wine tasting where we tried red, rose and white wines.

Wine tasting at Mas Comtal, in the Penedès

The best part of the tour: Wine tasting!

Wine Tour at the Penedès - by Guiri Insider

The vineyards of Mas Comtal with the mountains of Montserrat at the distance.

Bodegas Torres

The other wine tour we tried was the one in the Bodegas Torres , one of the biggest wineries in Spain. Our visit included a tour, an audio-visual presentation, an explanation of the winemaking process and a pretty delicious wine and cheese pairing (so you won`t get drunk!)

Wine Tour at Bodegas Torres in the Penedès

Bodegas Torres is among Spain`s biggest wine producers.

 

 Bodegas Torres is a big place, so this was the kind of tour that you have to catch a little train to go through the property. There was a lot of people and this was a completely different tour from the first one. More like going to the Disneyworld of wine. But they explain all the process of winemaking, which is interesting. Our tasting, in the end, included 4 different types of wine and some cheeses so we could see which wine goes better with each kind of cheese. I think cheese and wine are a perfect combination, so I really enjoyed it!
Wine tasting in the Penedès, Spain.
Wine and cheese pairing at Bodega Torres.

Where I stayed:

I stayed in a small hotel called Castell de Gimenelles, a “Masía” (a term for the old Spanish country houses) built at the end of the XVIII century. Surrounded by vineyards and with a beautiful garden where meals are served, it felt just like being in a typical Tuscan hotel. The hotel has a restaurant piloted by the owner of the house, using local and seasonal products, and wines produced in the area that can be bought in the shop. It also has a swimming pool, perfect for resting after a day exploring the wineries.
 Hotels to stay at the Penedès, the Spanish Tuscany
 Mas Comtal hotel

Hotels to stay at the Penedès, the Spanish Tuscany

The entrance of Mas Comtal hotel… I fell in love instantly!

 They have a menu for dinner that in the warmer months can be served outside, in the garden. It was wonderful to eat surrounded by flowers, under the trees, with the house all lighten up in front of us. You can accompany the food with a variety of great local wines that they have. I had a delicious red to go with the tastiest ribs with honey sauce! We also had breakfast in the garden the next morning. The perfect way to end and to start the day!

Hotels to stay at the Penedès, the Spanish Tuscany

In the summer the meals can be served in the courtyard. That`s where I had a great dinner!

Hotels to stay at the Penedès, the Spanish Tuscany

The swimming pool of the hotel where I would relax after a day of wine tasting and exploring the Penedès!
In addition to endless wineries, it is also possible to visit the Wine Museum (interesting for those who want to know more about the winemaking process and the history of the area), historical monuments such as the Monastery of Santes Creus or even the beaches of Costa Dorada (Golden Coast), which are less than 30 min away. Without doubt a great idea to go both as a couple or with friends!

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Wine Tasting at the Penedès, Spain: The ultimate insider`s guide - by Guiri Insider.

 

Showing 4 comments
  • Kareemah
    Reply

    Lovely post! Penedés looks like a gorgeous californian vineyard or Tuscany like you mentioned. What was your favorite wine?

    • Vick Fichtner
      Reply

      Hi Kareemah!

      Thank you!

      My favourite one from the Penedes… Hard to pick just one. I actually really like the cava (the Spanish champaign) they produce in this area! Segura Viudas or Cordoniu are great producers, I always go for the brut variety (the dry one)!
      The best think is to do a tasting and then you can decide which one is your favourite! 😉

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