Millions of tourists flock to Barcelona in Spain every year to see architecture by Gaudí, visit Camp Nou or wander around the old town. As much as the city's got to offer, wine lovers should consider a Barcelona wine tour into the Penedés wine region. It makes for a great day trip, although you're obviously welcome to stay longer.
A Cava tour in the Penedés region
Just 50 km south of Barcelona, the Penedés region is responsible for about 90% of Spain's Cava production and brands such as Freixenet and Codorniu are known globally for their production of sparkling Catalan wines.
Both of these houses have vineyards near Barcelona, in the small town of Sant Sadurni de Anoia. They're easily accessible by commuter train or from the highway if you are traveling by car and highly worth a visit.
The architecture of these wineries near Barcelona was inspired by the same modernist style that influenced Gaudí and both are special because of their endless underground tunnels and passageways in which barrels of Cava rest.
Aside from these two big names, there are plenty of other, smaller Cava wineries nearby to include in your Barcelona wine tour. A lot of these produce mostly for the region and the Catalonian market.
The grapes that are traditionally used for the production of sparkling wine in the Penedés region are Xarello, Parellada, and Macabeo. The first two are local grape varieties. However, more wineries are increasingly producing cava with Chardonnay and even Pinot Noir in order to be able to produce rosé Cavas.
Still Spanish wine in the Barcelona region
Cava is not the only wine Penedés has to offer. Many wineries close to Barcelona specialize in the production of still wines.
The most well-known is Bodegas Torres, a company with a strong international presence which, in addition to its wineries in Catalonia and other parts of Spain, has also expanded to other markets like Chile or Napa Valley in the United States.
If you'd like to learn about Bodegas Torres wine, that's possible during a Torres wine tasting tour or a food and wine pairing. Before you visit Torres winery, though, make sure to make a reservation for the tour or tasting you'd like to do.
The best of both worlds
If you're planning a day out in the wine regions of Barcelona, you can easily combine some of the Cava producing wineries with some of the still wine Penedés vineyards. Wine Tourism Spain offers a full-day winery and wine-tasting tour from Barcelona which includes guided tours at three wineries, wine tastings and food pairings.
Vilafranca del Penedés tourism beyond the vineyards
However great the wine, there are more things to do in Vilafranca del Penedés besides cava tasting for those who want to change things up or are looking to spend more time in the area. The Penedés region of Catalonia is also one with plenty of culture and history. Some of the current vineyards were, in fact, great witnesses of the Spanish Civil War given that the siege of Barcelona took place in large part in this region.
A remarkable old tradition of this region are the “Castells” or human towers. These very high towers are built of groups of people embracing each other traditionally done in festivals.
The proximity of Barcelona to this region, just like to the beaches of Sitges and the area of Vendrell, make Penedés a very interesting option for those who are staying in Barcelona to enjoy local wine and gastronomy, culture, and beautiful landscapes.
Where to stay in Barcelona?
If you're looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I would recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first stay!
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How to get to Barcelona
We flew from Brussels directly to Barcelona. If you're traveling within Europe and are nearby, you can also consider taking the train.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Wine Tourism Spain. They offer fun Barcelona wine tours for wine lovers.