Empordà

Empordà

History and Culture

There are few places in the world like the Empordà, where so much history, landscape and wine culture are compressed into such a small territory.

The 2.500 years of history are visible at Empúries and other archaeological sites along the Costa Brava, where the remains of wine presses and amphoras production indicate the importance of local wines in Mediterranean trade during the Roman period.

Several of the cooperatives that were set up in the 1930s in order to revive the vineyards and wine-making have survived to the present. Visiting them can show us much more than simply sampling their wines, reflecting as they do the social and economic structures to be found in the rural communities of the region.

Fortunately, recent years have seen an upsurge in private initiatives that aim to regenerate wine-making in the area and consolidate the denomination DO Empordà. The region is currently in a process of renovation that makes it one of the most attractive wine tourism destinations in Europe. It has its own history, culture and identity, with a large number of long-established vineyards and a new generation of entrepreneurs who are cultivating the vines of their grandparents, and applying the latest technology.

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* Principal photography: Finca Garbet, Olga Planas. Castle of Peralada. WR D.O. Empordà

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The Wine

A wine offer for all tastes

The Empordà produces a variety of wines. The red wines are of excellent quality, full-bodied, balanced and well-constituted and sometimes enhanced by careful ageing. The reserva and crianza wines have distinctive aromas; they are complex with subtle fragrances and hints of spice, but with the scent of the fruit and the plant ever present. They are full-flavoured and very pleasant on the palate.

The area produces crisp fresh white wines, often using vines native to the region, but also high-quality varietal wines. The rosé wines are distinguished by their well-defined cherry colour, exuberant character and delicate aromas, and are refreshing with moderate alcohol content.

One distinctive wine of the region is the garnacha of the Empordà, a naturally sweet wine made with the grape variety that gives it its name. It is a generous wine, with the warm, smooth taste of mature vines, which, along with another locally-produced sweet wine, the moscatel of the Empordà, make it an ideal dessert wine.

The full range of wines from the Empordà includes ecological wines, mistelas, wines made from overripe grapes and sparkling wines.

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* Photography: Regulatory Council D.O. Empordà