World Wine Tourism Day
Wine and its culture
For more than twelve years, the European Network of Wine Cities (RECEVIN), established the second weekend of November as World Wine Tourism Day with the aim of promoting wine tourism and promoting wine regions as generators of economic, cultural and heritage wealth in territories that are mainly rural in nature. This initiative began as European Wine Tourism Day and later became World Wine Tourism Day. The Spanish Association of Wine Cities (ACEVIN) also joined this proposal. It is a celebration of international character in which European or South American countries with large extensions of vineyards or wine production are the ones that generate most of the activities and programmes linked to wine tourism adapted to each territory.
During the current week, different activities are being prepared to promote the wine routes. In Spain, these routes currently have 31 destinations spread throughout the country, although the preferences, especially of tourists and visitors, are mainly focused on Catalonia, La Rioja and Castilla-La Mancha/Ribera del Duero. These 31 destinations that currently form part of the Wine Routes have been adapting their proposals to the territorial reality and the demand of each one of them. The variety of ecotourism programmes that make up these Wine Routes throughout the national geography makes it possible to approach any of them to enjoy a great experience around the culture of wine.
Wine tourism continues to grow in our country and its impact in Spain already exceeds 85 million euros. These figures include only visits to wineries and wine museums, which have been analysed by the Wine Routes Tourism Observatory.
In this sense, Catalonia leads, with 45%, the reservations of this type of tourism and with a growing interest.
In Catalonia, wine and cava are part of its history, as each glass preserves a small part of its past. Wine tourism in Catalonia is much more than just wine tasting and sampling, as you want to enjoy the experience of savouring the quality of its wines or sparkling wines next to the vineyards, spending the night in a winery or sharing activities linked to the culture of wine. Wine tourism in Catalonia also allows you to discover the country’s architectural and cultural heritage. Of note are the “wine cathedrals“, wineries designed by some of the most important Modernist artists.
It is in autumn when the Wine Routes in Catalonia are most popular, as it is in this season when they become unique experiences, both to learn in detail about the whole process of the grape harvest and to carry out activities in a natural environment that allow you to enjoy all the chromatic varieties that the vineyards bear in autumn.
There are 12 Designations of Origin in Catalonia (11 for wine and one for cava). All of them have their own marked personality, influenced by both the climate and the landscape of each area. These routes combine wine culture with the art, architecture and gastronomy of each territory and allow you to enjoy the pairing of local gastronomy with the different wines and sparkling wines produced. There are more than 300 wineries in Catalonia that open their doors to visitors and prepare all kinds of activities and proposals to enjoy the wine environment. The culture of wine is present throughout the Mediterranean, where Catalonia is one of the most important wine-growing areas.
Wine Routes in Catalonia. Proposals and activities:
- Penedès: To follow the aroma of the land, discover the corners, the rural life, the landscape, the people, the traditions, and the gastronomy of a land full of unforgettable flavours and sensations. This route allows direct contact with wineries, restaurants, wine shops, information centres such as the Aula de la Viya i el vi and the VINSEUM – Museu de les Cultures del Vi de Catalunya, which are located among vineyards and on estates where wine and cava are produced.
- Pla de Bages and Alella: Beyond the Penedès, there are other areas with a wine-growing tradition, such as the DO Pla de Bages, which in recent years has received international awards. There are wineries that offer visits, such as the Bodega Cooperativa de Artés, the Masías de Avinyó or the winery of Jaume Andreu. The headquarters of the DO Regulatory Council is the Casa de la Culla in Manresa, a farmhouse where tasting courses are held. The DO Alella is in Maresme, the smallest DO in Catalonia.
- Priorat and Montsant: The O. Prioratand DO Montsant are becoming increasingly popular with oenologists. In the DO Montsant, we recommend the winery of Capçanes, where the wine is made according to the rules of the Jewish community.
- Conca de Barberà, Terra Alta and Tarragona:The DO Conca de Barberà, Terra Alta and Tarragona cover an extensive territory. You can visit the modernist cellars of Cèsar Martinell. In Conca de Barberà, several cooperatives from the last century have cellars of these characteristics. In the DO Tarragona, there is the Muller de Reus or the Tous Andreu, in Santes Creus. There is also the Bodega de Nulles and the Granja Montalà Wine Museum. In the DO Terra Alta, the modernist winery of Martinell stands out, which is also the “Cathedral of Wine” cooperative.
- Costers del Segre: The appellation covers the whole of Lleida and is divided into six sub-zones. There is a wide range of wineries, such as Castell del Remei or Raimat, where the grape harvest festival is held in September.
- Empordà-Costa Brava: The DO Empordà-Costa Brava used to be centralised in Empúries, a legacy from the Greeks. Now there are wineries with a long tradition, such as Castell of Perelada.
- BusXperience – A programme of wine tourism experiences to be enjoyed individually, in a shared group or on private #VipXperience tours, a new definition of the personalisation and exclusivity of wine tourism programmes. A proposal that has combined the privilege of luxury transport with an experience prepared to be enjoyed privately.
If there is one thing that defines Catalonia, it is the vineyards that make up its landscape and have turned this tourist destination into a wine reference point known all over the world.