Wine tour to one of Spain’s most dynamic and interesting wine regions
— The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is a lively city with a huge variety of interesting culture, architecture and gastronomy. The wines from the districts around Barcelona are not far behind in notoriety. Here you find the famous cava, the Spanish bubbly. There is also Priorat, remote and rough country but with wines that have reached cult status. And much more. On this tour you will get to know a new generation of ambitious Spanish winemakers in one of Spain’s most original regions.
The next wine trip to Catalonia and Priorat: Contact us!
Even at the end of October the weather is usually mild and sunny here in north-eastern Spain. Sitges (near Barcelona) on the sea, where we stay almost on the beach, is a real gem of a town with its fine sandy beaches, picturesque houses and narrow streets. Here you will enjoy an interesting mix of people and many tapas bars and restaurants.
Sitges has always had a big art colony, since the Modernists, the Catalan equivalent of the French Art Nouveau, came here in the late 1800s. Even Salvador Dali lived here for some time.
Catalonia has more than ten different DO-regions (Denominación de Origen). Penedès, near Barcelona, is the biggest. The area went through something of a revolution in the 1980s. It was at that time that winemakers discovered the quality potential of the region for many different types of wines, reds as well as whites. We spend two days in the Penedès region and will discover some very interesting producers. Of course we will also visit a cava producer, the world-famous Spanish sparkling wine.
One day we will go further south to the remote but scenic mountain area of Priorato, Priorat in Catalan, known for its powerful red wines. Priorat is an ancient wine region. It experienced, just like Penedès, a rebirth in the 1980s. Today the wines from here are sold sometimes at very high prices, a witness of its reputation and quality.
The wines are mentioned with great respect and some winemakers have achieved cult status. The vines are mostly planted on steep terraced hillsides.
We enjoy three lunches together. We will see examples of the new Spanish cuisine, and we will learn more about the art of combining food and wine.
In Catalonia there are of course a lot of seafood but also fine charcuterie, dry-cured ham, many specialities based on rice, tomatos, olive oil and olives, onions, everything related to the Mediterranean cuisine.
Evenings are free for your own gastronomic discoveries. Sometimes simply visits to a few tapas bars will be more than sufficient for dinner.
Our base for this tour will be the charming little seaside resort of Sitges, south of Barcelona. Staying in Sitges we avoid Barcelona’s quite impossible traffic jams.
It’s easy and fast to get to Sitges by train (or taxi) from Barcelona’s airport or from central Barcelona.
We can also recommend combining this trip with a few extra days to explore the wonderful city of Barcelona.
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
We have written a lot about Catalonia and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in the Catalonia wine region.
You can also find more information on the wines from Catalonia on BKWine Magazine.
Program — Catalonia and Priorat in Spain wine tour
This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.
Contact BKWine for more details.
- Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Barcelona / Sitges
- Day 2, Thursday — Penedes
- Day 3, Friday — Priorat
- Day 4, Saturday — Penedes
- Day 5, Sunday — Return home
Wednesday / Day 1 — Arrival in Barcelona / Sitges
Arrival in Sitges when you want during the day. Sitges is located on the coast just south of Barcelona.
From the railway station Barcelona Sanz it takes barely 30 minutes by suburban train to get to Sitges. Service twice an hour. Barcelona airport to Sitges is about 30 km and you can take either a suburban train (one easy transfer, about 30 minutes in total) or a taxi.
The city has a beautiful beach promenade lined by palm trees and outdoor cafés. The Cathedral perches on a cliff lies above the beach. The old city centre has plenty of restaurants and tapas bars. Our hotel is just a minute’s walk away from all this. If we are lucky with the weather it will be like central European summer even in late autumn. The average temperature of the sea is around 20 C in October…
Free evening to explore the tapas bars and restaurants. Do not forget you are in Spain and dinner times are late. It gives you all the more time to explore all the cafés!
Thursday / Day 2 — Penedes
After breakfast, we set off to our waiting bus. Today we will visit wineries in Penedès, the area closest to Barcelona.
You can find many different styles of wine in Penedes, from sparkling and aromatic white wines, to really powerful red. The secret is that different grapes are planted at very different altitudes depending on the kind of temperatures they thrive in. Famous international grape varieties come together here with the local grapes of excellent quality, as for instance the cava grapes Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo.
We begin with a visit to Mas Comtal, an organic winery in the village of Avinyonet del Penedès. This is an innovative estate of 40 hectares divided in many different plots. This gives them a great variety of different soil. They grow Xarel-lo, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our next visit is to Albet i Noya in Sant Pau d’Ordal. The Albet family is a pioneer for organic viticulture in Spain. The two brothers Josep Maria and Antoni Albet i Noya manage the winery since 1979 and this year they also began to cultivate the vineyards organically. They are also enthusiastic about the old, almost extinct grape varieties. Their wines are very high quality.
We will have lunch in the village of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia at the restaurant Cal Blay. It blends new, modern ideas and traditional, fine Catalan cooking. We enjoy an excellent menú degustació. The wine list is fantastic and we can promise you some interesting things.
Late afternoon we return to Sitges. Free evening to explore the city.
Friday / Day 3 — Priorat
Today we head to Priorat, or Priorato as it used to be known. This wine region is situated in the mountains a fair bit south.
Priorat is a bit hidden away in the mountains in the region of Tarragona, some 80 kilometres from Barcelona.
The Priorat wines were long known as a heavy and strong in alcohol, dark and rough, made from Garnacha and Cariñena. The name comes from the name of the monastery Priorat de Scala Dei (God’s Ladder).
The monastery was built in the 1100s after a shepherd boy said that he had seen an angel come down from heaven on a ladder. The monks are not there any longer but the little village of Scala Dei and a wine of the same name still exist.
Since more than 20 years modern viticulture and technology is applied together with traditional methods.
The main grapes are still Cariñena and Grenache (Garnacha) but you can also find cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah, and to a lesser extent tempranillo. The fruit is intense and often very ripe.
Priorat is today synonymous with high-quality wines. Some of the world’s most expensive wines now come from these hard-to-work schist slopes. The typical soil is called llicorella. There is a cool sea breeze called Garbinada that moderate the temperature in the vineyards.
We will visit some of the top producers: Mas Igneus, Clos Figuera, Mas Martinet, Mas d’en Gil… We will enjoy lunch in the main town Gratallops, a little village surrounded by vineyards. Clos Figuera has a nice restaurant where we combine the excellent Catalan cuisine with the winery’s own wines.
Early evening we are back in Sitges. Free evening. If you are still not hungry after our rather substantial lunch, we can recommend some of the city’s tapas bars.
Saturday / Day 4 — Penedes
Today we stay once again in the Penedes region. We will be a deep plunge into some of the best wines of the region and cava from a very original producer.
We start the day with an interesting visit to the Parés Balta in Pacs del Penedes. It is an old winery, founded already in 1790. Viticulture is organic and the vines grow at several different altitudes, from 170 meters to 750 meters.
The vineyard has two female winemaker, Maria Elena and Marta, both oenologists and wives of the two owners Joan and Josep Cusine. We take a walk in the vineyards before it is time for the cellar and an interesting wine tasting.
And then it’s time for cava! We will visit Recaredo, a cava producer in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. This family firm has high ambitions and thinks a little bit differently than everyone else. They are also organic.
What is perhaps even more unusual is that all their cavas are made without dosage, i.e. without any added sugar. They are in other words brut nature. They are kept for a long time on the lees, so they are both dry and complex.
Lunch will be served today at Torres’ fine restaurant Mas Rabell, a few kilometres from Torres huge winery in Pacs del Penedès. The restaurant is in an old house from the 16th century, tastefully renovated. We enjoy a sumptuous menu accompanied by various Torres wines. Torres is arguably the most well-known producer in Catalonia, indeed probably in all of Spain.
Late afternoon we are back at the hotel. Free evening to enjoy Sitges. You can take the elevator up to the hotel’s Sky Bar and enjoy the view, the best in Sitges!
Sunday / Day 5 — Heading back home
The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details — Catalonia & Priorat wine tour
Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast:
- Four-star hotel in Sitges
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches with local specialities, including tasting of several wines, at wine producers’ or restaurants
- Start and end point: Sitges (near Barcelona)
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
- Interpretation from Spanish as needed, some visits will be in English
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide
(*) See below for more important information on our meals.
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to Sitges yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
Book This Trip
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both of wine and food.
We put a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often it will not be the most “famous” and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experiences…
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine.
Sometimes we will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant. At other times it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialities, its atmosphere and its quality – a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases we want to show you local gastronomic specialities and the local food and wine pairings.
Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs… Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with specially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine in a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do, because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have a life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences.
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience. You may be looking for a short wine week-end holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least one that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” in Sweden 2010 for the book The Creation of a Wine
- “Best wine book for Professionals” again in 2012 in Sweden, as well as silver, runner-up, as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book” for the book Wine and the Environment
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine (Britt, 2012)
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of a modest size (we do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”). Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
BKWine is a Swedish registered travel organiser. BKWine has a bonded travel guarantee deposit so that you can feel safe when booking with us. We fully comply with European and Swedish travel guarantee regulations. British travellers may be familiar with the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protection scheme which is a similar model. BKWine follows the code of conduct and financial safeguards defined by the Swedish Consumer Agency and The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (“Kammarkollegiet”, with a history dating back to 1539). Read more about this in our Booking Terms and Conditions.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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- There are thousands of pictures from previous trips on BKWine Photography
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Subscribe to our free wine and travel newsletter, the BKWine Brief. Each month it gives you news from the world of wine, restaurant recommendations, tips on our favourite wine producers and much more. And keeps you updated on upcoming wine and food tours.
We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.