[gallery link="file" orderby="rand"] Juny comença l'estiu: tot riu i tot viu... (June begins the summer: everything laughs and everything lives. A Catalan saying) As you may well know, this year’s June kept us pretty soaked and, in some regions of Catalonia, there were some damages in orchards due to hailstorms. In Gratallops, hail didn’t have much effect, and luckily, vineyards weren’t affected by a mile.

[gallery link="file" columns="4" ids="1066,1067,1068,1069"] May 2013: Fair, rain, greenery... Similarly to places across Europe, Priorat has seen a month full of unreliable weather: now sunshine, now rain – a spell of coolness. In the meanwhile, Sergi capitalised on the favourable days to take care of the vineyards: he green-pruned the vines – it was time he did! The fact of the matter is that rainfalls swapping with sunlight gave the vineyards plenty of chances for accelerated vegetation. They already boast multiple clusters, so we’ve been considering how many will be lucky to survive, since we’ll have to cut some of them off.

Falset wine fair 2013The 18th Falset Wine Fair is over. Those were two busy and pleasurable days! Over 13.000 visitors walked through the main aisle to enjoy the variety of DO Montsant and DOQ Priorat wines. As you may well remember, last year we crossed the 12,000 border. Good weather and well-planned and careful promotion seems to have shown very good return on investment.

The 18th edition of the Falset Wine Fair will take place on the 4 and 5 of May in Miquel Barceló Street (right outside the Cooperativa Falset-Marça, designed by Gaudí’s disciple architect Cèsar Martinell). As usual, tens of wineries will come together from both wine-making appellation of the county: DOQ Priorat and DO Montsant. This is the right event for wine enthusiasts who want to enjoy a wide showcase of wine production from local wineries, among which there are quite a few artisan ones. Professionals are also attracted by this event in their search for some novelties to include in their lists or personal cellars. [caption id="attachment_894" align="aligncenter" width="365" caption="18th Falset Wine Fair poster. Source: Its creator, Marina Capdevila, wanted to put across a message about the high quality of the wines from this area and the relaxed temper of an event that is open to everybody."][/caption]

If you’re thinking of an Easter holiday in Tarragona (Costa Daurada), Priorat is certainly a must-visit. Here you can relish in this scenery full of vineyard climbing up the steep schist slopes and terraces – and enjoy its most prominent product: DOQ Priorat wines. This region will surprise you with hills and valleys galore, its cultural heritage and excellent tourism offer: tens of wineries and restaurants.

My special gift for you: a DOQ Priorat vineyard

Celler Devinssi is a small artisan winery located in Gratallops, DOQ Priorat. Josep Roca, its owner and winemaker keeps looking for ways how to reach the wine-lover audience. Today, we’re with Josep to learn about his project of grapevine adoption in his Priorat vineyards. Where does the “adopted” wine come from?

In fact, the estate where the grapevine adoptions started has its own very peculiar story. It’s an old Samsó (Carignan) slope that is over 80 years old.

Priorat is the other, apart from la Rioja, Spanish DOCa, qualified appellation of origin (in Catalan Denominació d’Origen Qualificada, DOQ in short), located in the province of Tarragona. This is a mountainous area with dramatic slopes; as a result vineyards are often farmed in form of terraces. The climate is hot and dry, with a noticeable temperature oscillations between day and night, plus microclimates tend to vary among its valleys and high plateau, where cold winds from the North are quite common. Vineyards grow between 100 and 700 metres above the sea level, on terrains of predominantly volcanic origin. Samsó (Carignan) and garnatxa (Grenache) are the most popular grape varieties. However, there are plenty of international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, and also some white grapes like garnatxa blanca, macabeu and Pedro Ximénez.

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