Penedès wine region

Penedès is the largest and probably best-known wine region in Catalonia, in northeastern Spain.  It’s the closest one to Barcelona, being only an hour’s drive west from the region’s capital city.
The coastal strip ‐ Baix Penedès ‐ is the hottest, producing fortified wines and full reds.  Further inland white varieties dominate in the hills of the Central and Alt Penedès.  These have long been famous for Cava, Spain’s answer to Champagne, which is made largely from the traditional local varieties Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo, although Chardonnay and, to a lesser extent, Pinot Noir are increasingly used.  Parts of Alt Penedès are over 800m and sufficiently cool to support Germanic varieties like Riesling.
Penedès reds are made mostly from the usual Catalan varieties: Garnatxa (Grenache), Tempranillo (called here Ull de Llebre), Samsó/Cariñena (Carignan) and Monstrell (Mourvedre).  However, it was an early adopter of “international” (i.e., French) varieties, mainly thanks to the efforts of the region’s dominant producer, Torres.  It has become the top region in Spain for fine Cabernet Sauvignon.

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