The Priorat is unique, a territory marked by slate soils with an irregular topography of very steep hillsides (costers) and terraces. A demanding and extreme climate forces grapevine roots deep into the soil in search of water and nutrients. Added to this is a stunning landscape that maintains the same rural environment of ages past, still in harmony with the rhythm set by nature. Inhabited since ancient times, the region has passed through the course of history changing ever so slowly. Clearly it has a firm desire to exist far from that world where life is fast and change is rapid.
Priorat seduces with its landscape, history and magic of a place where “angels climb a ladder to the heavens and blood tastes like wine.”
The winegrowing region is comprised mostly of the surrounding territory that was part of the old priory of Scala Dei, built in the twelfth century by the Carthusian monks at the foot of the Sierra del Montsant. Contained within are several municipalities in the province of Tarragona: La Morera de Montsant, Poboleda, Torroja, Porrer Bellmunt del Priorat, The Lloar, Gratallops, Vilella Baixa, Vilella Alta, Scala Dei and part of Falset and Molar.
The viticultural growing area ranges from randomly planted valleys on the slopes of the Sierra del Montsant along with traditional Mediterranean crops such as hazelnuts, almonds and olives and flora (like thyme and rosemary). The Siurana river and its tributaries irrigate the area and vineyards are found at altitudes ranging from 200m up to 800m above sea level. Vine yields are extremely low ranging from less than one kilogram to three kilograms per vine!
The Priorat climate is temperate Mediterranean with marine influence and dry winds from northwest. The average temperature is 15° C but the summers are long and hot and oscillate between 35° C during the day and 15° C during the night which favor good cultivation of the vine. In winter, temperatures can drop to 0° C. The average annual rainfall is 450-600 mm (17-23 inches) and average annual sunshine is 2,700 hours.