Priorat wine fair
If you had been thinking, "Someday I should really go see Priorat" then you should realise that those days are now, as this week marks the culmination of events focused around the Fira del Vi (www.firadelvi.org) in Falset. The bulk of activities always take place during this first weekend of May and 3rd and 4th will be full of wines to taste, cellars to see, and an incredibly jovial atmosphere to take part in, as it's one of the few times of years that even the winemakers can relax and taste what their neighbours are making.
At the fair on the main street of Falset you can taste from over 60 cellars in both DOQ Priorat as well as DO Montsant. That's not all though as there are a great many side events and tastings to be had in conjunction with the fair. See the full list here (www.firadelvi.org/programa)
Admittedly if you haven't planned ahead, staying there will be tough at this point given that 15,000 people usually descend upon the region to take part. But, never fear as there is the Regional Express from Barcelona to Marçà-Falset that you can hop on to go down and back for the day as well as of course driving given that parking is handled quite well.
If you choose to drive and if you have the stamina, there are even more events outside of those officially put on by the fair:
6.30pm - Tast dels Blancs is organised by the Aguiló brothers who run the two wine shops in Falset. It's a great tasting of white wines from the region as well as a few invited cellars from around Spain and France. €20 Castell del Vi, Falset.
8pm - La Nit de Les Carinyenes is a stunning tasting of the Carinyena wines of the Porrera village. It offers up a chance to taste the wines prior to blending and is accompanied by great food at one of the restaurants in the village. €50. Can Carlets, Porrera www.cellersdeporrera.com
11pm - La Nit de Les Garnatxes is the older sibling to the one in Porrera and it allows visitors to sample the Grenache wines made from the four different soil types around the village of Capçanes. €20. Celler de Capçanes www.cellercapcanes.com
10am-1pm Tast amb Dones showcases the wines make by the women winemakers of Gratallops (home of Clos Mogador and Álvaro Palacios) of which both the wines and the women are wonderful. €18. Clos Figueres, Gratallops www.closfigueras.com
6pm-7pm Tast amb Llops is also in Gratallops and features the very excellent wines from the majority of the cellars in the village. Organized by the hotel Cal Llop, the food served equals the wines. €50. Cal Llop, Plaça de Dalt 21, Gratallops www.tastambllops.com
8pm Videnit is by the hotel Mas Figueres and features an excellent selection of wines from both DO's, dinner, and a generally great time. €45. Mas Figueres, Marçà www.masfigueres.com
10am Tast del Cal Compte takes place at the gorgeous old mansion in Torroja that's been turned in to a hotel called, Cal Compte. The wines served are all be from the village and there is also be a tasting of extra virgin olive oil from the region as well. €20. Cal Compte, C/ Major 4, Torroja www.tastdecalcompte.com
About the author
Miquel Hudin is a writer and photographer based in Barcelona, Spain who is originally from California. His wine training started at Francis Ford Coppola’s winery in Napa Valley in the late 1990s. In addition to founding the Vinologue enotourism series of wine books in 2007, he has written about wines from around the world as well as judged wine competitions.