The denomination of origin Montsant commemorated its 10th anniversary last Saturday, July 14th.
The DO Montsant was founded in late 2001, but despite being a young denomination of origin, it is located in a region with a huge wine tradition: the Priorat, and until its creation it was part of the DO Tarragona.
The denomination of origin is formed by 17 municipalities in the region of Priorat and Ribera d’Ebre, and since its incorporation as denomination of origin it has experienced spectacular growth, from 28 to nearly 60 wineries in 10 years, many of them cooperatives.
The area is characterized by calcareous soils in the periphery of the denomination of origin, granite in the area of Falset, and slate, which is part of the area known as “licorella”.
Although located in a Mediterranean area, the mountains surround the area isolating it from the sea creating a more continental climate. This grants the benefits of day/night temperature differences, and important quality factor in the maturation of grapes. It also receives moisture-laden winds, which help offset the summer dryness. The average annual rainfall is between 500 and 600 mm.
It has an area of vines over 2,000 hectares, producing about 10 million kilos of grapes per year. Its production is exported mostly to Germany, USA and France.
The traditional way of conducting Montsant vineyards is in the form of glass. It is still relatively easy to find old vines, vines that were once not profitable but now take on a value highly prized by wine aficionados. In many cases these vineyards are over 50 years of age, and produce few kilos per hectare but of very high quality.
The main role goes to all Grenache varieties and also Carignan.
The most distinctive wines from denomination of origin Montsant are the reds. They are very concentrated wines, full bodied and have a powerful color, very suitable for aging. However, they are also producing well concentrated white wines, made from White Grenache. These wines are oily and have a Mediterranean character. The new generation of naturally sweet reds of old Grenache wines, are also to be noted. They have abundant and soft tannins, are fresh and fruity.