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We ended up taking a private tour as there were no other guests on our trip. Our guide Andrew was knowledgeable not only about Priorat terroir and wineries but also about Catalonian history and culture that made our day-long conversation pleasant and informative. Andrews personal relationships with the winemakers made our day a joyful and insightful experience.
Our first stop was the village of Cornudella de Montsant where Andrew treated us to Ranci dessert wine made from Grenache with local almond tart. Ranci is an after dinner drink but it tasted just as great after breakfast.
Our second stop was Village of La Morera where winemaker extraordinaire Ricard Pasanau at Celler Pasanau does his magic. Ricard first gave a tour of one of his vineyards where we got to learn about his organic farming methods. La Morera is the highest municipality of Priorat, with vineyards next to the mountain of Sierra de Montsant. While Andrew was preparing the naughty nibbles for our winetasting, Ricard gave a personal tour of his winery where we got to learn his natural winemaking process honed over the years. On the way to the Pasanau cellar, we learned about the history of the village that lost most of its population gradually starting with the onset of phylloxera around 1,872.
Naughy nibbles turned out to be a delicious feast of local bread, cheese, ham, fruits, nut, olives, and olive oil that Andrew picked up at Cornudella de Montsant. We tasted 2016 Danae Viognier, 2016 Les Myriams Viognier, 2014 La Morera de Montsant, 2008 El Vell Coster, 2012 Los Torrents, 2006 Finca La Planeta. It was hard to pick a favorite as these wines were all excellent. El Vell Coster 100 Carignan and Los Torrents 50 Grenache, 50 Carignan were simply exceptional.
We had lunch at Christopher Cannans winery, Clos Figueres. After a quick cellar tour, we had a delicious lunch paired with Clos Figueres 2016 Serrat Del Priorat, 15 Font De La Figuera, and 2014 Clos Figueras. Ham selections and lamb chops were delectable.
Our last winery was Clos Dominic. We met winemaker Paco at his steep vineyard that can only be harvested by hand. Afterwards we tasted 2015 Clos Peto, 2013 Vinyes Baixes, 2014 Vinyes Altes at Paco's cellar. Each of these wines were excellent with Carignan and Grenache blend Vinyes Altes being exceptional. We had a nice conversation about his philosophy to life in general, and winemaking in particular.
Priorat winemakers were proud of their mastery of this challenging terrain to produce terroir driven world-class wines. Thanks to Andrew, we got a front seat experience. Highly recommended.
Our guide Andrew knew a lot about wine and was very familiar with the winemakers. He paired the wines with local foods he bought and served from local stores and restaurants. Even the van ride went fast due to the detailed history of the region he supplied. The wine was excellent and the winemakers were engaging.
This is one of the best tours we have ever been on with some of the best wine we've ever had. Andrew was an amazing tour guide, incredibly knowledgeable and personable. We learned a lot from him about the Priorat wine region's history and current production practices as well as Catalonian history and culture. The tour at Pasanau was excellent, with knowledgable winery staff including the owner taking us into the vineyard and explaining the terroir local and throughout the Priorat and winemaking process before we had our tasting. During that tasting of five delicious wines and an estate olive oil, Andrew provided an amazing spread of local fruits, nuts, cheeses, and bread. I almost wasn't hungry for lunch!
Lunch was at the second winery, Clos Figueres. There, we had a quick cellar tour and then the wine tasting was paired with a delicious three-course lunch. We were there during harvest, so the winemaker was busy and understandably unavailable to participate in our tasting.
After lunch we went to Clos Dominic. We took a brief tour of the vineyards to understand the challenging terrain on which some of the oldest Priorat vines grow. After seeing the vines, we visited the cellar and tasted three of Paco's world-class wines. Understanding where in the vineyard each of the wines was grown gave us a good appreciation of how the steep hillside, differing ages of the vines, and rocky soil contributed to the taste of each wine.
We've been to Napa/Sonoma, the Loire Valley, and Bordeaux and this tour and these wines are as good as any we've had.
Guide had deep knowledge and was charismatic as well. Only four of us on the tour, which was a bonus. Lunch exceeded expectations. Wineries were all small family owned enterprises. Wine was top shelf.
A day well spent. Daniel was an excellent guide.
This was one of the most amazing tours I have experienced. My two sons ages 37, 39 enjoyed this wine tour. Our guide, Mr. Andrew Wilson was the most knowledgeable guide any of us had ever met. He knew art, history, wine, architecture, etc. Anything we asked he had the answer and extended explanation. The wineries we visited, Pasanau, Clos Figueres and Clos Dominic presented wines that were the equivalent of some of the best wines we had ever experienced. We have been collecting - and tasting - for many years. Paco and Dominic of Clos Dominic were great hosts and tour guides. We would all love to return in the near future. I have posted some pictures. If possible, please transmit the close-up picture of Paco to Andrew so he can get it to Paco.
If you really enjoy wine do this very special tour of a very special region. Andrew was a fabulous host. We enjoy wine and have visited
wine regions around the world and this tour ranks as one of the very best. Meeting the passionate wine makers, walking their fields and drinking their results was truly an experience not to be missed. The food pairings and lunch were also done quite well. We would have no reservations doing this tour again or recommending it highly.
Andrew, our guide was the key to a great day. We have been on many wine tours, this was the best by far. Andrew's knowledge of the Priorat region along with the relationship he has with the owners and their families allowed us to be apart of their love of their craft.
Truly a one of a kind day. If you love or even like wine, this is a must that you will never forget. Lunch at Clos Figueras winery was a treat. Great food with great wine. We would repeat this trip in a minute.
Great wines for great times. Visited three small wineries with a chance to interact with the vintners and their families/workers. The winemakers were so proud of their wines and spent the time to give further insight into their production. We were in the fields, the production area and storage.
Andrew was the perfect guide with knowledge about the wine region and historical context as well as great insights into the Catalan area in general. A wonderful day with a fun group.
Highly recommend this tour. We had a fabulous time. Andrew, the guide, was knowledgeable and great host. I attended two wine tours this trip and this tour is, by far, the better one. The good wine and food, coupled with Andrew's insightful commentary, made the tour enjoyable and interesting. This is a long tour but well worth it.
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