Wine landscapes: DO Terra Alta
Between the river Ebro and Aragon border is the southernmost wine region of Catalonia, the Terra Alta.
The cultivation of vines is the main economic activity of the region, only have to observe that occupy 6,000 hectares of crops and extending between the Flat and the Altiplano.
These formations, which give the terroir specific particularities, they result from the limestone mountains of Port d'Horta, Pàndols Serra and Serra de Cavalls.
The climate presents territory and calcareous soil, thus make possible the cultivation of grapes and the subsequent production of white wines, red and stale wine and spirits. It also allows the growth of the region's flagship strain, Garnacha Blanca, ascribed authenticity, personality and tradition.
The route, which offers insights into this region, is circular and culture and cuisine combines leading us along 70 kilometers, major wine regions of the county.
Wine landscapes: DO Terra Alta is a feasible route at different times of the year, as its landscape is changing, and the smells that come off of the vines, which allows live a memorable sensory experience through a mouthful of wine .
The Regulatory Council of the DO Terra Alta
All Denomination of Origin (DO) has a Control Board is responsible for ensuring and endorse all those wines that have this certification meet certain conditions.
So, to get into the wines of Terra Alta and wine culture aims to start building route on the Control Board in Zone Wine and Oil (l 'Espai del Vi i de l'Oli). This is a place where customers visit a Center that helps frame the discovery wine of the region, enjoy tastings by appointment and will see more than 100 different wines covered by this designation to the retail price of winery .
The Control Board is located in the capital of the Terra Alta in Gandesa , a municipality that is located in the heart of the region and is one of the largest producers of the appellation. therefore the wine industry is the most prevalent in the population and is evident in the number of wineries that are in the town.
However, a hold out among the rest, the Gandesa Cooperative Winery (1919). Eastern Martinell César work, has been named one of the seven wonders of Catalonia.
From the valleys to the high altitude vineyards
In these valleys, dominated, significantly, vineyards, geomorphological occur very interesting and attractive, scenically speaking. On the one hand there are the slopes or costers, characterized by its slope and, on the other funds, which are spaces formed by deeper soils and more fertile.
Vilalba dels Arcs is characterized as one of the producers of Terra Alta with higher altitude and an important cooperative spirit.
In fact, the name of the "Terra Alta" is due to the elevation facing the region over sea level and perspective of the Ebro river depression which can be seen from this region.
The term of Vilalba dels Arcs is located, namely, 400 meters above sea level, which makes the climate is drier and mastered the winds, the north wind and garbinada, which play an important role in the particular present, then wine.
Thus, the strains makes Cierzo and grapes do not get wet, because this blows gusts can reach 100 km per hour. By contrast, the garbinada, which is the marinade which comes from the coast, helps balance the water and moisture level of the vines during dry periods.
The particularities of the north and center of the Earth High
La Pobla de Massaluca is the municipality producer Terra Alta located further north in the region but where the vines continue to occupy a significant presence. Furthermore, these share the limelight with other agricultural activities Mediterranean character important enough in the region, almond and olive.
However, before visiting Bats worth stopping in Massalocà or Massaluca, which houses a viewpoint from which to enjoy the panoramic view of the vineyards combined with a work of art in and outdoor Raso known as "Points of View" .
Bats is the municipality with the largest expanse of vineyard area of Terra Alta, which is divided into two areas: the village upwards (highest altitude vineyards) and the village below.
Following the road N-420, the route goes to Bot , just half of the Terra Alta.
This is one of the last towns you plan to visit with a great wine tradition that is evident in many of the houses in the town, which in its dependencies host his own winery.
Part of this tradition is also reflected in the Wine Museum which houses the Celler Cal Menescal. This is a room - museum containing tools and utensils used in rural life, from cooking instruments themselves once used for farming.
César footprint Martinell
In this population is another modernist works of architect Cesar Martinell and becomes a must of the route, the Cooperative Winery Pinell.
This building is a modernist wine that highlights the glazed ceramic frieze of the main facade and which has become also a symbol for the DO Terra Alta and has been declared a National Cultural Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya.
It was built between 1918 and 1927, as the Gandesa that began building in 1919. Thus, these two presents the main characteristics of modernist Martinell wineries, which stand out as being built of brick and Catalan vault. Tubs and homogenized and integrated with the architecture of the building. A quality masterpieces watch carefully.
Related articles: Enjoy wine and wine tourism in Catalonia