Empordà (DO)

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Empordà
Wine region
DO Empordà.png
Official name Denominació d'Origen Empordà
Type Denominación de Origen
Year established 1972
Country Spain Spain
Part of Catalonia Catalonia
Sub-regions Empordà county
Climate region III
Precipitation (annual average) 600-700 mm
Varietals produced Grenache, Syrah, Carinyena, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay
No. of wineries 49

Empordà is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) (Denominació d'Origen in Catalan) for wines produced in the northeastern corner of Catalonia, Spain.

Until 2006, it was initially known as DO Empordà-Costa Brava to associate the large tourist beach area with the region.[1] The region generally extends from the town of Figueres northwards to the French border and the French wine-making regions of Banyuls and Côtes du Roussillon. To the south, it extends through the Baix Empordà county near the Mediterranean Sea.

The DO is crossed by the rivers Muga, Llobregat and Manol which flow eastwards to the sea.

The DO Empordà comprises 2020 hectares of vineyards in the counties of Alt Empordà and Baix Empordà, with 423 winegrowers and 45 wineries registered with the Regulatory Council, and an estimated annual production of approximately 50,000 hectolitres or 3.5 million bottles of wine.[2]

History[edit]

Archaeologists have suggested that vines were first introduced to this region by the Phoenicians in the 5th century BC. The ancient Romans and the Benedictine monks later also contributed. The first written documentation dates from 1130 and was a treatise on wine written by Father Pere de Novas in the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes.

As in Penedès, this area used to produce strong sweet wines which were very popular until the 1930s. The region acquired its DO status in 1972.[3]

Throughout the mid 20th century, the wineries were mostly cooperatives focused on cheap, bulk wine production. In the late 1990s and in to the first decade of the 20th century, the focus shifted a great deal towards smaller, craft wineries, which in turn worked to improve the wine quality of the region overall.[1]

Geography[edit]

The DO is divided into two subzones: the northern Alt Empordà subzone with 35 municipalities, and the southern Baix Empordà subzone with 13 municipalities. In 2012, the enotourism guidebook series, Vinologue published an extensive guide to the region, breaking down all the subzones and profiling the wineries.[1]

Soils[edit]

The soils are generally dark, with a certain lime content, loose, good drainage and poor in organic matter. There is some granite content near the coast as well as up in the mountainous regions near the French border.

Climate[edit]

The climate is Mediterranean, with influences from the moisture bearing winds from the south and cold winds from the north, especially the Tramontana, which can sometimes attain speeds of 120 km/h. The wind is quite crucial to the winemaking process as it greatly reduces the occurrence of mildew as well as pests, thus making organic farming an easier endeavor.[1]

The average annual temperature is 16 °C (max 29 °C, min 1.5 °C) and there is abundant rainfall over the course of the year, between 600 and 700 mm/yr, falling mainly in winter and spring.

Wines[edit]

While historically Empordà was known for producing rosé wines, the majority of their production is red at 60%, white at 19%, and rosé at 17%.[4] The remaining 4% is released as traditional wines including dessert versions of Grenache and Moscatell.[1] A bit more than half of the wines sold in the region are bottled and the remainder are sold as bulk wines. There is a significant amount of Cava produced under the DO Cava in the approved villages.

Grape Varieties[edit]

The following white grapes are permitted: White Grenache, Macabeu, Muscat, Muscat d'Alexandria, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Malvasia, Piquepoul, Sauvignon Blanc, and Xarel·lo. The reds are: Carignan, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Hairy Grenache. Additionally, Grey Grenache is also permitted. Other grapes are listed as "experimental" and allowed in small quantities until fully authorized such as Marselan and White Carignan.[1][5]

Spanish regulations require the use of name Samsó instead of Carinyena on bottle labels do to a supposed confusion with the Aragón region of DO Cariñena although few Carignan grapes are grown there and are called Mazuelo when found. This Samsó sounds similar to the French grape, Cinsault which is a different grape and makes for a great deal of confusion.[1]

Wineries[edit]

The wineries from the DO Emporda are:

* AV Bodeguers * Cellers Santa-Maria, S.L.
* Bodegas Mas Vida * Comercial Vinícola del Nord-est,S.A.
* Bodega Mas Llunes * Cooperativa Agrícola de Garriguella
* Bodega Perafita * Cooperativa Agrícola de Mollet de Peralada
* Bodegas Trobat * Empordàlia
* Celler Can Pereclara * Espelt Viticultors, S.L.
* Castell de Biart * Gelamà
* Castillo de Capmany * La Vinyeta
* Caves Castell de Peralada * Mas Oller
* Celler Arché-Pagés, S.L. * Mas Pòlit
* Celler Brugarol * Mas Estela
* Celler Can Sais * Mas Lunes, Vinyes i Cellers
* Celler Castell de Calonge * Masia Serra, S.L.
* Celler Cooperatiu d'Espolla * Oliveda, S.A.
* Celler Generi * Oliver Conti, S.L.
* Celler Marià Pagès * S.A.T. Mare de Déu del Camp
* Celler Martí Fabra Carreras * Terra Remota
* Celler Martín Faixó * Vinyes dels Aspres
* Celler Mas Patiràs * Vinyes d'Olivardots, S.L.
* Celler Pere Guardiola * Xavier Maset Isach
* Celler Roig Parals

DO Emporda wine route[edit]

Some wineries in the Emporda region are grouped under the umbrella of the DO Empordà wine route to promote wine tourism in the area. This body is coordinated by the Patronat de Turisme de la Costa Brava with the participation of the Consell Regulador de la Denominació d’Origen Empordà. The DO Emporda wine route aims to promote wine tourism locally and internationally. The route also brings together other tourist activities from the area linked to the world of wine and grapes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Miquel Hudin & Elia Varela Serra (2012), Vinologue Empordà, Vinologue, p. 360, ISBN 978-0-983-77184-5 
  2. ^ Ruta del Vi do Empordà. Girona: Patronat de Turisme Girona Costa Brava. 2013. p. 10. OCLC 870116906. 
  3. ^ "DO Regulations" (in Catalan). Generalitat de Catalunya. March 3, 2006. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ "DO Empordà - The Figures". Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ "DO Empordà". Retrieved January 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°23′17.88″N 3°0′4.28″E / 42.3883000°N 3.0011889°E / 42.3883000; 3.0011889