Wine and Monasteries
This collection of routes is a great way to combine an interest in Catalan wines and cuisine with a crash course in Catalan cuiture and history. Catalunya boasts great wines and amazing historical monuments, both of which can be experienced on the same trip.
Benedictine monks grew grapes in the areas around their monasteries, and this is why we find many D.O. areas close to these marvelous architectural jewels. Such is the case of the Benedectine monastery in Sant Pere de Rodes in the Ampurdán region, or the Poblet (pictured at right) or Santes Creus monasteries. Touring the monasteries and the wineries can be accomplished almost simultaneously, or if wine is priority and you are pressed for time, do tastings at wineries and view the monasteries only from the outside.
The headquarters for the Consejo Regulador for the Catalunya D.O is located in Reus, making stopping there a must for anyone interested in Catalan wine tradition and winemaking.
The Montserrat monastery is a popular day trip with visitors to Barcelona, but tourist seldom venture past it before returning to the city. You can easily reach the towns of Manresa and Ripoll from Montserrat, visiting Manresa for wine tasting and Ripoll for trying traditional regional Catalan cuisine.
Here are a collection of our favorite routes for enjoying the best of Catalan wine, history and architecture: