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Priorat to get new ‘village’ category

The Consejo Regulador del Priorato has given provisional approval to a new category of ‘Village Wines’ within the DOCa Priorato.

Details are due to be finalised and the the rubber stamp applied within the next few weeks, according to the Consejo.

Growers in twelve villages in this mountainous region west of Barcelona will qualify to label their wines as ‘Vino de Pueblo’ – Vi de Vila in Catalan.

Labels will bear the individual village names – such as Gratallops, Poboleda and Porrera – as a sub-category of DOCa Priorato. A new wine map redefining village boundaries has been drawn up by the Consejo Regulador.

Village wines will have to be made from a producer’s own vineyards, not from bought-in grapes.

For civic administrative purposes, Priorato had long been divided into village segments that bore little relation to the terrain and characteristics of wines produced there.

Álvaro Palacios, one of the pioneers of fine wine in Priorato in the 1980s, intends to launch his first Vino de Pueblo, 2007 Gratallops, at the end of the summer.

‘When this whole area was planted with vines, before the Civil War, everyone used to talk of wines here in Priorato in terms of their village of origin,’ he said.

‘With this new map we’ve re-established the typicity of each village. You have to localise things, especially in such an area where you have so many small individual vineyards.’

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Written by Kathryn McWhirter

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