One of Spain’s oldest wine export roads has been revived as a wine tourism route by 12 producers in Catalonia.
Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the new wine tourism route, which emerges on the coast near to Sitges, south of Barcelona.
The producers from the Penedès region, Catalonia’s biggest winemaking area, have funded ‘The Mediterranean Wine Road’, which opens on 13 June. Tourists will be guided along it by mobile apps and road signs.
First used about 2,700 years ago, the road starts inland at Sant Marti Sarrocca, near Vilafranca del Penedès, and leads to Sitges on the coast, from where wine was once shipped up the coast to Barcelona and across the Mediterranean Sea.
Tourists paying for a premium app alongside a general ticket will have access to premium wines offered by the producers, as well as other discounts en route. The 12 producers are Torres, Mas Bertran Viticultors, Rovellats, Parés Baltà, Colet, Heretat Mas Tinell, Pinord, Torreblanca, Finca Viladellops, Clos Lentiscus, Torre del Veguer and Puig Batet.
As well as the wineries, wine tourists will be able to visit archaeological and historical sites such as Olerdola Castle.
The Phoenicians and the Greeks are thought to have been the first wine producers in Catalonia, but Xavier Esteve, Historian at the Institute of Penedès Studies, said the Romans increased production and made wine popular with with all in society. They also used the wine road to supply wine across their empire.
‘This wine road was used 2,700 years ago, right up until the introduction of the train, here in the late 19th Century,’ Esteve said. ‘It is one of the oldest wine export routes in the Western Mediterranean.’
Written by Barnaby Eales