Golf and Wine in Catalonia
Chipping and Sipping in the sun, what could be better!
Like a Wink and a smile or Drunk and Disorderly, (well maybe not here).
Golf and wine? Absolutely.
Golf already has the “Claret Jug “as its oldest trophy to make a point…
Makes sense no? one is a good excuse for the other with some gastronomy thrown in for good measure.
The fit is perfect and here in Catalonia it doesn’t need to be expensive, good wines and golf come at a reasonable price if you want them to.
A golf trip used to be about golf and nothing else, even talking in the evening centred on the golf that day. Nowadays we have a more civilised and fun way for people who also like drinking wine, throw the two together! You may even attract some golf widows to break out of their shells.
You can go tasting, take a wine tour, have a tapas lunch amongst the vines or have dinner with the sun setting over the estate and still get 18 holes of golf in! People are saying nowadays that they get a 4-5 hour round of golf in the morning and what shall they do after? Well I’ve just mentioned a couple of things that spring to mind.
Golfers are becoming more sophisticated and diverse; they want more things to do whether in couples or groups.
The only question is: where?
Well golfers are blessed with good fortune as the terrains and climate ideal for producing premium wines are also the much sought-after conditions that have produced some of the best golf courses and Catalonia is no exception in this aspect.
We talk of the blending of wines but perhaps the blending of golf and wine makes the sport that much more enjoyable.
The Wine Regions of Catalonia.
For the purpose of golfing in Catalonia we can group certain wine areas to encompass the golf courses available to play with the vineyards to visit.
The wineries offer visits & tastings in general but also other interesting activities including: Ecotours, Wine & Cheese pairings, Tapas Workshops, Picnics amongst the vines, cycling tours, horse & carriage excursions etc
Barcelona Central Area- Penedès
This is the largest and most well known wine-producing region in Catalonia along with Priorat. It is also one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Europe dating back to the sixth century BC. The variations in terrain make it ideal for a variety of grapes and Penedes is the heartland of the world renowned Spanish sparkling wine known as Cava.
The local Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel·lo are established as the most popular grapes for producing Cava and famous brands such as Freixenet and Codorniu will ring a bell I’m sure. While the majority of the region’s wines are the Cava blends, many varietal wines are also produced and Torres is the brand most widely known here.
The wineries of Penedes can be easily reached from Barcelona but Sitges, the beautiful old worldly coastal town is possibly the best base for this area and also offers great golf at the only course in Catalonia on the Mediterranean. We would also highly recommend the Barcelona Golf Resort which borders Penedes and only 30mins from the airport.
Perhaps nowadays one of the most well-known Catalan wine regions on the international is Priorat. It is one of only two regions in Spain to have the special appellation D.O.C or Denominació d’Origen Qualificada, recognizing the outstanding quality and consistency of its wines. The vines grown here are in general inaccessible to machinery, therefore hand picking is still employed making this some of the most sought-after wine in Spain.
Tarragona has long had a history of producing rich, heavy reds, similar to fortified wines and is known as Tarragona Clásico. However, despite the historical tradition, nowadays more than 70 percent of the grapes grown in the area are white and Tarragona is an important producer of cava wine.
The newcomer, Montsant used to form part of the DO Tarragona until the early 2000s when it was granted its own special denomination for wines produced around the Montsant mountains. More than 60 percent of wines produced here are destined for foreign markets and most is red wine which tends to be full-bodied and powerful. This is the only wine region in Catalonia, and one of few in Spain, which produces Kosher wines.
The wine areas here are close to the golf courses of the Costa Dorada and the scenery is spectacular.
The Costa Brava is set in the north-east of Catalonia, and is famed for its superb beaches, great restaurants, beautiful medieval villages and of course delightful wines with vineyards reaching down to the sea. The Empordà wine region has a long history of making rose wine but nowadays red wine accounts for 60 percent of its production. The reds tend to be full-bodied and are sometimes aged in oak barrels for added depth of flavour. There are more than 20 grape varieties allowed under the official appellation DO Empordà including the non-native Gewürztraminer white grape variety.
Garnatxa de l´Emporda, is a speciality of the area, a naturally sweet wine produced from the Garnacha grape and an exceptional dessert wine.
The Costa Brava has some great golf courses to combine with wine tourism including the Hotel Peralada Wine Spa & Golf or the Emporda Golf Resort.
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