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The designation of origin Empordà

The Designation of Origin Empordà, created in the year 1975, protects and guarantees the wines produced in this region, located in the north-eastern corner of Catalonia, with a surface area of vineyards of approximately 2,000 hectares, distributed among 55 municipalities of the districts of the Alt and Baix Empordà.

In recent years, the vineyards of the D.O. Empordà have undergone a substantial renovation, particularly in the use of the most innovative growing techniques, and harvesting is carried out with great care, an indispensable prelude to good winemaking.

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A unique setting, between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees

The winemaking tradition of the Empordà has over 2,500 years of history. The Empordanese vineyards, the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula, were planted by the Phocaeans from ancient Greece when they founded Empúries. Later they were developed by the Roman colonisers and definitively established by the Benedictine monks of the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. Nowadays, wineries of different dimensions represent the continuity of this heritage, with a very solid range of bottled wines.

The natural factors create a favourable setting for obtaining the singular wines of the Empordà. The proximity of the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees generates a climate characterised by high insolation, low rainfall and the frequency of a strong north wind, the tramuntana. The winters are mild and the summers are hot but moderated by the action of the sea breezes.

The D.O. Empordà has a notable heterogeneity of terrains due to its position between the mountains and the plain: clay and slate soils of a granitic nature that allow wines with many nuances to be made.

Tramuntana wines

The range of Empordanese wines is very extensive. Red wines are of high quality, robust, well-constructed and harmonic, sometimes with the added touch of careful ageing. These reserve and aged wines present very characteristic aromatic notes: they are complex, fragrant, with touches of spices, and always maintain aromas of the fruit and the plant. In the mouth, they express themselves in full, pleasurable flavours.

The white wines, fresh and also full of flavour, are often made with autochthonous varieties, and also with other monovarietals of notable quality. The fresh rosé wines are characterised by their well-defined cherry colour, with great personality, delicate aromas and moderate alcoholic graduation.

A special product of the region is the Empordà Garnatxa, a natural sweet wine made from the grenache variety that gives it its name. It maintains the generous flavour of the ripe grape and is warm and silky, virtues that make it an exceptional dessert wine, along with the region's other great sweet wine, the Empordà Muscatel.

Ecological wines, mistelas, wines of over-ripened grapes and sparkling wines complete the viticultural offer of the Empordà.

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The different varieties

In red wines, the predominant variety is the carinyena or samsó grape, which constitutes the base of Empordanese winemaking, along with the lledoner negre (also known as garnatxa or grenache). These traditional varieties are complemented with new types that are being introduced, mainly ull de llebre (tempranillo), cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah (shiraz). Other authorised varieties are cabernet franc, monastrell and garnatxa peluda. The predominant white wine varieties are lledoner blanc, lledoner roig and macabeu. In a much lesser proportion we find muscatel, the traditional xareŀlo and the newly-planted chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and gewürztraminer. The malvasia and picapoll blanc varieties are also authorised.