Ventallo. Anna Pla Narbona. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG Ventallo. Anna Pla Narbona. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG
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A journey through the history of wine and olive oil culture

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A journey through the history of wine and olive oil culture

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Spain is well known for its long tradition of producing wines and extra virgin olive oil, and the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees destination is no exception. Immerse yourself in this picturesque Mediterranean region with a history of producing grapes and olives that goes back centuries and forms part of its cultural identity. It is the perfect setting for foodie tourists and those who love these two outstanding gastronomical products.

Costa Brava. Anna Pla Narbona. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Costa Brava. Anna Pla-Narbona. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG.

A journey through the history of wine and olive oil culture.

Spain is well known for its long tradition of producing wines and extra virgin olive oil, and the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees destination is no exception. Immerse yourself in this picturesque Mediterranean region with a history of producing grapes and olives that goes back centuries and forms part of its cultural identity. It is the perfect setting for foodie tourists and those who love these two outstanding gastronomical products.

An ancient legacy: wines with the Empordà Designation of Origin

The cultivation of vineyards in the destination dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks, who first introduced winegrowing in the Iberian Peninsula. The fertile soil and Mediterranean climate created the perfect environment for cultivating grapes, and the region soon became an important centre of wine production. Later, the Romans would maintain this tradition followed by Benedictine monks, who firmly established it here until the 19th century when phylloxera, an insect pest that devastated Europe’s vineyards, arrived in the Empordà region. Although it led to extensive losses, the local wine growers and cooperatives fought to recover from the plague by planting new vines. By the 20th century the wine industry had been revitalised with a quality-based approach. The evolution of this crop so deeply rooted in local history and culture has created a great legacy of generations of winegrowers and high quality products: Empordà wines, protected by the Protected Designation of Origin for Empordà wines (DO Empordà).

Colera. Oscar Rodbag. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Còlera. Oscar Rodbag. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG.

Wines for all tastes

With its terroir sweeping from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean, DO Empordà encompasses a very wide range of wines thanks to its great wealth of varieties, including Grenache (or Garnacha) and Carignan, the jewels in the DO crown that are found in white, red (grey) and black varieties. The region produces very high-quality and flavoursome young and crianza red wines; cherry-coloured rosés with a delicate and very fresh aroma; young and crianza whites with a refreshing, intense and delicious flavour; as well as smooth fruity sparkling wines. Finally, one of the hallmarks of this area are its sweet wines, such as the Garnatxa de l’Empordà, a sweet wine made from a grenache grape that is the ideal accompaniment to desserts and sweets.

Liquid gold: extra virgin olive oil

Olive cultivation in the region also has a long and rich history, as this ancient crop dates back to the ancient Greeks as well. Since then, the olive groves here have witnessed the evolution of olive oil culture, preserving this legacy for generations and firmly establishing it as a vital part of the region’s heritage and Mediterranean culture.

Olive oil with the Protected Designation of Origin for Empordà Olive Oils (DOP Empordà) is made from three local varieties that are exclusive to this area: Argudell, Corivell and Llei de Cadaqués, plus a traditional variety, Arbequina, which has been grown in the region since the 18th century. Transparent and yellowish green in colour, these oils are pleasant on the tongue, flavoursome, aromatic and have a slightly spicy note. They are undoubtedly a high-quality, sustainable and healthy ingredient that is an essential element of our gastronomy.

Celler Perelada Peralada. Joan Divi. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Celler Perelada, Peralada. Joan Diví. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG.

Find your ideal experience and discover these two exceptional products

Uncover the stories hidden inside each glass of wine with original and fun activities. From sensory tastings such as those offered by the Celler Mas Llunes winery with light show, music and images to awaken your senses; tastings of wines and locally sourced products while walking the Costa Brava’s coastal paths with Camí de Mar by La Gastronòmica; or even a Winefulness experience at Celler Espelt winery, where wine becomes part of a unique mindfulness experience.

For the adventurous, there is an Enokayak activity organised by SK Kayak Llançà in which you can take to the water to look at the vineyards of the Celler Hugas de Batlle winery beside the sea and end the trip in a beautiful cove tasting the wines produced there. Or, if you prefer a complete experience, at Perelada Resort you can visit Peralada Castle, try a wine tasting at the new Perelada winery with its blend of architecture, sustainability and excellence, and stay at Hotel Perelada 5* where you can enjoy a Michelin-starred dinner? Whatever your particular tastes, one thing is certain: the activities found in this region are designed to make your trip unforgettable; in every corner you will find innovative and entertaining ideas that go well beyond traditional vineyard tours.

We also invite you to explore the art of pairing wines and olive oils and learn a little more about this culinary elixir that has conquered the world’s palates with wine and olive oil tastings organised by Cooperativa Empordàlia. However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the universe of extra virgin olive oil, we recommend chef Iolanda Bustos, known as the “flower chef”, who offers olive oil tastings in ancient olive groves, bringing gastronomy and nature together in a unique experience in which her knowledge and passion will take you on a culinary journey filled with tradition and flavour.

Visit the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees and experience the ancient winemaking and olive oil producing culture, where every sip and every bite will take you on a journey through the history and essence of Catalan culture.

Llanca. Joan Divi Figueras. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG

Llançà. Joan Divi Figueras. Arxiu Imatges PTCBG.

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