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Regions

Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

D.O. Empordà

Description to D.O. Empordà

This DO area (Catalan Empordà) is located in the farthest corner of north-eastern Spain on the Mediterranean coast in the region of Catalonia and borders on the French Roussillon. The area is considered one of the cradles of Spanish viticulture. The vineyards cover 2,300 hectares of vines on calcareous soil and are located 200 metres above sea level, often in crater-shaped valleys (see under Conca). The climate is Mediterranean with cold north winds. The white wines are made from the varieties Chenin Blanc, Macabeo, Muscat Blanc, Parellada, Riesling, Xarello as well as Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. Red varieties are Cariñena(Mazuelo), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo. Mostly Rosados (from the Cariñena variety) and traditionally also Rancios with high alcohol content are produced. Cava (sparkling wine) is also produced in smaller quantities. A speciality since the Middle Ages is "Garnatxa", a pure sweet red wine from Garnacha Tinta with 15.5% alcohol content. This resembles the French Banyuls across the border in the Roussillon area.

Ampurdán-Costa Brava

Picture: Tourism in Catalonia - © Marc Castellet

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