Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

The creation of Priorat Singulars

Published:  29 November, 2017

A new association of producers from Catalonia’s DOQ Priorat officially presented their new Priorat Singulars group in Barcelona on 27 November, representing a new initiative to raise the profile of the region's very top wines.

The four founding wineries are from four of the 12 villages in the DOQ region: Clos Figueras in Gratallops, Mas d'en Gil in Bellmunt del Priorat, Mas Doix in Poboleda, and Vall Llach in Porrera.

The idea behind the move is that each village has unique characteristics that are singular in their own way to Priorat thus the name, "Priorat Singulars".

The plan moving forward is to limit any future members so that there is only one from each of the villages, with each one regarded as being a top-quality producer in the region.

The initial group of four founding wineries said that they decided to band together due to their similar profiles, all having been in existence since the late 1990s and being family-owned cellars.

Members of the Priorat Singulars group are also well-established cellars that formed part of the ‘Second Wave’ in Priorat, which came after the initial Gratallops Pioneers group of Clos wineries headed by René Barbier, Álvaro Palacios, and others, who put what was a struggling region back on the wine world's map.

As stated at the Barcelona event by Valentí Llagostera of Mas Doix, these are wineries that focus primarily on what are seen to be the region's two most defining grapes: Grenache and Carignan.

While these grapes form a little more than 60% of total plantings, they have in recent years been growing their presence, as winemakers - including those in Priorat Singulars - have been re-grafting vines that were previously French varieties or planting new vineyards of either Grenache or Carignan.

Given that DOQ Priorat has roughly 100 wineries, the general consensus is to promote the region wholly as a single brand.

Some wineries have commented that Priorat Singulars is potentially not beneficial to the region at large as it diffuses efforts, although most feel that the regional body could do considerably more in terms of promotion above and beyond its one main press event every two years.

When asked directly about this issue of splintering from the main brand, Llagostera responded: "As we have more and more producers, it's only natural that like-minded people create associations within Priorat. You see this in Burgundy and it's a very natural evolution of a mature, fine wine region."

Going forward, the group intends to promote the Priorat brand through various tastings such as the one in Barcelona (which included current releases as well as nearly 20-year-old vintages from their respective early years) and another recent tasting that was held last month in New York City.

The group’s ultimate goal is to show the wine drinking public what is unique to the region in terms of its sloped, slatey vineyards and unique growing conditions, which have now been proven to produce age-worthy fine wines.