Skip to content

Penedés

Penedés is the most important viticultural area in Catalunya, northeastern Spain, in terms of both volumes produced and the diversity of wine styles. Its Penedés DO title covers dry, sweet and sparkling styles in all three colours (red, white and rosé), and as if that were not sufficient, its vineyards also generate vast quantities of Spain's flagship sparkling wine, Cava.

Red Penedés wines have traditionally been made from such classic Spanish grape varieties as Garnacha, Carinena, Monastrell and Tempranillo (known here as Ull de Llebre), but the local winemakers are increasingly turning to the "international" Bordeaux varieties Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The white wines are made from the varieties otherwise used for Cava: Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel.lo, and more recently Chardonnay.

The name Penedés is not that of a town or village, but of a former administrative district in the coastal hills between Barcelona and Tarragona. It lies just a few miles down the Mediterranean coastline from the bustling Catalan capital, Barcelona. Such proximity to Spain's second largest city provides the local wine industry with a significant local market, as well as a gateway to export destinations via Barcelona's busy port.

The climate here is predictably Mediterranean, with warm summers, mild winters and moderate rainfall concentrated mostly in spring and autumn. Due to the complex topography of the coastal hills, however, there is notable climatic variation from site to site, allowing winemakers to generate a relatively wide range of wine styles. Broadly speaking, Penedés can be divided into three climatic sub-zones. Baix Penedés, as the name implies (Baix is Catalan for "low") covers the lower lying, warmer areas, and specialises in the production of full-bodied red wines. Higher up in the altitude cooled hills, between 1,640ft and 2,625ft (500 and 800m), is Alt Penedés, where the freshest white wine styles are produced. In between the two is Medio Penedés.

Penedés' long viticultural history began, as is the case with so many European wine regions, when the Romans arrived in the area. The region's wines attracted little attention, and were rarely exported. It wasn't until the 20th century that they began attracting any attention on export markets.

In 1960 the Penedés DO was introduced, followed almost immediately by sweeping changes in the region's approach to quality wine production (spearheaded by Miguel Torres). The introduction of stainless steel tanks and temperature controlled fermentations ushered in a new era of cleaner winemaking, complemented by experimentation with non-traditional grape varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. For a few decades it was hoped that the new style of Penedès wines (particularly the reds) would become a gleaming example of modern Spanish winemaking. However, although quality has remained relatively high, the wines have failed to garner substantial support from the world's wine critics (whose attention was, in any case, distracted by the new-wave wines from nearby Priorat).

Sparkling Penedés Espumoso is arguably the most area's most interesting development in the 21st century. Made in the traditional method, these stand in direct competition with those made under the Cava title. They have a few differentiators in their favour, however – most notably that, from the 2017 vintage onwards, they will be made exclusively from organically grown grapes. Also, unlike Cava, sparkling Penedés Espumoso wine can be made in the "ancestral" method, lees-aged for four years and undisgorged ("No Degorjat" or "No Degollat"). For this style, the addition of sugars for tirage or dosage is prohibited. Whether these differentiators are sufficient to distinguish Penedés' sparkling wines from Cava, and bring them commercial success, remains to be seen.
  • Parés Baltà Cava Brut
    Save 15%
    Original price £13.95
    Current price £11.86

    Parés Baltà Cava Brut

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Cava Brut is a deliciously dry, sparkling wine made in the Champagne method yet with plenty of bright, soft fruit flavours. It has a me...

    View full details
    Original price £13.95
    Current price £11.86
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Blanc De Pacs
    Save 15%
    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63

    Parés Baltà Blanc De Pacs

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Blanc De Pacs has ripe, white orchard fruits on the nose that are echoed on the palate, tempered by pithy, zesty lemon acidity and a ch...

    View full details
    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Cava Pink
    Save 15%
    Original price £14.40
    Current price £12.24

    Parés Baltà Cava Pink

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Cava Pink is smooth, refreshing and very graceful on the palate, packed with ripe, red berry fruit and balanced by a crisp, fresh acidi...

    View full details
    Original price £14.40
    Current price £12.24
    Save 15%
  • Paco Molina Cava Brut
    £11.95

    Paco Molina Cava Brut

    Bodegas Cusiné

    Paco Molina Cava Brut is pale yellow in colour, it has medium intensity nose of white fruits - pear and apple - together with floral notes and a sl...

    View full details
    £11.95
  • Parés Baltà Honeymoon
    Save 15%
    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01

    Parés Baltà Honeymoon

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Honeymoon has roses on the nose, honey on the palate! Yellow green colour with golden tints. Intense floral aromas of orange blossom on...

    View full details
    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Mas Petit
    Save 15%
    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63

    Parés Baltà Mas Petit

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Mas Petit displays a deep, dark garnet colour. The nose is full of spice and smoke, along with blackberry, black olive, dried herbs and...

    View full details
    Original price £12.50
    Current price £10.63
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Ginesta
    Save 15%
    Original price £21.20
    Current price £18.02

    Parés Baltà Ginesta

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Ginesta has intense aromas of jasmine, rose and orange blossom, ripe lemon and lime citrus fruit and a suggestion of lychee on the nose...

    View full details
    Original price £21.20
    Current price £18.02
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Ros De Pacs
    Save 15%
    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01

    Parés Baltà Ros De Pacs

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Ros De Pacs is delicate on the nose, with notes of cherry blossom and red fruits such as cranberry, raspberry and cherry. In the mouth ...

    View full details
    Original price £12.95
    Current price £11.01
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cusiné
    Save 15%
    Original price £25.90
    Current price £22.02

    Parés Baltà Cava Blanca Cusiné

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Cava Blanca Cusine is bright golden-coloured, the nose is redolent of roasted almonds and hazelnuts with softer honey and prickly pear ...

    View full details
    Original price £25.90
    Current price £22.02
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Amphora
    Save 15%
    Original price £26.35
    Current price £22.40

    Parés Baltà Amphora

    Parés Baltà

    Parés Baltà Amphora is a pearl coloured, clear wine that is crisp and transparent. It has a soft nose with hints of almonds and some rounded dairy ...

    View full details
    Original price £26.35
    Current price £22.40
    Save 15%
  • Parés Baltà Hisenda Miret
    Save 15%
    Original price £27.70
    Current price £23.55

    Parés Baltà Hisenda Miret

    Parés Baltà

    Pares Balta Hisenda Miret is a vivid ruby red in colour. The nose is explosively intense and fresh, with complex floral notes, an oaky creaminess a...

    View full details
    Original price £27.70
    Current price £23.55
    Save 15%