Penedès Food and Wine Tours

Discover the Phenomenal White Wines and Cavas of Penedès

Just a short ride inland from Catalunya’s stunning Golden Coast is the region of Penedès, famous for its production of world-class white wines, rosés and sparkling Cavas under the prestigious DO (Denominació d'Origen) title. Dating back to ancient Roman times, Penedès is also one of the oldest viticultural areas of Europe, a land steeped in history and local tradition. Explore the stunning landscape, stopping at small, family-owned wineries along the way. And learn the ways in which the sun and Mediterranean Sea combine to make this region ideal for winemaking. Penedès is a fantastic place for bicycle tours and hiking, with plenty of fresh air to soak up during your stay. In the townofVilafranca de Penedès, visit the stunning Basilica of Santa Maria, the first example of Gothic architecture in Catalonia, dating back 725 years. Or, check out the church of Sant Joan, the convent of Sant Francesc and the old merchants’ houses, including the Palau del Fraret. Spend a day at the Catalan Wine Culture Museum (VINSEUM) situated in an antique royal palace of the Crown of Aragon. The center is home to exhibitions of ancient and modern winemaking instruments, dioramas of ancient Roman and Egyptian wine cellars, as well as several other collections of art, geology and archeology. 

A great place to discover the local cuisine of Penedès is in the town’s two major municipal markets, the Sant Salvador market in Sant Julià and meat market in the Centre neighborhood. Explore the rich diversity of local fruits, vegetables, olives and artisanal embotits (dry-cured and fresh sausages). A typical starter found throughout the region is xató, a light salad of endive, salted cod, anchovies, olives and a special sauce made with nuts, breadcrumbs, garlic and nyora pepper. This popular dish is the perfect match to a chilled glass of sparkling Cava. The traditional cuisine of Penedès is one based on fresh seasonal vegetables and poultry, such as the Muscovy duck and Penedesenca chicken. A savory dish of chicken simmered in a sauce of prunes, raisins, onions, tomatoes and white wine is perfect when paired with the same wine, served chilled on the side. Coques enramades are a type of local flatbread topped with escalivada (grilled eggplant and pepper), anchovies and cheese, the perfect snack to enjoy during a wine festival.

Different towns within the Penedès region are accredited with the invention of specific desserts, which we also recommend trying during your stay. These include the sweet coques flatbreads of Vilafranca, noiets meringue cakes with chocolate of Sant Sadurní, the gelidencs (sponge cakes with burnt cream) from Gelida and carquinyolis (almond biscuits) of Sant Quintí. Or try orelletes, crunchy and thin ear-shaped flatbreads coated with crystal sugar. For a lighter finish to your meal, taste some fresh mató cheese, typically enjoyed with honey or fruit preserves.

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