DO. Cataluña is special because it is the first province-encompassing D.O. and received its status in 1999. This D.O. was there to ensure that wineries from existing Catalan D.O.s could compose various wines from these D.O.s while guaranteeing the quality and status of these wines. Another factor was that Cataluña, with an umbrella designation of origin, has another 4000 hectares of vineyards under the D.O. was allowed to scissors, which were previously unclassified. Vineyards belonging to the D.O. registered are allowed to release unblended wines under the original geographically defined D.O. of which they are members.
Catalonia is also written as Catalunya and Cataluña.
Spain's northeast part, like the iconic city of Barcelona, is as French as Spanish — and home to a culture, cuisine and personality all its own. From delicious Cava, Spain's sparkling wine (95 percent of which is produced in this region), to exciting red blends from Emporda, Catalunya offers outstanding diversity.
The region's diverse geography also helps. Penedes, the main DO of Catalunya, is hilly and cool and well suited to cava production, but in the warmer parts international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay do well. The higher Montsant region has concentrated, dense reds, while the warmer Terra Alta region has limestone and clay soils that are also well suited to dry reds. The main Cava grapes, Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada, are widely planted here, but Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet are found in abundance throughout the region.
Smaller wine regions are Allella, Costers del Segre and the Priorat. The Priorat is world famous for its dark red quality wines.