What is Priorat?
Priorat is a county in Catalunya, south of Barcelona. In the 1980s Priorat was rediscovered as a winedistrict after many years of neglect. The wine renaissance has brought new wealth to Priorat, fortunately without spoiling the landscape with industry or aggressive development. The land is not easy to cultivate. This means that vast areas are left to themselves, giving wildlife excellent conditions to flourish. Wine and olives are mostly grown in the valleys or on terraces in the hills. A population of only 10,000 scattered on 500 square kilometers means that Priorat is quiet and peaceful. The beautiful landscapes, the sleepy ancient villages and the Serra de Montsant are the reasons why Priorat is headed for recognition by UNESCOs World Heritage classification.
For many centuries Priorat has seen big changes with regard to ruling or being ruled. We won’t argue which is better or worse: Autonomous kingdom – Under Arabic caliphate – Ruled by a Prior (the name Priorat hails from that) and his Carthusian monks – Part of Great Catalonia – Under the Spanish king – Franco’s fascism – and lately, Spanish democracy. No wonder the Catalans have developed a proud self-consciousness… You will clearly sense the patriotism of Priorat (and Catalonia) but in a mild and friendly way. Foreigners are welcome in Priorat and language is rarely a barrier.
Catalans prefer to speak Catalan among themselves. But you will get a friendly and helpful answer when you try your best in Spanish – or English! “Benvinguts al Priorat!”