"Priorat is the second smallest DO in Catalunya yet it boasts one of the best reputations. Until the mid-1980's, this area was known for only one wine - Cartoixa Scala Dei Negre, an enormous, opaque red made with grapes form ancient Garnacha vines. This blockbusting wine is rumoured to last for 50 years, and is still a Priorat classic. " Wines of the world" From the late 80's a dozen or so young and up coming winemakers established vineyards around the rocky mountain-top town of Gratallops. They then planted international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Due to them terracing their vineyards into the steep slopes of the river valley where the outcrops of schist make up the bedrock which provide excellent drainage. From this was the creation of a host of classics called "Clos". Inital sold as vino de mesa , due to the complexitiy and depth of the wine produced the DO authorities offered these successful newcomers unconditional membership. With many new comers since. It is one of only 3 DOCas in Spain the other two been Rioja which was the first and Since the sparkling wine region of Cava.

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