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You can't get more natural than this: the landscapes of the DO Montsant are mostly very varied and rugged. Only in the south is the terroir somewhat less rugged in some areas.

The area of the DO Montsant, divided into five zones, is bordered by a semicircle of mountains and mountain ranges that surround the DOCa Priorat wine region. To the north are the Montsant (1,100 m) and La Llena mountain ranges. To the east are the coastal mountains of Argentera, the Mola de Colldejou (900 m) and Llaberia. On the opposite side, to the west, are the mountain ranges of La Figuera (600 m) and Tormo. To the south, the area opens up towards the Ebro. There, the watercourses of the Siurana and the namesake Montsant flow. Together with the river Capçanes, they irrigate the wine region, which covers a total of 1,900 ha.

Soils

The soils are very diverse in their origin and composition. They alternate like a mosaic. The vineyards are situated at an altitude of 200 to 700 metres.

Three soil types characterise the DO Montsant:

  1. Compact, calcareous soils, mostly composed of sedimentary material created by erosion and river deposits. In the peripheral areas of the Montsant, especially in the south, one also finds reddish soils with a high clay content.
  2. Soils with more or less large granite stones and sand, formed by the erosion of large granite blocks. Soils with a low percentage of organic material and little water retention capacity are mainly found in the Falset area.
  3. Stony soils consisting of siliceous slate layers, known as "llicorella" in the Montsant. They are also poor in organic material. Due to erosion processes, there are also zones with different proportions of shale and more compact clay.
Christian Barbier

It is the diversity of soils and altitudes that makes Montsant so special, and we - who also produce wines in Priorat - attach great importance to the finesse of Montsant wines, to their white minerality. Our old Garnatxa vineyard at 600 metres above sea level is a good example of this.

Christian Barbier, Clos Mogador

Climate

Montsant is located in a Mediterranean climate zone, but because it is surrounded by mountains, it also has continental characteristics. Normally, winters are very cold by Mediterranean standards, while summers are dry and hot. Due to the many different altitude zones and the geographical location, there are many microclimate zones.

The mountains partially protect the area from the influence of the sea, which leads to a marked contrast between day and night temperatures in summer when the grapes ripen. The wind in the late summer evenings brings plenty of moisture to the vines during the dry ripening period. Rainfall is around 500 to 600 litres per year, which falls especially in spring and autumn, but is usually unevenly distributed throughout the year.

Christian Barbier

Montsant, thanks to its orography, surrounded by mountain ranges and close to the Mediterranean Sea, offers a variety of microclimates and soils that make it one of the wine regions in the world where the same variety, Garnatxa, offers more contrasts.

Joan Ignasi Domènech, Winemaker, Vinyes Domènech

Traditional grape varieties

Of the approximately 1,900 hectares of vineyards, 90 per cent are dedicated to red grape varieties, especially Garnatxa and Carinyena. The remaining 10 percent is planted with Garnatxa blanca and Macabeu.

After the introduction of international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the 1990s, which were considered grafting varieties at the time, the trend has been going back to indigenous vines for some years now. They are increasingly used not only for simple wines that can be drunk young, but also for top wines that are meant to express the character of the Montsant terroir.

Anna Rovira

As an oenologist, what I particularly appreciate about Montsant is the different characters of a variety that result from the diversity of the soils. This gives us the opportunity to produce very different wines.

Anna Rovira, Oenologist Celler de Capçanes

The sub-regions of the five DO zones:

  • Cabacés, La Figuera, El Molar
  • El Masroig, Darmós, La Serra d'Almos
  • Els Guiamets, Capçanes, Marçà
  • Falset, Pradell de la Teixeta
  • Cornudella de Montsant, Siurana, Ulldemolins

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