The Priorat county celebrates its annual Wine Fair usually during the first weekend of May. It is dedicated to the two wine appellations of the county, the DOQ Priorat and the DO Montsant. (DOQ – Denominació d’Origen Qualificada – Protected Designation of Origin; DO – Denominació d’Origen – Designation of Origin).
The DOQ Priorat is the elder of the two and was established in 1954, grouping together the territory that used to belong to the Prior of the Carthusian monastery of Santa Maria d’Escaladei. The soil has a high proportion of shale, known locally as llicorella. Nowadays, the DOQ Priorat has a place amongst the great wine growing regions of the world. The DO Montsant, the younger of the two, was founded in 2001. In a short time, the wines of the DO Montsant have gained the respect and admiration of the finest experts all around the world for their quality and strong personality.
The Fair is held in Falset, the capital town of the Priorat. It provides an unique opportunity to get to know better the region’s dense, highly extracted, powerfully aromatic wines.
The wineries involved offer tastings of their wines in exchange for tasting tickets which can be purchased at the fair in the information tent. Apart from the fair itself, there are a number of wine-related fringe events in restaurants, shops and other venues in Falset and in the surrounding villages, such as conferences, talks, wine-tasting courses, cooking contests, wineries opening up for visitors, guided olive oil tastings, wine and food pairings. These vary from year to year, but highlights include the Nit de les Garnatxes, a lively, late-night Garnacha session hosted by the co-operative Celler de Capçanes, tastings of 10 year-old Priorats and Montsants or the celebrated Tast amb Llops in Gratallops.