We descended into the valley of Priorat midmorning to spectacular views of vines and wineries. Classic Spanish buildings spotted the hillsides. The Montsant mountains hovered in the near distance. It was quite the welcome to this up and coming wine region.
Arriving at Mas Perinet Winery, Margarita welcomed us and we learned she had been with the winery for twelve years and knew it like the back of her hand. Having just closed for a two week holiday, the winery was eerily quiet – we were the only ones there. We walked out into the vineyard and enjoyed the sun on our backs as we walked up the terraced hill. As we toured the vineyard, Margarita told us how there is very little flat ground in Priorat and the neighboring denomination of Montsant so most vines are planted on terraces. Because of this, most grapes are harvested by hand as it is difficult to get any sort of machinery through the terraces. In fact, we learned the owners of Mas Perinet had to literally break apart the original rock foundation where the vineyard site is now located and use metal cables connected together all the way up the vineyard slopes to support the earthen terraces.
The winery itself was impressive with a modern style that flowed nicely into the surroundings. In the cellars below, one wall consisted of a massive rock, jutting into the room. Laying a few meters below the vineyard, the rock slab gives visitors an idea of what lay beneath the vineyard. The wall also served as a reminder of what the original
construction team had to contend with.
Out of the cellar and back upstairs we entered the large and comfortable tasting room with views of the vines, mountains, and lower Priorat – quite the setting for a wine tasting. We started with the Clos Maria 2007 made of grenache blanc, chin blanc, viognier, and muscat. Hailing from the Montsant DO, this wine was fragrant with aromas of sweet melon, honey blossom, and citrus. It was crisp and clean on the palate and we could pick up notes of minerality from the predominantly slate soil of the region. We continued the tasting with three of the wineries best wines – Gotia 2005 DO Montsant, Perinet 2005 DO Priorat, and the Perinat Plus 2004 DO Priorat. Each wine richer than the last, they all packed quite a bit of flavor and intensity. Although we tasted them after just being opened, they would all do better with time to open up. In fact, we did get to try them several hours later back at Wine Pleasures headquarters as Margarita was nice enough to let us take the bottles with us.
Finishing the tasting, we had one last glance around this beautiful winery and vineyards before cruising off to the next winery visit.
Editor’s Note: Mas Perinet has several socios, one of them being the well known Barcelona born, guitarist and singer Joan Manuel Serrat. Celebrities owning wineries is in vogue. Do you know any celebrities which own a winery?
Here’s a video where you can see us tasting one of the Mas Perinet wines: