The Romans used to cultivate vineyards in these valleys located in a vast area of Tarragona province that was once under the sea and where limestone and clay prevail. In fact, this kind of soil has an incredible drainage capacity, something that is ideal for obtaining good wine. These rootstocks in the picture above, are 80 years old! Their roots grow one meter every ten years in search of subterranean water, so there are 8 meters of root below the surface. Isn't that amazing? Old vines, that is, any of those over 50 years old are more resistant to external factors. Such vines produce less grapes but with a higher quality. The entangled roots of the flowers in the image give the vine the opportunity to retain some water before it inevitably sinks down the natural drain.
Montsant wines due their history of success to Carthusian Monks established on these hills in the Middle Ages although they did not become particularly popular until XIX. These wines are basically an association between Grenache and Carignan grapes although some other varieties are used like Merlot or Syrah for example.
D.O Montsant has gained recognition in the international arena over the last 10 years and has been declared as 'a great discovery' by prestigious magazine 'The Wine Spectator' recently among other outstanding reviews. To conclude, I would like to point out that over 70 % of the total amount of bottled wine in this cooperative of wine makers is sold abroad. According to them, this is due to the fact that their production is relative small and competition is harder in Spain plus a relative lack of trust of Catalans towards local wine. I have to say, that as a local, it is true that many times we choose wine from other D.O's like Ribera de Duero or Rioja. This attitude is clearly changing at the moment as marketing of local wines improve.