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From the amphora to the cup: a route on the history of wine in Calafell through the centuries

Saturday, 17 May, 2014 to Sunday, 18 May, 2014
Oriol Saura
Josep Pou
Manel Gómez
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 

Hispaniarum Laeetana copia nobilitantur,
elegantia vero Tarraconensia atque Lauronensia
et Balearica ex insulis conferuntur Italiae primi

Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Book XIV

El Penedès is one of the best-known winery areas of Spain. Nowadays enotourism is a trend in traditional winemaking areas of the country as El Penedès and every time there is more interest from the public to know more about wine production and history related to wine culture in the area in places like wine cellars and so on.

Winemaking is then an important cultural asset in El Penedès where many tourists from many places often plan guided tours on wineries when visiting the territory.

Being part of El Penedès, Calafell is a town in which wine making has had a lot of importance for the local population through the History.

On occassion of the Terròs* Fair, a weekend where many visitors come to see the old Calafell people traditional lifestyle with recreational activities focused on the country life, the staff of the Iberian Citadel of Calafell were happy to contribute with a route (that took place on 17 and 18 May) to showcase the history of wine in town. An individual booklet was given to every attendant (see photo attached).

The starting point was the Iberian Citadel, an archaeolgical site where it was found the oldest grape evidence in Catalonia (3rd Century BC) which could be seen by visitors. The Citadel was an appropiate place to explain the origins of wine-making in the area which dated from the Iberian times with influences of Greek and Phoenician presence because of the Mediterranean trade. Evidences of ceramics found related to wine consumption such as oinochoes or amphorae prove this trade with Iberian elites. Later, under the Roman influence wine making continued as an important economic activity. Pliny the Elder quote, at the beginning of these lines, it stands out the amount of wine made by the Laietans (area surrounding Barcelona) and the elegance, similar to other hispanic wines as the Tarraconensis.

The route then continued until the Medieval Castle and the old town where the Fair was happening and visitors could walk through local vineyards to know about the full process of traditional wine making. At the end of the route, visitors could enjoy of local wine tasting, thanks to local businesses collaboration.

Some of the ceramic replicas used to explain the wine trade were the ones made in the experimental kiln of Verdú with the participation of the Iberian Citadel via OpenArch project.

A repetition of this activity happened in May 2015 and November 2015 with the support of DO Penedès.

(*) Terròs (CAT): popular name given to local farmers


Free booklet
Wine tasting
The route kicking off
In the vineyards
In the Roman vila