The Archaeology of Wine – From Prehistory to Present, Penedès Tour
- Travel into the picturesque Penedès wine region for a private tour of the excavations of a hilltop village dating to the Iron Age, Roman period, and Medieval period
- Visit a contemporary ceramicist's studio overlooking vineyards for a meet and greet with the potter and a visit of his ancient Catalan farmhouse and studio
- Experience the tranquil, stunning countryside of Catalonia “away from the madding crowd”
- Immerse yourself in the charms of this Mediterranean region’s culture and heritage in an expert-led tour
- Have a traditional Catalan lunch in a local restaurant or have a gourmet Catalan picnic
Duration: Approximately 8 hours
Activity level: Light/Moderate
Tour leader Killian Driscoll and your chauffeur will pick you up from your chosen location, and you’ll start your tour driving out of the city with Killian introducing the day ahead, and answering any of your questions.
Throughout the day, Killian will share with you his knowledge of the archaeology and history of the region, and the places you visit. You will be given an insight into the lives of the people that inhabited the area over the millennia.
You’ll travel through the Penedès wine region about 45 minutes south of Barcelona, to the first stop - the archaeological site of Olèrdola. Here, you'll have a private tour of the remains of the abandoned prehistoric and medieval hilltop village. This site is an ongoing excavation of an Iberian (Iron Age) and later settlement in the Penedès, the wine region which has evidence for the earliest wine cultivation in Catalonia, some 2,700 years ago.
Olèrdola is an Iron Age, Roman period, and medieval village perched on a high hilltop overlooking vineyards. With over two decades of active research, the ongoing excavations of the site have revealed a wealth of information about Iron Age, roman period, and medieval society. From the classical writers, we know that the Penedès region was home to the Iberian tribe called the Cossetans. During the tour you'll learn about the development of wine and alcohol, and how wine culture and wine production was introduced to Iberia by the Phoenicians and Greeks during the Iron Age. Olèrdola also witnessed the introduction of Roman society and their wine culture, and the medieval wine press area and cellar are testaments to the importance of wine to the site and its inhabitants during medieval times.
From there you'll continue through the scenic Penedès wine region to have your leisurely lunch in a local restaurant of your choice or your specially prepared, gourmet Catalan picnic.
After lunch, you'll have a private tour of the winery of your choice from the wide variety of historical, high quality organic vineyards of the iconic Penedès wine region. While the Penedès region is famous for cava (Catalan champagne), the wineries also produce some remarkable whites, reds and rosés.
We have a short list of personal favourites of organic, award winning wineries we like to visit, and each is unique and appealing depending on the type of private wine tour you would like – tour options include driving or walking through the vineyards, exploring the ancient underground wine cellars, or a combination of these. All of the tours, of course, include wine and cava tastings. (Technical tours on viticulture, oenology, technical tastings etc. are also available).
During the tours you’ll experience first hand the enthusiasm and pride of the local wine producers for their wines and their use of traditional techniques. All our short-listed favourites are family-run wineries, some dating back 15 generations of wine making.
On your way back to Barcelona you'll visit a small village, to stop at a local cafe for a refreshment and enjoy the atmosphere of an authentic Catalan village.