Penedès is a famous wine zone (DO) in Catalonia in northeast Spain. It is a thriving wine area, known for reds, whites and especially for its sparkling wines, as Cava, the country’s most recognized bubbly, is produced in massive quantities from this zone.

Regarding sparkling wines, these are produced from several varieties, including Xarel·lo, Parellada and Chardonnay, while Pinot Noir is also used in some of these examples. Beginning in 2013, a new classification of local sparkling wines, Classic Penedès, was inaugurated; these wines must be produced exclusively from grapes from the Penedès area, and they must be farmed organically.

The area of Penedès varies from very hot to moderately cool, with vineyards at higher elevations; the climate is Mediterranean, with most rainfall in October, while the hottest months are July and August.

The leading white is Xarel·lo, an aromatic white that is dry, and ideal as an aperitif or with shellfish. Principal red varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo; wines produced from these grapes are best suited for lamb, stews and paella or aged cheeses. (Wine/Appellations)