The appellation Penedés is the greatest wine-producing area in Cataluña and it spreads out from the centre of Barcelona province to the north of Tarragona province. A total of 26.000 hectares of the D.O. Penedés are devoted to vineyards, shared amongst 100 municipalities and a total of 160 wineries registered. There are three clearly distinguishable production sub-areas in Penedés: Baix Penedés, the Mediterranean coastal belt with a warmer climate thanks to the marine influence; Penedés Central, with plains and meadows ascending up to 200-400 metres of altitude; and Alt Penedés, where hillsides and slopes almost reach 800 metres of altitude and have bigger contrast in maximum and minimum temperatures with usual winter and spring frosts.
The climate, influenced by the Mediterranean, is very varied, but not excessively extreme, bestowing the Penedés privileged conditions to produce high quality wines. Its soils are deep, with sand and clay deposits, permeable, calcareous and poor in organic material.
Small and medium-sized wine holdings are prevailing at D.O. Penedés, and most of the wineries are also owners of the vineyards, joining the concern for the grapes and the care in winemaking.
Varieties grown at Penedés are white grapes Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada, and red grapes Cariñena, Garnacha, Samsó, Ull de Llebre and Monastrell. However, the most aromatic white wines are produced with Chardonnay, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, and in a very limited proportion Chenin Blanc, as for instance Can Ráfols dels Caus winery. There are good representatives of barrel aged white wines with Xarel.lo as the excellent Pardas Xarel.lo and Finca Viladellops Xarel.lo. It is exactly here in Penedés, where the oldest plantations of Cabernet Sauvignon are located and where the most superb, noble red wines are produced, with good aromatic intensity and body, suitable for ageing both in barrel and bottle (Torres and Jean Leon).