Scala Dei

Scala Dei

The oldest winery in Priorat.

The origins of bodega Scala Dei hark back to 1194, when a group of Cistercian monks founded the Monastery of Scala Dei at the request of King Alfons II d’Aragó. The first Priorat wines were produced in 1263. Later on, the Monastery became the richest in all of Catalonia, Aragón, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. The monks lived in Scala Dei until 1835, when they were forced to abandon the monastery as a result of the Mendizábal disentailment. Soon afterwards, the building was ransacked by the local farmers and turned into ruins.

In 1844, the abandoned monastery and the neighbouring vineyards were bought by five families, which began producing wine under the label “Societat Agrícola La Unió”. In 1878, the Scala Dei wines won a Gold Medal at the Paris Universal Exposition. In the 1930s, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture granted the Priorat region the status of “protected winegrowing area.” Finally, the creation of the DOQ Priorat was legally approved in 1954.

The modern history of bodega Scala Dei began in 1974. In 1990, the winery’s owners handed over the possession of the remains of the old Carthusian monastery to the Catalan regional government, to ensure preservation and allow historical research. From then on, they focused their efforts on the production of quality wines. Nowadays, bodega Scala Dei is an important player in the Priorat region, with a growing reputation among discerning wine aficionados around the world.

Historically, the wines from bodega Scala Dei were made essentially from Grenache, a variety which still occupies most of the 70 hectares of vineyards owned by the winery. Carignan, another of Priorat’s key varieties, comes second, followed by a small extension of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, White Grenache and Chenin. Divided among 40 different parcels with different sun exposures at altitudes between 400 and 800 metres, the vineyards have clay, limestone and llicorella (slate) soils, a rich palette of terroirs which results in an equally rich diversity of wines.

The grapes are picked by hand and meticulously selected prior to vinification. Headed by the prestigious Catalan oenologist Ricard Rofes, the winemaking team of bodega Scala Dei is increasingly using non- conventional techniques in order to craft ever more fresher and expressive wines (all of them are Vegan and animal-friendly).

Nowadays, most of the top-range wines from Scala Dei are fermented whole bunch in concrete diposits, after which they see no oak whatsoever. This unusual approach proved to be quite successful in the past, as it is evidenced by the fact that many of the mid 1970s Scala Dei wines produced in that fashion are still in good condition.

  • Year of foundation:: 1974
  • Address: Rambla Cartoixa S/N
  • City: Escaladei
  • Province: Tarragona
  • Zip code: 433799
  • Country: España
  • Phone number: 34 977 827 173
  • Guided visits? Yes
  • Wine tourism services?  Yes

Designation of origin:

DOQ Priorat

Red wines varities:

Carignan, Grenache.

White wine varieties:

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