The relief of the Priorat is not forgiving. Rough terrain, with breathtaking ravines, small valleys surrounded by hills of varying heights, making up a natural amphitheatre sheltered by mountain ranges that cut it off from the areas around it.
The Priorat of steep hillsides is a barely tamed landscape, where the vines cling determinedly to the slopes, their trunks gnarled by the passing of time. Old vines inhabit these inaccessible places, where mechanisation is impossible and everything must be done by hand.
On other, less difficult slopes man has modified the landscape with terraces climbing up the mountains, turning their profile into that of a stepped pyramid. Narrow strips barely wide enough for a small tractor. The terraces used to be held up by drystone retaining walls, which served both to hold up the earth and as somewhere to put the stones that had to be taken out of the ground before it could be planted. Hard work calling for skilled hands, which has left its mark everywhere, even in the middle of the woods on abandoned land reclaimed by nature.
The modern terraces often boast vigorous young vines, often trained on wire trellising. Terraces where the farmer’s job is made easier.
Small vineyards that, together with olive, almond and hazelnut trees, make up a veritable mosaic that expresses like no other the true agricultural landscape of the mountains around the Mediterranean.
Here you can see a video where Xavi teaches us: