The DOQ Priorat is the only “Qualified” wine appellation in Catalonia and is one of only two which exist in Spain. This quality seal demands a series of conditions based on quality and the implementation of certain wine production systems. The DOQ Priorat's character means its wines are unique and exclusive. The wines made in this designation of origin are the only ones permitted to carry its name around the world: Priorat.
For an appellation of origin to be recognized as qualified, it has to have spent at least ten years since its recognition as a designation of origin. For the recognition of a designation of origin as a Qualified Denomination of Origin it is necessary to certify the performance of the following requirements:
a) Establish a comprehensive wine traceability system that encompasses the plots of vines, their productions of grapes, identified by batches, transportation, preparation, ageing, bottling, labelling, packaging and marketing.
b) Ensure that the products covered by the appellation of origin are bottled in the cellars that are registered and located in the specified geographical area.
c) Set up a system of quality control and certification of the protected wines, from the production phase up to when they are released on to the market, which includes an organoleptic and analytical control by homogeneous batches of limited volume and in accordance with the characteristics that the wines established in the regulations must include.
d) Arrange that the wineries only have vines or must from registered vineyards or wine from other wineries that are also registered, and that only wine exclusively with the right to be called DOQ be produced.
A Qualified Designation of Origin guarantees the origin of the product in its entirety, by means of the execution of the whole system of traceability of origin, thus avoiding submitting the products to conditions which are not considered optimal for the maintenance of the characteristics of these wines.
It is precisely this trait, which has earned DOCa. Priorat wines their place amongst the most appreciated wines in the world: their fidelity to a harsh land, the way the different grape varieties have adapted to this soil, coupled with a production method which has turned it into what could be called “heroic viticulture”, have all meant that experts from around the world are able to quickly recognise a Priorat wine, as soon as they open the bottle. The French concept of terroir, or what is the same, the fidelity of a taste or flavour of a wine to its soil, has made this into a wine’s most valued characteristic, according to experts.