DO area on the Mediterranean coast in the region of Catalonia in the northeast of Spain. It is divided into three zones ascending from the coast. The warmest zone is Bajo-Penedès (also Baix-Penedès) in the low-lying coastal region with up to 250 meters above sea level. The second zone Mitja-Penedès (also Medio-Penedès) with up to 500 meters above sea level is located west of Barcelona and is the most important zone for sparkling wines and excellent white wines. The third zone Alta-Penedès (also Alt-Penedès) is the highest zone with up to 850 meters above sea level. Before the phylloxera catastrophe, which began in 1876, more than 80% of Penedès's vineyards were planted with red grape varieties, most of which were used to produce mass wines. From the beginning of the 1960s the rise began, the area is considered the cradle of modern, Spanish viticulture. Penedès is the home of the Spanish sparkling wine Cava, which accounts for about two thirds of the total Spanish production. However, the DO designation Penedès only applies to still wines. The picture shows a vineyard with Ull de Llebre = Tempranillo:
It has a Mediterranean climate with relatively hot summers and mild winters. The vineyards cover some 27,500 hectares of vines on less fertile, permeable soils with good water retention capacity. Well over one hundred mostly autochthonous grape varieties are cultivated, but only about one-fifth of these are permitted for DO wines. The most important white wine varieties are Macabeo, Xarello, Parellada, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Moscatel de Alejandría(Muscat d'Alexandrie) and Sauvignon Blanc. The main red wine varieties are Garnacha Tinta, Cariñena(Mazuelo), Merlot, Monastrell, Ull de Llebre(Tempranillo), Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Well known producers are Albet i Noya, Canals Nadal, Cavas Hill, Juvé y Camps, Codorníu, Ferret, Freixenet, Heretat Mas Tinell, Jané Ventura, Jean León, Marqués de Monistrol, Mas Comtal, Masía Bach, Torrelavit, Torres, Pere Ventura, Pinord, Puig y Roca, Vallformosa and Winner Wines.