Quite often, we receive requests from people visiting Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon or Oporto, as to which wineries they can visit by train, taxi or foot. Our responses have commonly been, “Good question! And to be quite honest, I don’t know!” Well, maybe Oporto is the exception, as you have a plethora you can get to, but the rest are rather iffy at best.
As mentioned in several articles on Catavino, enotourism in Iberia is rather primitive at best. Very few wineries even allow visits, less have someone speaking anything other than their regional language, and just a handful will actually go out of their way to make your transportation to their winery convenient and easy.
That said, we decided to do a considerable amount of research to find out which wineries are worth your time visiting while in Barcelona. Of those wineries suggested, I called each and every one to inquire if you can get there by train, and what services they offered. And to be frank, this process was as enjoyable as poking myself in the eye with a rusty nail.
Example Conversation: (in Spanish because the first 10 wineries didn’t understand me in English)
Me: Hi, I was wondering if you have visits to your winery
Winery: Who are you?
Me: Um, just someone who wants to visit
Winery: Yeah, but where are you from and why do you want to visit?
Me: Um, because I like your wine and I think it would be interesting to come see you. I’m American.
Winery: Oh, okay. Sure we have visits.
Me: Great, how much do they cost?
Winery: We would have to analyze the group to give you a price.
Me: Ahhhh, how about a ballpark figure for 2 people who would like a tour in English
Winery: Weekday or weekend?
Me: Weekend [why does this matter?!!!]
Winery: Morning or afternoon
Me: Um…let’s say afternoon [Again, why does this matter?!!!]
Winery: Well, it’s 6 euros per person, but you need to spend 70 euros during your visit, unless you want a tour of the vineyard and our house, but that would depend of course if the translator is here, and that cost would be different as well. But if you come on Tuesday from 9-12 that cost is….. [shoot me!]
Me: Do you give tours in English or French? [you know, the relatively common languages other than Spanish]
Winery: Oh, we don’t give English tours for any group less than 10, but we can do Dutch for 2 people. [Logically]
Me: Can I bring my children?
Winery: Of course you can!! [Easiest and most consistent answer from every single winery in Iberia – children are welcome]
Me: Can I get there by train?
Winery: You can get anywhere in Spain by train [great marketing ploy, but so not true]
What I can tell you for certain, is that there are many wineries in Catalunya that are “generally” enotourism friendly. What does that mean? Good question, because I think this term is rather vague, as you an see from this article, but I will define enotourism friendly in the following way: able to speak multiple languages, convenient visiting hours, interesting tour, ability to taste their wines without paying a small fortune, opportunity to see the vineyard, child friendly services, capacity to purchase their wines in house, free transportation from the train station, and most importantly, winery tours given based on your level of knowledge and expertise. Now, you’ll notice that I said “generally” enotourism friendly. This qualifier is key, because most wineries in Spain will not meet every single one of these qualifications. You may get someone who speaks English, but you’re required to book a visit a month in advance. Or, there is a 30 minute winery tour, but no wine tasting or vineyard tour. You get the idea.
However, allow me to suggest a little tourism friendly advice: always email prior to your visit!! You might imagine that like the USA, you can swing by and say hello at anytime, but this is not the case in either Spain or Portugal. Nor can you assume that every winery will meet your specific needs. Hence, my suggestion is to save yourself a headache and contact the winery prior to your big adventure with a specific list of your needs.
The Following Wineries Can be Visited from Barcelona by Train: (to purchase ticket, go to the Barcelona Sants Train Station)
40 minutes from Barcelona
- Rimarts (Sant Sadurni Station) minimum of 5 euros for tour and tasting; multi-lingual; multi-sized groups okay, 5 minute taxi ride
- Freixenet (Sant Sadurni Station) 6 euros for tour and tasting; multilingual; multi-sized groups okay, within spitting distance of the train station
- Codorniu (Sant Sadurni Station) up to 8 euros pp for tour and tasting; multi-lingual tours available, multi-sized groups okay, 25 minute walk or 10 by taxi
- Gramona (Sant Sadurni Station) price varies from 6 euros up for tour and tasting depending on size and type of tour; multi-lingual tours available; 15 minute walk
- Marfil Alella 5 euros for tour and tasting; hours fluctuate; language available dependent on size of group; bus available from train station
- Castellroig (Sant Sadurni Station): 5 euros for tasting and tour: multi-lingual tours available, multi-sized groups okay; 20 minute walk or 10 minute taxi to winery
- Can Feixes (Sant Sadurni Station) free tasting and tour; multi-lingual; multi-sized groups; 15 min taxi ride from station
- Pages Entrena (Sant Sadurni Station) 5 euros for tasting and tour: multi-lingual tours available; multi-sized groups okay; 15 min taxi ride
1 hour from Barcelona
- J. Miquel Jané (Vilafranca del Penedés Station) Only for large groups (min. 10) for a 3 hour course; multi-lingual; prices vary from 35-40 euros pp; 5 min taxi
- Pares Baltá (Vilafranca del Penedés Station) 10 euros pp for tour and tasting; multi-lingual; multi-sized groups okay; 5 min taxi ride
- Abadal (Manresa Station) 5 euros pp for tasting and tour; multi-lingual; multi-sized groups okay; 20 minute taxi ride
1 hour 30 from Barcelona
- Josep Foraster (Montblanc Station) Free tour and tasting; multi-sized groups okay; tours in many languages; 10 minute walk to winery
- Simó Palau (Montblanc Station) 3 euro tour & tasting; hours fluctuate; size of groups dependent on day; tours in French, Spanish and Catalan; 15 min walk to winery
- Rende Masdeu (Espluga de Fracola Station) free tour and tasting; Spanish and Catalan only; multi-groups; 5 min walk to winery
- Can Bonastre (Masquefa Station): free tasting and tour; multi-lingual tours available; multi-sized groups okay; 5 minute taxi ride or 15 min walk
- Milmanda-Torres (Vimbode Station) minimum of 2 euros pp for tour and tasting; multi-lingual; multi-sized groups available; 5 minute taxi ride
- Avgvstvs (El Vendrell Station) 5 euros pp for tour and tasting; multi-lingual, multi-sized groups okay; 3 minute taxi ride
- Jane Ventura (El Vendrell Station): 5 euros for tasting and tour; multi-lingual available; multi-sized groups okay; located right next to the station
2 hours from Barcelona
- Celler Laurona & Clos Figueres (Marca-Falset Station): free tasting and tour; multi-lingual tours available; can pick you up at train station
- Costers del Siurana (Marca-Falset Station) 25 euros for tasting and tour; multi-lingual; multi-sized groups; 15 min by taxi
- Fincaria Vins (Montsant) I can’t get through to these guys, but we’ve visited them in the past! Suggest dropping an email.
Don’t forget to tell them that Catavino.net sent you! And if you have any suggestions of wineries that should be added or subtracted to the list, please don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts below. As each of us have our own unique perspectives and experiences, we value your contribution! Stay tuned for similar winery visits for Madrid, Lisbon and Porto!
Finally if you want to play it safe and would prefer to sign up for an organised English speaking guided tour then check out our page on wine tasting day trips from Barcelona for a cherry-picked list of experiences which we recommend.
This list has been created with the help of Juan Manuel Gonzalvo,Â correspondent writer for Catavino.es and an enologist; Anthony Swift, founder of Wine Pleasures Wine Tours; Alex Duran, founder of SommelierAlumni; Henrik Heikel of Winepick Wine Tours; and Yuko Satake, our resident Japanese blogger devoted exclusively to Spanish wines.
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