If you have done any research prior to your adventure to this Mediterranean paradise you likely discovered the vast and authentic food and wine scene.
Catalonia’s gorgeous scenery, climate, history and culture make this stunning region an attractive destination where people flock from all over the world.
While many come for the famous attractions and Mediterranean Sea coastline, its unique cultural heritage also includes a booming gastronomy industry.
A lot of people like to visit the Basque Country to learn about local food but the culinary traditions and gorgeous foods of Barcelona are an enriching and unique experience on their own. In addition, the wine and cava are famous. We offer various tours to delight your taste buds and awaken your senses.
1. Wine Regions and Food Culture in Catalonia
1.1. Wine Regions
This region is the most significant and boasts the most wine-production in Catalonia. In addition, this is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Europe with traces of early viticulture dating back to the sixth century BC.
Due to is terrain diversity, this makes Penedés particularly well-suited for a variety of grapes. While this region has a rich and interesting history, today it is now home to some of the most avant-garde wine producers in Spain.
If you have visited Catalonia, I am sure you have heard of or hopefully tasted the delicious cava. This region is the recognized heartland of this delightful sparkling wine.
Located only two kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, the closest cellar in proximity to Barcelona is situated.
The young owners began this family project when they purchased the 19th-century estate Can Genis. Organic farming as well as paying respect to nature and the environment is near and dear to their heart.
They love to share their passion for wine with the world through providing us with wonderful cava´s and in supporting wine tourism.
Pla De Bages
This wine region located in the province of Barcelona is tiny, covering barely 600 hectares in total. It has only had official recognition since the mid- 1990’s. Its name is believed to stem from the roman God of wine: Bacchus.
Like many other wine regions in the area, this region suffered greatly from the phylloxera outbreak which spread from France in the late 19th century. The industry did not truly recover until the late 20th century, as the devastation took a lasting toll.
1.2. Food Culture
The Mediterranean climate is not just the perfect place for gorgeous wines, but this geographical gem offers an exciting, vibrant and colourful gastronomy industry. Of course, its proximity to the sea means this region offers impressive and fresh seafood dishes.
Sun ripened sweet tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, peppers, eggplant are some of the vegetables you will see at the local markets. The vegetables are as fresh as you can get in this sunny part of the world. Try a strawberry here and see if you can taste the difference from where you live!
In addition to the seafood in abundance here, this geographical location also includes sprawling fields and mountains where the sheep and pig roam. Having fish and meat on the same plate is not uncommon here.
While you are here you will no doubt notice Pan Con Tomate. This looks simple: it is just tomato looking spread on bread, right? Actually, take a bite and then see if it is that simple!
There are lovely flavors and textures in something that looks so simple. Crema Catalana is also something that you will see everywhere. Although these dishes are popular and offered everywhere, dig in anyway because they are delicious!
Paella is everywhere here! You can’t really walk anywhere without seeing it. I recommend checking out places off the main streets.
You know you have found a great paella restaurant if they warn you that it will take a long time to come out: this means they are cooking it fresh. It is worth the wait. Avoid touristy areas, as the paella is not as tasty.
If you are here in the spring, you must try the calçots! These are baby leeks that are grilled up on a BBQ and served up with a fantastic sauce. This is both a cultural and culinary celebration that can’t be missed if you are here during this time.
For fish lovers, bacalao is typical fish of this region. This fish is a salt cod, which means it is preserved in salt before serving.
If you are a meat lover, embutidos is for you. This is a name for a collection of cured meats. I am sure you know jamon, but trust me, it tastes better here.
Fuet is a delectable, melt in your mouth pork cured meat that you must try. If you are like me, you won’t be able to get enough of fuet during your time here.
The cheeses in Cataluña are to die for. Lactose intolerant? No problem! Check out the various goat and sheep cheeses that are lactose free and pack tons of flavour.
I have not scratched the surface in the culinary world of Cataluña, but this is a good start to get you acquainted with some must-try dishes.
2. Food and Wine Tours in Barcelona
2.1. Paella Cooking Class
When you close your eyes and think of Spain, what comes to mind? Beaches? Sun? What about food? There is no doubt you have heard of paella and tapas!
Cities around the world have jumped on the tapas bandwagon. Chances are there is some sort of Spanish tapas restaurant near you.
Perhaps you have tried the famous paella back home or right here in Barcelona. Why not challenge yourself to a paella cooking class? This complex, rich and flavorful dish makes pinpointing the exact spices and kinds of ingredients challenging.
You can find out all of the succulent details in this class! The cooking class starts in the famous Boqueria food market. Along with the guidance and expertise of a professional chef, you will buy all of the local ingredients that you need for the meal together.
Learn about the history of Spanish cuisine as you peruse this colourful market. Once the shopping is completed, you will go to a highly equipped kitchen where the meal preparation starts!
As you prepare, enjoy a glass of sangria and tapas. After you have cooked, snacked and refreshed with sangria, it is time for you to take a seat and enjoy the fabulous food you just made!
2.2. Tapas Tour
Informal, delicious and perfect for sharing, eating tapas is a fun way to enjoy a variety of foods in one sitting. Get excited for this tour!
Our local food expert will take you to three independent venues, which we have hand-picked, as we absolutely love these places.
You will sample specialities of the house at each venue, ensuring your taste buds are dancing with joy. We will also help select for you a mix of “must try” classics, as well as modern offerings.
One of our venues is a specialist vermouth bar, therefore expect a homemade version of this classic aperitif. Another is a bodega from the 1950’s, boasting a tempting array of local wines on offer.
If you prefer local craft beer, that is also available. For those who love the bubbly, there will be a chance to try the region’s famous Cava. This is a sparkling white wine made using the champagne method.
Your tour will go deeper than just food, as you will learn about the history of the district via the city’s deservedly famous gastronomic delights.
Interested in a private tour for your group? Send us an email with your inquiry and we can make the best offer for a private tour for you.
2.3. Evolution of Catalan Gastronomy Tour
Take a magical ride in time through the entire evolution of Barcelona cuisine.
From the basic “surf and turf,” to popular regional dishes, and then on to the avant garde creations of modern Catalan cuisine, your taste buds are guaranteed to go on a magical journey of culinary creations the Catalan way.
You will start this tour at a local market (unlike the Boqueria) where you may be the only tourist. This is where the locals taste, sample and purchase their food for tonight’s dinner. Taste some of the raw produce, farmed in Catalonia and Spain.
Perhaps the word bodega means something different to you depending on where you are from. In this part of the world, a bodega is a wine bar. After your local market adventure, you will visit one of the city’s authentic bodega’s.
Here you will partake in the hallowed Barcelonan ritual with an aperitif. Enjoy two classic tapas dishes with Spanish grown olives and homemade vermouth. You will feel like a local in no time!
It may be no surprise to you that the golden, luxurious olive oil made here is just as delicious as you imagine.
After sampling the classic dishes at the bodega, you will visit an artisan olive oil shop for some tangy and surprising Mediterranean taste sensations.
Next up, we will visit a lively modern tapas bar where some of these new tastes and innovative ideas live on the menu. Before we finish, there will still be time to stop at an authentic café for the classic Spanish refreshment: orxata.
Throughout the tour, you will hear stories behind the dishes you taste, the venues visited and the beloved city of Barcelona. The culture, history and gastronomy here is as vibrant and authentic as Gaudí’s buildings.
You will be left with not only a delighted palate and fully belly, but an exhilarating knowledge into the local food scene.
2.4. Beer Tour
Craft Beer Tasting Tour
Barcelona, like many other cities around the globe, has a blossoming craft beer scene.
In the company of a local expert, this tasting tour will take you to some of the hard-to-find local brewery and beer bars that are popping up around the city. Your hoppy adventure begins at an independent microbrewery in the Eixample district.
Here we will take a guided tour of their beer production facilities as well as meet some beer enthusiast staff and owners. This will also include sampling a few of their refreshing artisan ales in their attractive bar.
Although it is common in wine tasting to detect aromas, flavors, etc., this is also relevant in the world of beer. Your expert guide will walk you through the flavours of what you’re tasting as well as give you in depth insight into the history of beer production.
After throwing back a few glasses of refreshing, crisp beer, we will head next door to one of Barcelona’s finest beer bars. Your guide will help you choose from one of thirty beers on the tap. Interact with fellow beer lovers on the tour in a fun, social environment.
The final stop is a petite beer bar that most locals don’t even know about. The tour will commence here with a final glass or two of beer, either from Catalonia, Spain or one of their international guest beers.
Even if beer is not your passion, this tour is sure to show you how varied, diverse and artistic beer creation and tasting can be!
2.5. Wine Tour
Wine and Cheese Tasting
Do you enjoy wine, but would like to learn more? What about the Spanish wine regions? Or do you just want to have an enjoyable, pleasurable experience with friends and family here in sunny Barcelona?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this tour is surely for you!
In this tour, learn about Spanish wines, master some tasting techniques and become familiar with the various wine regions in Spain.
I am sure you have tried Spanish wines before, as they are sold everywhere, however there is something unique and special about tasting wine from the region you are visiting.
Cheeses are popular here in Spain, but you may not have tried as many Spanish cheeses as you think! You will learn the techniques of cheese tasting as well.
The wine and cheese pairing experience are educational as well as comforting and delicious. Explore flavour combinations while learning how to choose wines that complement each cheese type.
Not only will your taste buds be happy, but you can return home and show off your newfound knowledge on wine and cheese!
3. Food & Wine Tours Outside of Barcelona
3.1 Barcelona E-bike, Beach & Wine Tour
This tour starts in the charming Gothic Quarter where you will gather your electric bikes and get ready for a fantastic day!
Cruise along the coast in comfort on the e-bikes. Jaw dropping views are all around, as you take in the best scenery, whizzing past the beaches and Mediterranean Sea.
The ride is approximately 90 minutes, coasting towards Alta Alella, located in the protected Natural Park of Serralada de Marina.
You will not bike the 90 minutes altogether, as there is a short break mid-way for a tantalizing taste of Vermouth. Enjoy this classic drink while overlooking the sea.
Once in Alta Alella, you will visit an organic winery run by a family; stroll along the vineyards as you learn everything about the winemaking process.
This winery has wines on the list of some of the most prestigious restaurants all over the world. You will be offered the chance to taste three wines before returning to Barcelona by train.
Make sure to gaze out the window at the beautiful views!
3.2. Wine & Cava Route Bus Tour
On this exciting wine adventure, you will be taken to three cellars of the Penedés region.
The first winery is the Jean Leon Winery where you will partake in a guided tour and wine tasting.
Bodegues Torres is the next stop where you will also get a guided tour and a marriage. A marriage is three cheeses with three matching wines.
The third stop is Freixenet where you will enjoy an amazing brunch, guided tour and a cava tasting. Cava is famous in this region. It is a sparkling wine made the champagne way. It pairs perfectly with brunch!
Book now and receive a 10% discount!
3.3. Montserrat Tapas & Wine Tour
Hop on a bus in Barcelona before you embark on a journey into the stunning Catalan mountains.
The bus ride climbs through cliffs and stunning nature, leaving the noisy, fast paced city behind. Once you arrive in Montserrat, you will dive into the history of this tranquil sanctuary.
This national park is home to the Benedictine Santa Maria de Montserrat Monastery. Your guide will take you around this magnificent property where you will learn about the legends in these mountains.
There is a farmer’s market which offers unique cheeses and treats. Check out the store for an authentic liquor tasting experience, homemade chocolates and gifts.
Your next stop is at the Oller de Mas where you will visit the vineyard. This property is stunning and rich with history.
Enjoy the surrounding beauty as you take a tour with your guide, all ending with a wine and tapas tasting.
Montserrat, Tapas & Wine TourFrom: 74,95€
3.4. Premium Wine & Cava experience
From Barcelona, you will travel to a family boutique winery. This winery has been cultivating vines for more than two thousand years.
The winemaker will tell you about the history of the winery, as you are guided into the wine cellar.
Learn about grape varieties, vine growing, wine making and the optimal conditions for its storage. Accompanied by some delectable delicatessen, you will taste four wines, sure to leave a lasting mark on your palate.
Even if you are a passionate wine lover, you are likely unfamiliar with the art and process of creating this celebrated drink.
Next you will visit the traditional manor house and the vineyards to discover the art and secrets of wine making. Continue the visit through the vineyards aboard a convertible 4×4 car accompanied by your guide and a viticulturist.
The second vineyard is a historical winery specializing in cava. You may have already figured out in your travels that this part of the world is passionate about cava.
This tour includes visiting the vineyard and the cellar. You will get to taste four unique cavas paired with a selection of tasty appetizers.
3.5. Torres Wine Cellars, Montserrat & Sitges
From Barcelona, you will head to the Torres Wine Cellars. Learn about the fascinating history as you tour through the vineyards.
You will have a small wine tasting before heading to Montserrat. Here a visit to the Royal Basilica awaits you.
Here you will enjoy 3 hours of free time. There is plenty to see and do on this magnificent mountain. Taste some treats at the farmer’s market, have a nice lunch at the café and enjoy the serenity and beauty surrounding you.
Included in the tour are the audio-visual exhibition taking you through the creation and history of Montserrat. You can taste the authentic and typical liquors of Montserrat, which are handmade by the monks.
After this you will visit Sitges, a stunning seaside city. This famous hot spot is stunning and filled with delights.
3.6. Penedes Wine Tour
Barcelona is known for its overflow of tourists. This tour takes you 45 minutes from Barcelona to a village that is totally off the radar.
After meeting your guide, you will be provided with a helmet and bike to get you started on the tour.
In the morning, your guide will take you on a relaxing tour on two wheels as he/she introduces you to the beautiful vineyards and colourful peach trees of this postcard village.
You will glide on your bike to the first organic winery. Enjoy the guided tour and first wine tasting of the day.
After this visit, you will ride to a local restaurant. Here you will indulge in a fantastic gastronomic lunch. In the afternoon, you will visit a small organic winery where you will receive a tour and top it off with a tasting of wine and cava.
After leaving the bikes, the guide will take you to the train station and make sure you hop on where you can rest and reflect on your exhilarating day.
4. General Tips, Recommendations and Advice
Due to its attractive location and climate, this region of Spain offers endless ways to discover local wines, cavas and the surrounding nature.
Although it can feel overwhelming choosing the right tour for your trip, you can’t go wrong with anything on this list.
Take into consideration the length of your trip. As you narrow down your list, make sure to factor in the duration of each tour.
If you are only here a few days, perhaps you only want a few hours of your day on a tour, rather than a full day excursion. This may help you in deciding the best match for your travel plans.
Do some further research on the regions as well. You may find something about the scenery or history that piques your interest, therefore helping you decide which tour will leave the most lasting mark in your memory.
If you are someone who loves cooking, it is definitely worth participating in the paella cooking class. Maybe cooking isn’t your thing and in this case, go on the tours where the food is provided for you.
The goal is for you to dive into Catalan culture through its food and wines while delving into the history of this sunny region.
5. Book them online!
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Enjoy your holiday by wine tasting in Oller del Mas, a 10th century castle located outside of Barcelona, on a half-day tour.Duration: Departure 8:45am - Return 15:30h
On the winding and tiny streets of Barcelona, there is always something to be found. Travelers keep coming back to this jewel of the Mediterranean because there is always more to see, more to do and more to explore.
Although you could spend all your time here, we also encourage you to see beyond the city. In these tours, there are many listed that take you out of the city and into nature.
What lies beyond the city lines is a tranquil, mountainous land of plenty that is so much more than just wine, cava and tapas treats.
We hope that you found this article informative and helpful in planning your journey.
Now it is your turn! Is there anything we missed on our list? Do you have any comments to share? Please let us know what you think!
Christian Petzold is a successful touristic entrepreneur, experiential traveller and round-the-world backpacker. He holds an academic degree in tourism management.
His touristic expertise has been covered in radio, newspaper and television.