Priorat & Priorat D.O.Q
Priorat is a comarca (county) in Catalonia. The central part of the comarca, "Priorat històric," produces the famous and prestigious wine of the Denominación de Origen Calificada Priorat. Wines from elsewhere in the comarca are denominated as Montsant. The area is also known for the production of hazelnuts.
Priorat had a steady loss of population during the 20th century, but has recently as of 2004 experienced a more prosperous economy, resulting in an end to this trend. In 2001, the population was 9,196, with only the capital (Falset) exceeding a population of 1,000.
Priorat has an area of 496 km² and is bordered by the River Ebro, and by the comarques of Baix Camp, les Garrigues, and Conca de Barberà. The region is mostly hilly, and in the extreme north of the comarca is the Montsant mountain range, rising to over 1000m; the south is bordered by the Mola de Colldejou and the mountain ranges of Llebaria and Santa Marina.
The climate is continental: dry and hot in summer, cold in the winter.