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Conca de Barbera

Conca de Barbera is a comarca (county) in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalunya. It belongs to the province of Tarragona and has a population of 20,000 inhabitants. In the region are 23 villages and the capital is Mont Blanc.

Conca de Barbera is primarily a wine region with 20 wineries (bodegas). It is very likely that the vineyards already existed during the Roman period. Under the Moorish domination the wine production vanished completely, but later in the Middle Ages it was again revived by the monastery of Santa Maria e Poblet near Mont Blanc. In the 18th and 19th centuries the vineyards experienced a strong expansion, terraces were built on the mountain slopes to increase production. Wine was exported to Europe and North America. A railroad was built from Mont Blanc to Reus on the coast for faster transportation and more efficiency.

Poblet is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1150. In the 19th century it was closed under the Spanish State Law but reopened in 1940 by Italian monks of the same order. In the museum of the monastery you will find not only an overview of its own the history, but also objects of artistic and historical value. The museum is perfectly integrated into the convent buildings dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The monastery offers guided tours. At the start of this century there are about 50 monks in the monastery

Mont Blanc is the capital of the comarca and has 6,065 inhabitants. The town has an almost completely preserved city wall. Additional attractions in the place are the church of Sant Francesc, the church of Santa Maria and Sant Miquel.

In Capmany is a gallery for contemporary Catalan art. There are many vineyards and pine tree plantations; the village has nine wineries that all produce class wines. Around the village there are many dolmens.

Conca de Barbera is famous for its great wines. Several bodegas invite you to taste their wines. The tasting often includes a Spanish breakfast. Mont Blanc Mas Foraster offers such an option. You can view the vineyards from the bodega whilst watching the process of winemaking and maturation.

The bodega Cal Menescal Bot houses a museum with more than 1,000 historical objects. You can also taste various wines and local products such as meats and nuts in the winery, especially the handmade Aragonese sausage.

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