Be Inspired Autumn Are You a Culture Vulture as Well as a Foodie?
Sant Pere de Rodes. Author: Toni Vilches
Are You a Culture Vulture as Well as a Foodie?
9 essential places to visit amid vineyards and historic monuments

Here’s a route through the rich historic and cultural heritage of the province of Girona with the focus on the wide range of food and wine that you’ll find in each place.

THE EMPORDÀ, A CRADLE OF WINE CULTURE

Did you know that the Greeks first introduced wine into Catalonia through the Empordà region? Or that garnatxa dessert wine originates from the ancient county of Empúries?

Various historical literary works also describe how garnatxa was first made and drunk in the Empordà, at the end of the thirteenth century to be more specific, although production didn’t really take off until the mid-nineteenth century, when, interestingly, the first wine cooperatives were created in Catalonia. Who better to explain all this than the Glops d’Història team, with their itinerary “In Search of Lost Grape Varieties”, through the Albera hills and the plain of the Empordà, or the staff at Cellers d’en Guilla, in Rabós d’Empordà, with their guided visit “The Secrets of Red Grenache”.

Learn all about the origins and secrets of the Empordà through nine food and wine activities.

VINEYARDS WITHIN SIGHT OF THE SEA

In the Middle Ages, under the leadership of the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes and the winemaker monk Ramon Pere de Noves, the Empordà’s vineyards covered the whole area of Cap Creus. We can still see today the terraces where these ancient vines once stood. If you haven’t already done so, discover the monastery surrounded by a privileged landscape and setting, in the Rodes mountains; then go down to Garriguella and visit the Cooperativa de Garriguella and Mas Llunes, and enjoy a tasting of the Empordà wines that the Greeks and Romans liked to drink so much in this region. Finish up with a visit to the Celler Cooperatiu d’Espolla and be entertained by one of the winery’s dramatised visits.

JOSEP PLA AND FISHING

Like any true foodie, you probably like seafood. So, not far from Espolla, you’ll find the town of Roses, where you can visit the historic Citadel and savour a delicious meal paired with DO Empordà wines. If you feel that you’ve spent enough time in Alt Empordà, go to the neighbouring Baix Empordà region and visit Llofriu and Palafrugell, where you can try the so-called “Cork Cutters’ Fare”, a pairing of culture, heritage and gourmet food in the Sala Gran restaurant which includes a guided visit to the Cork Museum. Anyone familiar with Palafrugell will know that the Josep Pla Foundation is also located there. In conjunction with Sala Gran restaurant, the foundation offers the experience entitled “Josep Pla, Cuisine and Landscape”, a route through the famous Catalan writer Josep Pla’s work, Empordà cuisine and the scenery that inspired his literature.

As faithful disciples of the Greeks and Romans, you probably also enjoy good fish, so don’t miss visiting the Fishing Museum in Palamós and going to the fish auction on one of the guided tours catering for adults and children alike.