Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Scala Dei: A Legacy of Winemaking Excellence in Catalonia’s Priorat

The rugged hills of Catalonia’s Priorat region are home to the ruins of the once-great Carthusian monastery of Scala Dei. And while the monastery has been inactive for centuries, its noble remains are a testament to centuries of (formerly monastic) winemaking expertise. The origins of Scala Dei (Latin for  “Stairway to God”) can be traced back to 1163, when Carthusian monks from France established a monastery in this remote enclave. These monks, seeking a life of solitude and contemplation, brought with them not only their monastic traditions, but also a profound knowledge of viticulture and winemaking.

Over the centuries, the Carthusians transformed the Priorat into a celebrated wine-producing region, meticulously tending their vineyards and refining winemaking techniques that would lay the foundation for the region’s distinctive style. The monks’  dedication to their craft was rewarded with a steady stream of accolades, and Scala Dei (Escaladei) wines became an emblem of Priorat’s exceptional quality.

Today, Scala Dei is one of the main pillars of the Priorat’s viticultural heritage, producing some of the region’s best wines. The winery continues to source grapes from some of Priorat’s most prestigious vineyards, including ancient Grenache and Carignan vines that thrive in the region’s unique terroir of rocky slopes and Mediterranean climate –the same vines the Carthusian monks brought with them to the region back in the 12th century.

Known for their complexity and intense flavor profiles, Scala Dei wines perfectly embody the Priorat terroir. Their deep ruby color hints at the concentrated flavors within –something the nose recognizes with its distinctive ripe red fruits and earthy spices aroma. On the palate, Scala Dei wines offer a harmonious balance of textures, a velvety richness, and a lingering finish.

The Carthusian monks not only left a lasting legacy in winemaking, but also established a pilgrimage route known as the Carthusian Way. This little-known pilgrimage, which winds through the dramatic landscapes of the Priorat, follows in the footsteps of the monks who traveled from France to establish their monastery at Scala Dei. Today, the Carthusian Way offers an opportunity to experience the region’s profound spiritual and cultural heritage, while immersing yourself in the stunning scenery and acclaimed wines produced by Scala Dei.

Scala Dei is a shining example of winemaking excellence in the Priorat, a region renowned for its unique terroir and captivating blend of history, spirituality, and viticultural tradition. The wines of Scala Dei are a living reminder not only of Catalonia’s rich cultural heritage, but also of the lasting impact of the Carthusian monks who transformed these lands into a haven of viticulture and spiritual depth. 

This post is also available in: Español

Leave a Comment