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History and culture of Penedès region in Catalonia, Spain

The history of the Penedès dates back more than 50,000 years, as demonstrated by the significant finds at Abric Romaní (Capellades), one of the most important Neanderthal sites in the world.
Traversed by the Via Augusta which linked Roman Tarraco with the rest of the Empire and guarded by more than 60 towers and castles located on its numerous pinnacles (pinna in Latin, the origin of the name "Penedès"), in the 10th and 11th century this region formed the border between the Muslims and the Christians.

Centuries later, as a consequence of it being the site for a Republican air base, it also witnessed tragic episodes in the Spanish Civil War which have remained engraved on the memories of the people and the land.
With this rich heritage, modern-day Penedès is a setting for legends, spectacular traditions such as the "castells" (incredible human towers, declared of Intangible Cultural Heritage), its own particular cuisine and celebrations such as the Festa Major of Vilafranca and the Phylloxera Festival, which commemorates the crisis caused by a vine pest that also brought about one of its most international products: cava (using the méthode champenoise).
"Trying your wine is a special recompense in itself but it has also been very interesting to get to know the vineyards and the very special people who work there" (Noah Gordon, who set his novel, The Winemaker, in the Penedès)