Priorato is located in central southern Tarragona, an area characterised by its black slate soils. The highest peaks of the mountains, divided by the valleys of the Siurana and Montsant Rivers reach about 3,300ft. The vineyards are scattered among eleven valley towns, and are terraced into the sides of the mountains or planted on the steep slopes. The area’s soil is volcanic. The bedrock llicorella, consists of reddish and black slate with small particles of mica – quartzite – that reflect and conserve the heat. The topsoil, made up of decayed slate and mica, is about 100 inches thick, causing the roots of the vines to plunge deep into the bedrock in search of rainwater, nutrients and trace minerals. These unique properties contribute to the quality of the wine as well as anchoring the vines during the heavy rain and winds typical in the area. Even where altitudes rise to about 2,000ft in the highland vineyards around La Morera de Montsant, the subsoils help to give wines of exceptional quality.—The climate is Mediterranean with continental influences. It gets hot in the summer but is not humid and a cooling breeze from the Mediterranean tempers the heat. The winter months can get cold but it is not extreme. The result is a climate that promotes rich fruit without over ripeness and a good backbone of acidity.