Until 2006, the appellation was initially known as DO Empordà-Costa Brava to associate it with the touristic beaches that are popular in the region. The region generally extends from the town of Figueres northwards to the French border and the French wine-making regions of Banyuls and Côtes du Roussillon which are extremely similar in style to Empordà as this used to be Catalunya Nord. To the south, it extends to the Baix Empordà county near the Mediterranean Sea.
The DO Empordà comprises about 2,000 hectares of vineyards in the counties of Alt Empordà and Baix Empordà, with about 50 wineries registered with the Regulatory Council and an estimated annual production of approximately 3.5 million bottles of wine. The soils are generally dark, with a definitive lime content, loose, good drainage and poor in organic matter. There is some granite content near the coast as well as up in the mountainous regions near the French border.