Tarragona has been renowned for its sweet red wines since Roman times, when they were exported to Rome. The area under vines expanded a great deal over the centuries to the point that in 1900 over 50% of the province was covered by vineyards. It was badly affected by the outbreak of the phylloxera plague at that time. In 1932 the wines from the area were given a form of legal protection, and in 1976 it acquired DO status.
The vineyards are located along the coast and extend inland towards the border with the province of Lleida. There are two official sub-zones: Camp de Tarragona is the largest one containing 70% of the vines and extending around the north and east of Tarragona. The second sub-zone, Ribera d’Ebre, is located to the south and west of Tarragona. The vines here are on small plateaus on the banks of the River Ebro.