An efficient one-pot multi-component synthesis of flavans using perchloric acid supported on silica as a recyclable heterogeneous catalyst has been described. This is the first report of direct one-step construction of a flavan skeleton from a phenolic precursor. The method involves a Knoevenagel-type condensation leading to in situ formation of transient O-quinone methide which further undergoes [4 + 2]-Diels-Alder cycloaddition with styrene to yield a flavan skeleton. The method provides easy access to a wide range of bio-active natural products viz. flavonoids, anthocyanins and catechins.