Cava: the Spanish sparkling wine
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Cava: the Spanish sparkling wine

Always linked to parties or celebrations, this liquid bliss, a passion of all, conquers more and more space around the world. Nowhere behind the French wines, the Spanish variety (not only produced in Cataluña) has reached the most remote corners of the planet.

Anniversaries, birthdays, sports events, romance… Any excuse is a good one to open a bottle filled with sparkles. The drink is perfect to have with fish and seafood, lighter dishes that make the perfect wedding with this amazing wine – a mixture of tradition and modernity, of joy and illusion. We can’t deny that, in certain moments, it can actually become the best partner during a sexy evening.

This wine variety, with distinct names depending on the country, first came about in the French region of Champagne. It was there that its first producers, Francesc Gil and Domènec Soberano, from Reus, presented it in Paris’ Universal Exhibition, in 1868. Initially, it was produced with the same French varieties used in Champagne, until a plague ruined the grapes in 1887. That caused a forced renovation of the variety used, with the introduction of white grapes with native quality, substituting the dark variety. Such replacement eased the cava production, that conquered a unique identity.

In 1972, right before France’s conflict for the champán denomination, the Regulatory Council for Sparkling Wine was formed, and approved the cava denomination for the Spanish wine, ending the dispute and valuing the common name used in the region for this drink, called ‘cava wine’.

Variety of grapes
Tne main varieties of grapes used for preparing cava are: Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo. Each one offers cava its own characteristics, complementing each other.

-               The Macabeo offers sweetness and perfume
-               The Parellada offers finesse, freshness and aroma
-               The Xarel-lo offers body and structure

The Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir are used to produce champagne imitations. There are also other secondary varieties, such as the Subirat Parent, also called Malvasia. For the rosés the Garnacha, the Monastrell, and the Trepat varieties are also used.

From these grape varieties the base of the wine is elaborated, from where the sparkling wine is originated upon the second fermentation process. Once the base is obtained, the appropriate mixture is made.

·              Brut Nature - up to 3 g, no added sugar
·              Extra Brut - up to 6 g of sugar per liter
·              Brut - up to 12 g of sugar per liter
·              Extra Dry - between 12 and 17 g of sugar per liter
·              Dry - between 17 and 32 g of sugar per liter
·              Demi sec - between 32 and 50 g of sugar per liter
·              Sweet - over 50 g of sugar per liter

Analysis of the crops since 2005:
·              2005 Very good
·              2006 Excellent
·              2007 Excellent
·              2008 Excellent
·              2009 Very good
·              2010 Good
·              2011 Very good
·              2012 Very good
·              2013 Excellent




Rafael Paniagua

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