Cava is one of our favourite fizzes, we drank nearly 250 million bottles of the stuff last year and our thirst for it does show any signs of being quenched just yet.
We know that Cava is a great value sparkler, that will brighten up any occasion, but it is not just about easy drinking bubbles. So, we’ve looked out a few facts that you might like to know about Cava.
Cava boomed because of phylloxera
Who would think that a bug that decimated European vineyards would be the initial cause of Cava’s success. Because of the pitiful state of French vineyards towards the end of the 19th century, wine growers were forced to look for supply elsewhere. The cool, slopes of the hillsides of Penedés were already producing fine sparkling wines, the first bottles being made in 1872, but demand form the north boosted sales and large scale Cava production was born.
It’s all in the name
The name Cava come from the Spanish word for the underground cellars where Spain’s number one sparkling wines are aged in the lees. The word “Cava” means “cellar” in Spanish and the fitting moniker was chosen by local producers in order to give the wine its own denomination and distinguish it from its French counterpart, then known by the Spanish as “champán”.
Cava, like any quality sparkling wine, has legally defined ageing parameters. Whilst Cava can only be called Cava when it is made by the traditional method, the ageing in the lees is what gives the wine its unique taste and character.
The Cava D.O. rules for ageing Cava mean that all sparkling wine producers in the Penedes region have to age their non vintage wines for a minimum of 9 months, Reserva wines for a minimum of 15 months and Gran Reserva wines for a minimum of 30 months.
Location, location, location
The new Cava de Paraje classification means that top quality Cava can only come from specific sites; the soil, climate and location of a single site vineyard are essential to make the very best Cavas.
This new premium classification was only launched last year and producers wanting to make the very best Cava have to fulfil a number of difficult tasks to ensure that they make the grade.
To find out more visit http://www.docava.es