There are many sparkling wines, but the most famous in Spain is called cava. The cava must be served cold, because summer temperatures of the Spanish coast make us feel like for something cooler, it tastes so delicious! On the beach in Barcelona, toasting with cava is the best. Going down a little to the South to the Fallas capital, we can try the best cocktail with cava: water of Valencia (?Agua de Valencia?), which mixes cava, orange juice, gin and vodka.
Few people know that the word cava to refer to this type of sparkling wine did not appear until the mid 70’s. And it was a century earlier, in 1872, when Codorníu production following the champenoise method began to be documented, after a trip in which Josep Raventos i Fatjó visited the Champagne region in France, although his family has been linked to the history of wine in Spain since many years before that: on the sixteenth century.
In the case of cava, unlike other Spanish D.O. (guarantee of origin), this recognition does not refer to a specific region, like the D.O. Rioja, D.O. Ribera del Duero or D.O. Somontano, among others, and neither we talk about a type of grape, as in the production of cava there are no such restrictions.
When call cava to a sparkling wine we are referring to its elaboration method. Of all possible systems of making sparkling wine there is only one that is valid and accepted for making cava, and that is the champenoise method -called traditional-.
That is the reason why finding cava in widely separated regions as La Rioja, Catalonia, which is the cradle of this wine especially the Penedes region, Valencia and Extremadura is possible and very common.
Macabeo, Parellada or Xarel.lo are the most common grape varieties that the Catalan Cava uses. In Extremadura they also really like these varietal, improved with Chardonnay, even though in Catalonia they tend to mix them and in the cava which comes from Extremadura the 100% Macabeo is the most common and not so usual to see this grape combined with any of the others.
In Rioja they go for the Viura, a variety that is also successfully used in many white wines in the area and which offers very good results in some Rueda wines when it gets mixed with Verdejo grape. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are some secondary varieties used in Rioja to produce their cavas.
We cannot forget the major boost that pink cavas are taking. They gain more followers every day. Grenache, which gives extraordinary cavas, Trepat or Monastrell are some of the grapes used in such a beautiful drink, which I personally like better than the traditional one.
Wanna try some bubbles? Let’s recommend you a pair of the best spanish cavas:
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