The story of Cava begins in 1872, although can be traced back further, when Josep Raventós produced the first bottles of the Spanish sparkler. With it, Josep had created a new industry in Catalonia for Spanish sparkling wines. His inspiration had come from his travels across Europe, where he was working to promote his still wines. He stopped by in Champagne and witnessed the traditional method, realising the potential for its use back at his Penedès winery.
Today, 50% of Catalunya’s wine output is Cava and it’s firmly placed as the world’s 3rd most popular sparkling wine after Champagne and Prosecco. It’s produced using the native grapes of the region, Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarello, made in the same way as Champagne. A balanced fruity sparkling wine, it’s not as sweet as prosecco, similar in character to Champagne but lighter in style.
We love Cava, and we’re proud to have a range filled with heritage and innovation. I’ve put it to our wine experts to the test to select some picks from our list that are well worth checking out. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or let us know what you’re drinking this month.
Codorníu Brut, Cava >
It was Josep Raventós and Codorníu that started it all when he produced his first bottle of Cava by applying the Traditional Method, as used to make Champagne, to a blend of classic Penedès varieties. This cava is the decedent of that first bottle, a classic, dry sparkling wine using the three traditional and indigenous grape varieties. Striking and stylishly modern packaging. The Traditional Method of production is used with bottle-fermentation and the wine is aged on the lees for nine months.
Casa Rojo Moltó Negre Brut, Cava >
From a historic Cava, to something completely modern. The Casa Rojo team take a creative approach to the whole business of wine, building a sense of fun and spirit into an immersive experience with grape and terroir. Much in the style of the Casa Rojo still wines, this Cava demonstrates the relationship between winemaker, and region. Made from Trepat grape variety, used in the north-east of Spain for generations to make sparkling wine. The style is fresh and fruit-led, although there are notes of brioche; the fizz, developed by the Traditional Method, is generous and combines well with the freshness on the finish.
Villa Conchi Extra Brut Imperial, Cava >
This International Wine Challenge Silver medal winner, is named in homage of Spanish wine entrepreneur Javier Galarreta’s mother, Conchi, who loved sparkling wine, particularly those from France that showed elegance and distinction. Her taste was an inspiration for Javier’s quest to produce a ‘different’ Cava style with a fresher character than is the norm.
The Extra Brut is the driest wine in the range and a vintage Cava; made from a blend of 40% Xarel.lo, and 30% Macabeo, 20% Parellada and 10% Chardonnay: the Chardonnay contributes to the fruit character and elegance experienced on the finish.
The grapes are harvested at night and transported in under refrigerated conditions to make sure they arrive at the winery in top condition: a delicate and elegant end result cannot be achieved with hot, oxidising grapes. The finished Cava spends 20 months in the cellars prior to release. Pale yellow, with green tones and a fine and persistent mousse, it shows fresh fruit and floral notes, backed by a smooth finish. The 2010 was named in the Wines from Spain Awards 2015 top 100 wines
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut, Cava >
Probably the world most iconic Cava. José Ferrer was only 22 when he took over the family business but that didn’t stop him. He initiated progressive techniques at the winery, modernising production. Ignoring advice he launched Cordon Negro, a blend of the traditional Penedès varieties first planted at the turn of the century, in a now iconic black frosted bottle.
The wine was an immediate success, becoming a global best-seller. Made by the ‘Mètodo Tradicional’: this is the same method used to make all Cava. Very light refreshing style, with fine, delicate aromas of green apple and pear, with notes of peach and melon over a base of citrus.
Lola Brut, Cava >
An eye-catching wine, stunningly packaged with polka-dots on the label that define the wines’ ‘personality’. The Rosília de Castro winery in the Salnés Valley is the home of Paco & Lola and it is here in the heart of the Rías Baixas region, Albariño country, that their lively, minerally whites are made.
Made from the traditional grapes used to make Cava: Xarel.lo, Macabeo and Parellada. The wine is made in the Sant Sadurni d’Anoia municipality of the Alt Penedès in Catalonia, the centre of production of Cava. Made, like all Cava, by the Traditional Method, the wine is aged for a minimum of nine months in bottle. Shows notes of apple, citrus fruit, marzipan and white flowers, backed by a fresh finish.
You can find more information about the wines we stock here. If you want to stock any of the wines mentioned, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your wine range is a success, from free menu design and print services to staff training .