Cava wine the Champagne of Spain
The scintillating fizz produced in Catalonia under the collective name Cava
may not be entitled to use the name Champagne (that’s strictly reserved for
French wines made in a specific region) but it does have Its own claim to fame
a well made white or pink sparkler. It’s a superb party wine, made with
care according to the same principles as its illustrious French cousin: however,
in Spain this must be called the Método Tradicional, rather than the
The grapes used to produce Cava include local varieties such as Parellada,
Macabeo and Xarel-lo, plus newcomers Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for certain
wines. The initial wines are blended together and refermented in individual
bottles with the addition of a little extra yeast and grape sugar.
The resultant fizz from the secondary fermentation is trapped in the bottle,
which is left to rest for a minimum of nine months in cool, natural limestone
caves, a feature of this part of southern Catalonia (about 40 kilometres north
of Barcelona, so handy for visits when you’re in the area). Sandwiched
between the Mediterranean to the south and Mount Monserrat to the north, the
Cava vines avoid harsh weather and yield great grapes most years.
Long cellaring is not the idea for most Cava wines: they reach your table
in perfect drinking condition, with a creamy faintly scented aroma and a hint
of that biscuity flavour familiar to lovers of all Champagne Method wines.
Despite the hard work Involved in making these great sparkling wines, they
are very affordably priced.