Cava raises its quality demands and underscores its provenance
Cava is at the forefront of the DOs for the highest quality sparkling wines.
Javier Pagés president of DO. Cava with the
members of the Cava Regulatory Council, general secretary, and technical director of the DO.
Vilafranca del Penedès, 15 July 2020 – Today, at one of the most important plenary sessions in its history, the Cava Regulatory Board unanimously approved the new zoning and quality segmentation of the Cava DO. With these measures, according to the president of the DO, Javier Pagés:
“Cava is at the forefront of the designations of origin for top quality sparkling wines made under the strict traditional method”.
From now on, cavas over 9 months old will be called CAVA DE GUARDA, and those over 18 months old CAVA de GUARDA SUPERIOR. The latter group encompasses Reserva, Gran Reserva and Paraje Calificado, which feature an unparalleled level of requirements, commitments and dedication.
We are not just talking about the option of identifying the provenance (the territory), but about concepts – such as ecological, vineyard registrations that satisfy very special conditions, longer ageing times – combined with a guarantee of traceability for the consumer. The goal is to achieve more uniqueness and distinction for cavas through very high quality requirements. The Reserva, for example, goes from 15 to 18 months of ageing, the vintage is identified on the labelling, new stamps are available and sustainability and organic cavas are promoted.
Likewise, those wineries that press the grapes and make the wines covered by the CAVA DO entirely on-site are identified. The goal is to use a specific marking for each winery (not for each product) on the label to underscore and recognise the production models that, due to their intrinsic characteristics and conditions, can be used to underscore the relationship between the vine, the winemaking and the final product on the one hand, and the terroir on the other.
The result is a three-tiered zoning of the CAVA DO: first, a zone marked by large climatic and geographical features that results from the configuration inherent to the designation of origin, and which leads to delimiting four separate “Zones”. The second zoning level is for “Sub-zones”, which are defined by specific climatic, orographic, historical or human characteristics that justify them, and which coincide with existing wine regions. Finally, the third level of zoning is that of the Paraje Calificado, which is defined by identifying the parcels that compose it, and which must have its own unique edaphic, climatic and cultural characteristics to differentiate it from its surroundings. . The zones of Comtats de Barcelona (with the sub-zones of: Valls d’Anoia-Foix; Serra de mar; Conca del Gaia; Serra de Prades i Pla de Ponent), the Valle del Ebro (with the sub-zones of: Alto Ebro y Valle del Cierzo), Almendralejo and Altos de Levante been defined.
The Cava Regulatory Board convened renowned specialists from the world of sparkling wines to examine and endorse the Cava DO segmentation and zoning project. These specialists have contributed their prestige, expertise, visions and evaluations to this considerable challenge. Experts at the level of Richard Juhlin, Tom Stevenson, Ferran Centelles, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Pedro Ballesteros MW and Fernando Mora MW.
At the plenary session of the Cava Regulatory Board, the representatives of the winegrowers viewed the unanimous approval of these measures as “a historical milestone that demonstrates the value of the vineyard”, and also as “a very important step for the sector”. They note that the unity of action has allowed the Board to implement a “decisive” strategic plan.
The members representing the producers also note the unity and consensus in the sector, which “have laid the foundations to approve new zoning and segmentation with highly demanding quality requirements that will allow us to attain even higher levels of quality and prestige, together with a territorial classification system that had become one of the main aspirations of the sector”.
The representatives of the seven Autonomous Communities involved in the Cava Region applaud how “the new measures make it possible to establish a more precise territorial provenance and clarify the different qualities, underscoring the new Guarda Superior premium category”.
With more than 60% of its sales abroad, Cava is the Spanish DO with the most exports. Its 6,800+ winegrowers manage over 38,000 hectares of vineyards. And its 370 member wineries are present in more than 100 countries. Cava, universal harmony for cuisine, is made using the traditional method with a strict commitment to provenance, land and sustainability.