"I only drink champagne on two occasions. When I am in love and when I am not." - Coco Chanel
Napoleon Bonaparte and Coco Chanel agreed that champagne should only be drunk twice: on occasions of tremendous happiness or the complete lack of it.
With the discovery of champagne in 1693 in France, Dom Pierre Pérignon longed to end the pursuit of the perfect wine. That wasn't meant to be, as other sparkling wines arose. Prosecco by Antonio Carpenè, Italy in 1868, and Josep Raventós' Cava, in Catalonia in 1872, caused fury and debate - in equal parts - due to their origin and uniqueness.
The difference between them lies in the production method - which between champagne and cava ain't that much - the grapes' varieties and production times.
The history and production of cava rise in Catalonia and extend to other Spain regions from Sant Sadurny d'Anoia. Although used years before, the cava terminology was only officially recognized in 1972, ending the dispute with France over the origin of sparkling wine.
Cava comes from four areas of the Spanish territory and some in sub-areas, being made in 160 municipalities. This environment diversity guarantees constant annual production, although limited according to the variety of grapes and types of cava to be made.
The producing areas are the Levante area, the Almendralejo Vineyards area, the Ebro Valley area and Comtats de Barcelona. The latter concentrates more than 95% of cava production, and the municipality of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia is considered the "Capital of Cava".
AUTHENTICITY AND QUALITY
The Spanish sparkling wine, cava, has a regulatory council that ensures the quality and origin of traditional production, the D.O Cava. The most current regulations classify it in two different ways: typology, depending on the amount of added sugar (Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Seco, Seco, Semi-Seco and Dulce) and category (Cava de Guarda, Cava de Guarda Superior Reserva, Cava de Guarda Superior Gran Reserva and Cava de Guarda Superior de Paraje Calificado) based on the time it rested inside the bottle during the production process.
This same regulatory council determines that by 2025 all production must be organic, thus highlighting the importance of the sustainable production process for the environment and the people.
Being such an essential product for the local economy and culture, there is a wide variety of activities to make cava and local wine known to visitors, such as the Cava Academy, fairs and small local events, and a film festival with wine and cava as protagonists.
One way to ensure that the cava or champagne has been made according to the traditional méthod champeonise is by the four-pointed star engraved on the end of the cork of the ampoule, in being any other geometric figure this will only be a sparkling wine.
If you’d like to find out more:
I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy some Spanish sparkling wine. You can visit various wineries when you travel to Spain and experience the entire cava production process first-hand.
I want to leave you with a fresh and fruity cocktail made with champagne; Agua de Valencia is made for the first time in 1959. Follow this recipe here and enjoy.
Hi Patricia de Castro,
Cava is already recognised as the highest volume production of any white wine in the world. Can you please add some details to this advertisement? Specifically, please elaborate the comments on "the production method", "the grapes' varieties" and "production times".
If you must use this site to spruk a product, please add some actual value to our knowledge base.
Thanks for your observation.
I'm sorry if I give you this impression, but I would like to rectify that the intention of this article is not to launch a product or advertise, but to make it known that Catalonia has its own sparkling wine, a product not so easy to make, and they organize many activities to her around during the year.
Great article @Patricia2156 but please correct the title to something that is not wrong (no Champagne can never come from Catalonia, period, but can only come from French province of Champagne, or is just a sparkling wine. Or Cava from Catalonia if you wish, Proseco from Italy, Crémant from France if not exactly from Champagne and so on....). Cheers!
I'm sorry about the impression gave in the title...
I use quotation marks to referes the differences of sparkling wine, as we can find later.
In my language we usually use quotation mark to talk about a pretending situation or thing. Perhaps in this case it would be better to use the title ...Catalan Sparkling Wine...
Thanks for your note.
I thought the quotations around "champagne" was clear to me that it was a comparison and not a violation of copyright of the Champagne region.
I find it refreshing not to read about problems with guests etc. It rather reminds me of a Gastro Obscura article.
Thank you Ms Castro for posting.