Overview of the DO Cava requirements for the production

Harvest at Juvé y Camps

Details can be found on the webpage of the Cava Regulatory board

At harvest yield is limited to 12000 kg/ha. Pressing of max 66% of the primary juice or 100 liter/150 kg grapes is allowed to be used for Cava production. However for Cava de Paraje only 8000kg/ha can be used and at pressing only 60% can be used for Cava.

The juce from different grapes is fermented to a primary base wine. The base wines are is mixed to a base wine cuvé must have a alcohol content between 9,5 and 11,5%.

A second fermentation is used to raise the pressure above 3,5 Bar. Sugar and yeast is added to allow the pressure in the bottles n to be raised. Classic Method must be used.

Cava Quality classes

To be allowed to be called Cava the bottle with wine will have to be stored on the lies for at least 9 months.

Cava Reserva requires storage of the bottle with wine on the lies for at least 15 months and for Gran Reserva 30 months. The new Cava de Paraje will require at least 36 months storage. Some producers store the wine for a much longer period. Date of production must be marked on the cork.

Small Gyropalette 

When it is over and it is time to prepare the bottle for the market the bottle are riddled and gradually raised to vertical position with the bottle neck down. This can be done manually with wooden pupitres or machines called Gyropalette. Removing the cork and the lies called degaugement can be done manually or the bottleneck can be frozen and the degaugement done with machines.

Before a new cork is put on, the loss of liquid is compensated. For a Brut Nature, wine from another bottle is used to replace the lost liquid. For all other liqueur de expedition is added also including the sugar dosage needed to reach the expected rest sugar content. The Liqueur de expedition may add surprises from a secret family recipe. However there are EU rules specifying what is allowed.

The ready Cava product will be controlled and blind tasted by Consejo Regulador before obtaining the expected control mark.


Consejo regulador DO Cava monitoring the reregulation

Visiting the regulatory board in Villa Franca de Penedes we were invited to a Masterclass in Cava. It was very interesting to get the information confirmed from the source. The webpage is available in both English and Spanish, however a lot of details about the Spanish wine law is only available in Spanish. The link to the webpage can be found here Cosejo Regulador.

Teacher in Cava Masterclass

The big news for 2016 was the launch of the single vineyard Cava “Cava de Paraje”. The consept opened for farmer applications to classify their best vineyards as a Paraje in July 2016. It will be an interesting development to follow the new quality step.

Cava DO is a geographic limited area with mainarea in Catalonia. Part of Rioja can produce Cava and in some other spots.  The capital of Cava is Sant Sadurni d´Anoia where most voume production but also the quality production is located.

The grapes allowed for Cava production are  Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada, Chardonnay, Subirat Parent, Pinot Noir, Trepat, Garacha Tinta and Monastrel. Chardonnay has started to be common n blends but for white Cava Pinot Noir is very new and Rosé Cava is not a very big product. Quality producers claim that high proportion of Xarel-lo is an advantage for long storage on the lies. So if you are searching for a quality Cava, look for a Gran Reserva dominated by Xarel-lo.