Cava is beginning to gain more and more well-deserved renown. The latest good news for this sparkling wine is the official recognition of “Cava de Paraje Calificado.” This designation is essentially a Grand Cru recognition or distinct labeling for high quality Cava made from specific, single vineyards that are noted for their outstanding terroir. Like Champagne, Cava is made using the champenois method, whereas many of the world’s other popular bubblies are made using the Charmat method.
Chris Mercer writes in Decanter: “The saying is that ‘good comes to those who wait’, and Cava producers and fans have had to be patient for official sign-off on the new premium classification, the Cava de Paraje Calificado. […] It’s part of a general shift in Spain towards greater recognition for specific vineyard sites, as seen recently in Rioja.”
Cava was in the headlines earlier this year in January when talk of the Cava de Paraje Calificado was stirring, as producers discussed how they could distinguish top-tier labels that are age-worthy, elegant, and complex. The high-quality Cava will come with higher price-tags (ranging from $30 to $150), but now consumers have the guarantee that these bottles are worth it.
The article continues, “‘This should be the beginning of long process to turn round the image of Cava,’ [Sarah Jane Evans MW, Spanish wine expert and co-chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards] said.”
Currently, the Cava de Paraje Calificado includes 12 vineyard sites. Producers are a mix of family-owned, biodynamic, and larger wineries. The rules state that the wines must be bottle-aged for at least 36 months, vintage (aged), and Brut or Brut Nature. Read more about the single estate Cava rules and the discussions leading up to the selection of these 12 sites in Wines from Spain’s interview with Pedro Bonet, President of the Cava Consejo Regulador.
Read more about the new Cava de Paraje Calficado classification in Decanter: First Cava ‘grand cru’ sites are chosen