In June 2016, the Cava Regulatory Board announced the designation of Single Estate Cavas, a new premium category that will include all Cavas made with grapes from select exceptional estates due to their climate or geological features.
The Cavas in the new classification must meet all of the following requirements:
Wines From Spain speaks with Pedro Bonet, President of the Regulatory Board of DO Cava about the new Cava de Paraje Calificado designation, the sparkling wine category and the growth of Cava in the United States.
Tell us more about the new Cava de Paraje Calificado and how this idea was born?
Pedro Bonet: The new Cava de Paraje Calificado designation is ideal for positioning Cava at the top of the qualitative wine pyramid and for doing justice to this incredible sparkling wine. As far as the Cava category is concerned, this new designation represents a step toward giving the visibility to the singular excellence in the production of sparkling wines made in the traditional method.
This has been something in the works for quite some time. We proposed creating this new category to do justice to Cava. In terms of principal, we were eager to show the world Cava’s excellence while giving our producers a way to demonstrate the superior quality of their amazing wines.
Which producers are making wine with the new Cava de Paraje Calificado designation?
Pedro Bonet: There are no names yet as we are waiting for a definitive ratification from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, but we will make the announcement in the coming days.
We’ve seen a boom in American consumption of sparkling wine in the last few years. How is that trend affecting the overall Cava category and the marketing efforts of the Cava Consejo?
Pedro Bonet: Effectively, the sparkling wine market continues to grow in the United States and has been very favorable in terms of growth of Cava sales. In the last five years, there has been significant growth in volume and total Cava sales, particularly of Premium Cavas. Additionally, there has also been an increase in the number of Spanish wineries who are exporting to the United States. Without a doubt, the U.S. is a critical market for Cava.