Who are the two biggest producers of Cava?
Freixenet (Ferrer family)
Codorníu (Raventós family)
When did the word Cava first come into use, then into law, and in what year did it gain PDO status?
- Started being used -- 1960s
- Law -- 1972
- PDO status -- 1989 (named after the wine rather than place)
Because the Cava PDO status protects the name of the wine (and not the place), what is distinctive to Cava production?
Grapes are allowed to be sourced from a number of separate, different, unconnected areas and blended together.
What body oversees Cava?
Consejo Regulador del Cava
More than 95% of all grapes grown for Cava are grown where?
Penedès in Catalunya
After Penedès, what two other areas in Spain are important for Cava production?
What are the three main grapes that go into Cava?
Which white grape variety is increasingly being used in Cava production?
What's the one Spanish grape not allowed in Cava?
What is the predominant climate of Penedès?
- Bright, sunny summers
- Mild winters
- Moderate rainfall (540 mm) spread over the year
What are the altitude ranges of Penedès?
- Most vineyards are 200-300m above sea level;
- A few are 700-800m above sea level (greater diurnal range which leads to brighter acidity and more intense flavors).
Whare are the soils of Penedès, and what makes them suitable for viticulture?
- Lower elevation (200-300m asl) = alluvial + clay
- Higher elevation (700-800m asl) = stony clay + granite
Penedès' soils are poor in nutrients, and have adequate drainage and water retention, making them suitable for viticulture.
What are the two principal towns of Penedès?
- San Sadurní d’Anoia
- Vilafranca del Penedès (Consejo headquartered here)
What is the elevation range of Lleida (Catalan) / Lérida (Spanish)?
100-700m above sea level
Grapes tend to have riper fruit flavors grown at lower altitudes, and fresher flavors with higher acidity at higher altitudes.
What are the climates of Lleida province?
Mediterranean at lower elevations
- Increasing Continental influences at higher elevations
- irrigated with water from the Pyrenées
- irritated with water from the Mediterranean
- not irrigated
Irrigated with water from the Pyrenées
This water is also used for frost protection in the spring.
The Raventós family, which owns Codorníu, owns this large, single-vineyard estate in Lleida that's making still wines.
What grape is the family pioneering here and using in their still and sparkling wines?
What is the climate of Tarragona?
- Tarragona is a low-lying area
Which grape dominates Cava from Tarragona?
Is the style of Cava from Tarragona meant for early drinking or for aging?
- Early drinking because of Mediterranean climate and no elevation to provide cooler temperatures
What is Trepat?
A red grape variety grown in Tarragona that's increasingly being used to make Cava Rosado.
What area in northern Spain is becoming increasingly important for sparkling wine?
Hint: it's protected by the Cantabrian Mountains.
What makes Rioja Alta well suited for sparkling wine production?
High altitude (425m above sea level), which lends higher acidity
What are the only two grape varieties used in Rioja for Cava production?
- Macabeo (known locally as Viura)
Of the vineyards registered for Cava, what percent is planted to:
- Macabeo - 36%
- Xarel-lo - 26%
- Parellada - 21%
- Chardonnay - 9%
What are the planting elevations for:
- Macabeo - 100 - 300m above sea level
- Xarel-lo - sea level - 400m
- Parellada - around 500m (highest)
What are the budding times for:
- Macabeo - late budding
- Xarel-lo - mid-budding
- Parellada - early budding (prone to spring frost)
Which Cava grape variety is picked first and which variety is picked last?
Picked first = Macabeo
Picked last = Parellada (it needs a long growing season)
Which two Cava grape varieties are indigenous to Catalunya?
Of the three main Cava grape varieties, which one is the highest yielding?
What are the aromas and flavors that Macabeo adds to Cava?
Apples and lemons