From "méthode champenoise"
to "méthode traditionnelle"
According to Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets, owner of Privat and one of Parxet's partners, the basics of a high-quality cava are simple: "Cava is made according to the traditional 'méthode champenoise.' The name 'méthode champenoise' has been a protected name according to European law since 1994. The name can only be used in the Champagne region. Yet, according to Spanish law, Cava had to be made using the 'méthode champenoise'. Through European regulation, the legally protected term 'méthode traditionnelle' must now be used, which really means the same.
Champagne and Cava must ferment/ripen in the same bottle for at least 9 months before disgorging and re-corking. The better Cavas ripen longer to meet the Consejo Regulador DO Cava. Reservas ripen for 18 months and gran reservas ripen for at least 24 months. Some special cuvées ripen even longer.
Also, there are only 160 municipalities that are currently officially allowed to produce Cava. But what is most important is to follow the rules of the Consejo Regulador de Cava. Ninety-five percent of Cavas are produced in the Penedès wine area, west of Barcelona. The most important Cava city is Sant Sudurni D'Anoia, where 40% of the 10,000 inhabitants work in the Cava industry. It is also the home of Cordorníu and Freixenet (the largest producer of sparkling wine in the world and Spain's largest wine exporter).
Only wines from recognized regions and made according to the traditional method are allowed to carry the Cava name and their corks have a four-pointed star logo. Fifty-five percent of all Cavas are sold during the festivities at the end of the year.
Alta Alella's founder: Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets
This step between two terraces shows
the weather-beaten stones of the Sauló soil.