Official launch of single estate cava classification

The regulatory board for Spain’s sparkling wine, cava, has announced a new premium classification for cavas made with grapes from an exceptional estate or terroir.

The CRDO del Cava (Cava Regulatory Board) says Cava del Paraje – single estate cava, will come from vineyards must be at least 10 years old with a maximum output of 8,000 kg per hectare and hand harvested. Fermentation must be carried out at the estate and have a maximum yield of 48 hectolitres per hectare.

The initial base wine must be certified as being of sufficient quality before ageing in bottle for a minimum of 36 months. Single estate cavas (Cava del Paraje) will only be produced as ‘brut’ wines.

It states strict and exhaustive traceability controls must be in place from the vine to on-shelf.

The chairman of the Cava Regulatory Board, Pedro Bonet, stated that this category has been created “to do justice to the quality of cava”.

According to Bonet, Cava del Paraje has been created “to place cavas at the top of the quality wine pyramid” and to do justice to the excellence of this sparkling wine. He also said is that single estate cava would exclusive to the D.O. Cava category, adding that few designations of origin in Spain can be so proud of their achievements, “even though we are only 30 years old and still a young D.O.”

Cava is the second largest Spanish DO by volume and the number one D.O. in terms of international export, he said. “The growth and improvement of cava is essential for global sustainability in the region, essential for its progress and the future. Even though, there is still a long way to go,” he added.

The announcement was made at the historic Palau de la Musica in Barcelona on Monday (June 13). Bonet encouraged the cava industry to improve the wine’s consumer image, as well as its positioning, international distribution and marketing, he said: “We hope that this new classification will not only prove that Cava is capable of producing fine wines that can age and we hope that this new classification will motivate and inspire producers to strive to produce increasingly higher quality sparkling wines.”

Jaime Haddad, assistant secretary for Agriculture, Food and Environment in the Spanish government, also present, emphasised that single estate cava “represents a step forward in the quality of one of the most significant elements of our culture”. “The new category will position cava in the place it deserves”, he added.

Meritxell Serret, Catalan minister for Agriculture, Cattle, Fishing and Food, highlighted that single estate cava gives “more prestige and singularity” to the region’s sparkling wines – this is a strong statement that will gain more recognition for our wines and cavas”, she said.