Catalunya is Cava country! The sparkling white, and sometimes pink, wine is Spain’s answer to Champagne: it is made using the same traditional method as its more illustrious French cousin in wine regions close to Barcelona.
Cava was introduced to Spain by Josep Raventos of the Codorniu winery in 1872 following a reconnaissance mission to France from which he returned with the production method, but used Spanish grapes. The process involves a secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle, which allows for bubbles to form naturally as opposed to being a mere carbonated wine.
Since Cava is extremely popular in the Catalunyan capital, which features its own Xampanyerias - cava bars where locals enjoy drinking the sparkling wine with bocadillos and tapas, cava tours from Barcelona have become increasingly popular with visiting wine tourists.
According to Spanish law, Cava can be produced in six wine regions in Spain – although they must closely adhere to traditional methods to be considered authentic. Depending on the amount of sugar used in the process, Cava is available in varying levels of dryness: brut nature, brut (extra dry), seco (dry), semiseco (medium) and dulce (sweet).
The most common grapes used in Cava production are Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello, although Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Subirat also make commendable sparkling wines.
Most of the country’s Cava (90 per cent) is made in the Penedes region of Catalunya, which features numerous vineyards owned by renowned winemakers such as Torres, Codorniú and Freixenet, making a Barcelona Cava tour a must for wine enthusiasts visiting the city.
At Wine Paths, our local experts can organise a bespoke private Cava tour from Barcelona according to your own requirements, and there are several to choose from.
On a Barcelona Cava tour you might take part in the actual Cava making process – which includes sharing one of the most important moments for a bottle of Cava, the disgorgement. This involves removing the sediment from the bottle to leave the Cava crystal clear before dressing the bottle with an exclusive self-made label. It is both a unique experience and a serious challenge!
Among other favourite Cava tours in Barcelona is a gourmet trip to two wineries traditionally owned by the same family in Penedes, where visitors can explore the mysterious underground galleries where Cava is born.
Both wineries are regarded as wine tourism reference points for the region. After observing the contrasts between traditional and modern methods now being used together in harmony, guests can taste some of the finest products before ending their tour with lunch or dinner prepared by a local chef and, of course, paired with great wines and Cava.
Wine lovers seeking to take advantage of Spain’s sun-kissed climate with a more outdoors experience can take a Barcelona Cava tour to explore Penedes on electrical bicycles. Fortunately, the flat landscape of the famous Cava producing region is not too challenging for visitors on two wheels as they explore wineries and sample Cava in all its varieties, together with excellent white wines, refreshing rosés and complex fruity reds.
Check out our wine experiences in Catalunya, including several Cava tours in Barcelona, start planning your trip to the region and let the bubbles go to your head.
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