Cava is a sparkling wine of Denominación de Origen (DO) status from Catalonia. It may be white (blanc) or rosé (rosat). Only wines produced in the traditional method may be labelled "cava"; those produced by other processes may only be called "sparkling wines". About 95% of all cava is produced in the Penedès area in Catalonia and the two major producers are Codorníu and Freixenet.
In the past, cava was referred to as "Spanish champagne", which is no longer permitted under European Union law, since Champagne has Protected Geographical Status (PGS) and Spain entered the EU in 1986. ] Today it is defined by law as a "quality sparkling wine produced in a designated region".
The Catalan word cava means "cave" or "cellar". Caves were used in the early days of cava production for the preservation or aging of wine. Catalan winemakers officially adopted the term in 1970 to distinguish their product from French champagne.
Codorníu has the oldest winemaking history of Spain, since it encompasses 18 generations of a sole family of vinedressers, their progress, their convictions, their creative and innovative ability to improve day by day. In 1872, Josep Raventós Fatjó created the first bottle of cava by applying the traditional method to a combination of Penedès grape varieties: the Macabeo, the Xarello and the Parellada. Since that first innovation,
Codorníu has developed a complete range of wines on their premises at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, said premises being declared a National Artistic Historical Monument in 1976 as they represent a key piece of work of Catalan modernism, erected by the architect Puig i Cadafalch. Codorníu represents the history, tradition, passion, innovation and know-how of a family business with more than 450 years of history and which is still a leader for quality Spanish wines and sparkling wines in this day and age.