Cava is a sparkling wine made in Spain using the same procedures (traditional method) used in Champagne, but with its own personality and characteristics that given by its soil, climate and grape varieties used for processing.

Grape Varieties

The main varieties of grapes used in the preparation of cava are: [highlight type=”warning” value=”Macabeu”] , [highlight type=”warning” value=”Parellada”] and [highlight type=”warning” value=”Xarello”] . Each one brings different characteristics that complement each other:

  •     Macabeu brings sweetness and perfume
  •     Parellada brings finesse, freshness and aroma,
  •     Xarello brings the body and structure.


[dropcap type=”square” color=”red” value=”A”]long with them, the Chardonnay, Parellada or Malvasia and black grape Pinot Noir, are authorized for the production of white cavas. Black grape varieties Garnacha, Monastrell, Pinot Noir and Trepat for making rosé cavas.

Control Marks

  • Cava: a minimum of 9 months ageing
  • Cava Reserva: a minimum of 15 months ageing
  • Cava Gran Reserva: a minimum of 30 months ageing


Classification by their sugar content

  • Brut Nature; between 0 and 3 grams of sugar per liter.
  • Extra Brut; up to 6 grams of sugars per liter.
  • Brut, up to 15 grams of sugar per liter.
  • Extra Dry, between 12 and 20 grams of sugar per liter.
  • Dry, between 17 and 35 grams of sugar per liter.
  • Semi Dry, between 33 and 50 grams of sugar per liter.
  • Sweet, more than 50 grams of sugar per liter.


Cava Production Process

  1. Harvest: Performed in September when the grapes have reached optimum ripeness.
  2. Pressing: After grapes arrived, must is extracting by gently pressing.
  3. First fermentation: alcoholic fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature between 13 º and 18 º.
  4. Blend: the winemaker is responsible for the selection and blending of wines produced (called “base wines”) after the fermentation process.
  5. Clarification: removes the cloudy appearance caused by the presence of suspended solids from fermentation.
  6. Stabilization: the wine is cold stabilized before the second fermentation to maintain its qualities.
  7. Triage: operation consisting in filling wine bottles with base and named “tirage” to trigger a second fermentation in the bottle.
  8. Ageing: the bottles lie stacked in horizontal rows where do the second fermentation and aging slowly for at least nine months.
  9. Riddling: the bottles are titled and rotated to allow the solids produced by the second fermentation to settle around the cork so they can be removed. Can be performed manually or mechanically.
  10. Disgorgement: removing sediment from the second fermentation.
  11. Dosage: Typically a mixture of sugar and wine that is added to sparkling wine. This dosage replaces any wine lost in disgorgement and adds some residual sugar to the wine.
  12. Capping and labeling: fitting the cap, label and control mark for final delivery.


Food Pairing

This medium-bodied sparkling wine pair good with fried fish, sushi, tapas…


photo source

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • TinVanMan March 27, 2015, 2:47 pm

    This post is exactly what I have been looking for since I lived in Barcelona and wondered what all the variations really meant. If you ever in Barcelona and feel like some fantastic cava, try the Champanerie in the Gothic Quarter. This is the place for cava in the city. It has a great selection, high quality, and is very affordable. I have never been a fan of rose wines but a rose cava really has a light, sweet flavor that is great for a sunny Spanish Saturday afternoon.

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