Profile of Codorníu Winery
One of the oldest winemaking families in Spain, Codorníu have records dating back to 1551 of commercial wine production. Jaume Codorníu was the founding father of this 500 year old wine making family. In 1659, the young Codorníu heiress, Anna, married Miguel Raventós. This was the merger of the two families, that are still linked in family in business today. The first Cava ("methode champenoise") wine was made by José Raventós, a direct descendant of Anna Codorníu and Miguel Raventós in 1872. He had studied the French traditional method of sparkling wine, and brought these techniques back to Penedés. Tragically, less than 15 years later the Phylloxera plague (North American insect that decimated European vineyards in the late 1800's) infested the vineyards of the Penedés. Business was obviously affected, but the family fought back with the most innovative viticultural techniques of the time, and survived the dilemna. By the end of the 19th century, Codorníu was producing over 100,000 bottles of cava per annum.
Codorníu were members of high society, as shown when the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, visited the Codorníu winery and presided over the banquet offered in his honour in 1904. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, it's a wonder how any business could survive in the midst of war, nevermind a "luxury goods" business. But Codorníu made it through this dark period in Spanish history, and even managed to flourish. In 1976, the gorgeous "Modernista" cellars were declared a Monument of National Historical Artistic Merit by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. The beautiful winery was commissioned by Manuel Raventós, who inherited the Can Codorníu estate in 1885. He employed one of the leading architects of the time, Josep Puig i Cadalfach (who is today considered one of the "modernist" geniuses, along with Gaudi) to design the new winery in Sant Sadurni d'Anoia. Building took from 1985 and 1915, and the result was a stunning, unique structure. Codorníu is a pleasure fo the wine tourist, as it boasts one of the most breathtaking wineries in Spain, and the company has been one of the innovators in "Wine Tourism" in Spain, providing the infrastructure necessary for an interesting visit. The ambience of the place paired with superb Cava wines, make a visit to Codorníu's cellars unforgettable.
John Radford, acclaimed Spanish wine expert and journalist says about Codorniu: "Anything made here is at least very good and often exceptional. Best wines: the outstanding Codorníu 1551 ("big three" and Jaume Codorníu.)"
Winery Facts & Figures
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