Cava Wine Region Guide

Rising from the Bubbles: Spain's Cava Renaissance


Last updated: January 4, 2024


Spain’s traditional method sparkling is getting better and better: a renewed emphasis on site selection has reinvigorated this once-ailing DO. And although producers get fidgety if you suggest the past was less than glorious, the fact remains that Cava had a formidable mountain to climb. After selling itself as the ‘cheap option,’ wineries like Gramona found it difficult to charge premium prices for a high-quality product that wasn’t Champagne. Debates surrounding greater segmentation and zoning fell on deaf ears; over 12 leading bodegas have left the appellation since 2012, including Raventos I Blanc and Recaredo. As it stands today, their owners are not in a rush to return.

Yet there is much to admire in 21st-century Cava. The remaining producers are united under a quality banner, exporting a growing range of styles, including aromatic rosé, 100% Chardonnay wines, and single-vineyard expressions of Xarel-lo. There are some deluxe cuvées to tempt you away from France’s top dog and plenty of very affordable – and delicious – bubbly to crack open tonight. There is no reason for this Spanish powerhouse to play second fiddle to Champagne. Witness the rebirth.


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James lawrence

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