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Q&A: Cava’s Pedro Bonet

Pedro Bonet, president of the Cava Consejo Regulador, tells db about the DO’s new classification, fighting back against Prosecco and raising Cava’s game

How are global sales of Cava compared to this time last year?

At the end of June, sales totalled 95.6 million bottles, of which 64.1 million were exported, consolidating the positive trend in foreign markets. Volume sales have been particularly strong in France, where they are up 27% to over four million bottles (almost double the amount of Champagne sold in Spain), while sales in Japan are up by 21% to 3.9 million bottles.

Has the new single estate Cava classification been well received?

The new ‘Cava de Paraje Calificado’ classification has been very well received by both the food and wine press and is an important tool to improve Cava’s global image. The classification positions and raises awareness of Cava at the top of the quality pyramid for sparkling wine and motivates terroir-driven producers that meet the special conditions required to be classed as a single estate Cava to achieve this top level of protection in the future.

How many producers are part of the ‘Cava de Paraje Calificado’ initiative?

To date, six companies have applied and a further eight are preparing their presentation dossiers. For those who are accepted, their front labels must contain the term ‘Cava de Paraje Calificado’ and the name of the estate.

How is Cava fighting back against the power of Prosecco?

While for many consumers, Cava and Prosecco fall within the same ‘sparkling’ category, Cava is made using the traditional method so can’t be compared to Prosecco in terms of quality. Prosecco doesn’t come close to matching the history of the Cava DO and the range of wines available from there. Cava is the most versatile sparkling wine when it comes to food.

How are you working to improve Cava’s image in export markets?

Creating the single estate classification will help to improve Cava’s global image. It raises the profile of premium Cava as a whole, which accounts for around 15% of all Cava produced.

Could Cava make more of its links with and proximity to Barcelona?

Cava producers should take advantage of their proximity to Barcelona, which is just 40 kilometres from our vineyards and wineries. The fact that the city houses a large number of potential consumers and attracts millions of tourists each year makes Barcelona a very important market, not only in terms of sales volumes but also on a quality level, since having a presence there sends out a solid message to consumers and helps to boost Cava’s image.

‘Cava producers should take advantage of their proximity to Barcelona, which is just 40 kilometres from our vineyards and wineries’

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