New Cava classification dispels ‘myth’ that small wineries own artisan credentials

The new single estate Cava classification is likely to “do away with the myth that only small wineries can craft artisan and quality offerings”, Codorniu Raventos CEO Javier Pagés has claimed.

Speaking to db following the unveiling of the first twelve estates recognised under Cava’s new ultra-premium ‘Cava de Paraje’ tier, Pagés said it was proud to have three of the company’s estates recognised under the new classification, which would showcase the winemaking expertise of the company’s long history.

“This recognition is a milestone in the history of Cava and helps us to keep on elaborating great Cavas and wines, and to do away with the myth that only small wineries can craft artisan and quality offerings. Is an acknowledgment to an exceptional terroir and to the degree of excellence in our elaboration,” he said.

The three vineyards recognised as ‘Cava de Paraje’ comprise Finca La Fideuera in Alt Penedès, Finca La Pleta in Costers del Segre and Finca El Tros Nou in Conca de Barberà, which Pages points out represent different terroirs in three different climate zones, which are planted with the three different grape varieties (Xarel.lo, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir). Grapes from the three vineyards are used in Codorniu’s Ars Collecta Codorníu range, which was launched on the market last December.

“Is an acknowledgment to an exceptional terroir and to the degree of excellence in our elaboration,” Pagés said.

Javier Pages, CEO of Codorniu Raventos

He argued that the new category would show Cava as a premium product that “can comfortably go cork-to-cork” with best sparkling wines in the world.

The aim of the classification was to get people to have the same level of respect and quality for Cava as they have for Bordeaux or Champagne, he explained, and this was likely to cast a halo effect on the premium end of the Cava market.

“Nowadays, the prestige business (ie consumer sales of more than €12) already exceeds 20% of sales in our group,” he said.

He added that the premium Cava offer had also become more interesting for global consumers in recent years, and this had become a primary strategy both for Codorníu and the wider cava market.

“We strongly believe that’s the only way [forward].”

As part of the classification process, the company looked at around 3,000 hectares of its vineyards to identify the best sites, which Pagés said had boosted the quality of its wines across the board.

“It enabled the group to raise the quality of all its products, as we identified a number of extraordinary vineyards,” he explained. “Accordingly this classification has born an ambitious project that will develop for over a decade.

Cava unveiled the first twelve sites to its new single classification ‘Cava de Paraje’, which was first proposed by the Cava Regulatory Board in May 2015, last week.

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