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Cava producer Codorníu looks to follow in the footsteps of Champagne

Sergio Fuster, CEO of Codorníu, one of Spain’s largest Cava producers, spoke to db about the “advantage” of using French terminology on sparkling wine labels in order to indicate a “standard of excellence” most associated with Champagne.

Cava producer Codorníu looks to follow in the footsteps of Champagne

“The origin of Cava is the Champagne method applied to Spanish wine, Spanish terroir and Spanish weather, so in my mind it’s a good association,” Fuster told the drinks business during the ProWein trade fair in Düsseldorf this week.

Codorníu, which is Spain’s second largest Cava producer, has launched its latest range into the UK market. The range, called Ars Collecta, has been produced in three styles — a Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs and Grand Rosé.

Cava, Spain’s traditional method sparkling wine, has struggled with its quality message thanks to some high-volume producers selling the fizz at a very low price. “If you asked me about my one strategy for Cava, it would be to upgrade our quality story to consumers and put Cava where it deserves to be,” Fuster said.

Fuster believes the use of French terminology can be an “advantage” for Cava producers.

The Champagne region has retained its quality association for decades, with many consumers associating the sparkling wine region with premium fizz. Fuster is keen to follow in Champagne’s footsteps when it comes to communicating quality, adopting French terminology in order to do so.

He explained: “We want to remind consumers that the traditional method is the standard of excellence. Many people might not be aware that Cava is traditional method as is Champagne, which stands for top quality. So I do tend to like that association.”

The Codorníu chief executive is passionate about Spanish sparkling wine, and would like to see it considered on par with its French counterpart. He said: “At the end of the day we want to remind people that they are drinking something that quality-wise is face to face with Champagne.”

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