A Masterclass with Sarah Jane Evans and Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW

In recent years, Cava appears to have a visibility crisis,facing the competition from the eminent Champagne, the booming Prosecco and even the rising-star English sparkling wine. What a pity!  It's time for a change...

A masterclass with Sarah Jane Evans and Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW about Cava (Photo:Krystal Wen)

Cava, in contrast to Prosecco, is created using only the traditional method. Each year, over 250 million bottles had the second fermentation inside the bottle itself. In order to further distinguish various quality levels, new rules were put in place.In January 2022, two additional quality tiers were introduced: Cava Guarda and Cava de Guarda Superior.

On November 30, 2023, the Cava Academy organized a tasting at The Institute of Master of Wine's Head Office, led by the renowned Sarah Jane Evans MW and Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW.  tasting featured nine different expressions of the Cava, highlightingthe intricate characteristics and geographical nuances that premium Cava can offer.

Here are 3 takeaways from this event:

Four Different Areas, with Catalonia as the Homestead

There are four main areas of the Designation of Origin Cava to highlight, even though Catalonia dominates the production with 95% of Cava’s total volume :

  • Comtats de Barcelona
  • Valle del Ebro
  • Viñedos de Almendralejo
  • Zona de Levante (name TBC)

The map of Cava (Photo: D.O. Cava)

Each region also contains different subzones. For example, The largest zone, Comtats de Barcelona, contains five subzones. Over time, the subzones extented and began to develop their own reputation, thanks to the richness of its microclimate and territory expression.

Two Main Quality Categories

When it comes to quality, the key variationis based on the aging time of the wine.

There will now be two distinct categories: Cava de Guarda, and Cava de Guarda Superior.

  • Cava de Guarda: minimum 9 months
  • Cava de Guarda Superior: more than 18 months
  • Cava de Guarda Superior Reserva: minimum 18 months
  • Cava de Guarda Superior Gran Reserva: minimum 30 months
  • Cava de Guarda Superior de Paraje Calificado: minimum 36 months

Topping the Guarda Superior pyramid is Cava de Paraje Calificado. It is a unique product that comes from a designated place. Cava de Paraje Calificado is synonymous with exceptional quality. It must be matured for a minimum of 36 months, making it comparable to vintage Champagne.

Brut Nature is the Way to Enjoy Cava

Cava, like other sparkling wines, comes in a variety of dosages. The sugar content that defines the final profile of the Cava is known as dosage. Dosage refers to the sugar content that defines the final profile of the Cava. True, a little sugar can add diversity to this drink. Especially when paired with your preferred food and cuisine. Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW, on the other hand, declared himself a fan of Brut Nature Cava. He is a firm believer that leaving the wine unsweetened allows the fineness of grape characteristics and the nuance of terroir expression to shine.  Additionally, this "zero added sugar" trend in Cava is in line with the recent trend of low-sugar diets.

Both Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW (left) and Sarah Jane Evans MW (right) are passionate about Cava (Photo: Krystal Wen)

Seize the chance to deepen your knowledge of Cava with VinoVoss and redefine your perspective on this legendary sparkling wine. The world of D.O. Cava will enchant you.Explore the Cava on vivovoss.com now, raise your glass to learn and savor the delightful Spanish sparkling wine!

Krystal Wen

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