Description 1 of 2

Cava is the D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) given to sparkling wines made in the Methode Traditionelle anywhere in Spain. However, most of the finest production of Cava is made in the Penedes region in the northeast, near Barcelona. Production began there after the Phylloxera virus killed most of the red grapes that had been growing for centuries. José Raventos had the idea of planting white grapes, which thrive well in the chalky, clay-topped soil found in the Penedes, and began making Spanish sparkling wines influenced by Champagne styles. As a result, like Champagne, Cava is produced in styles with varying degrees of sweetness, vintage and non-vintage, and rosados. 

For the most part, the classic Cava grapes are Macabeo, Paralleda and Xarell-lo. However, some Champagne grapes have been known to enter the mix, like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Fun fact: Macabeo is fairly bland on its own, but its large percentage in the blend is attributed to the very guarantee of its existence. Because it buds fairly late in spring, it is usually not in danger of frost conditions and therefore almost always ripe for picking. It’s the other grapes in the blend that add depth and body. 
 
To be designated as Cava, a wine must be aged on the lees for a minimum of nine months, and reach no less than 10% alcohol, and no more than 13%. It takes up the second largest percentage of the international sparkling wine market, with varying prices. But many excellent examples can be enjoyed without much investment at all, and are typically found as less pricey alternatives to Champagne on restaurant and bar menus. Those garnering higher prices are often well worth the extra dinero. ~Amanda Schuster
 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

a Catalan sparkling wine of Denominación de Origen (DO) status. It may be white or rosé. The macabeu, parellada and xarel·lo are the most popular and traditional grape varieties for producing cava. About 95% of all cava is produced in the Penedès area in Catalonia info from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cava_(Spanish_wine)

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