Cava Classifications

28th March 2023

Cava Classification

Cava is the third big name in the Sparkling Wine industry, after Champagne and Prosecco. About 95% of all Cava is produced in the Catalan region of Penedès, west of Barcelona. The village of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is home to two of the major producers, Codorníu and Freixenet.

Its classification is regulated by the Cava D.O. Regulatory Board (Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen) the D.O. means ‘Designation of Origin’

The Cava D.O. is composed of three quality terms that define the geographic zones and the various sub-zones within these zones. These are:

First Level: Regionalization by geographic and climatic conditions as established by the D.O. for the four principal geographic zones.

Second Level: Sub-zones defined by specific climatic, orographic, historic or human conditions that justify the specific classification and coincide with existing wine regions.

Third Level: Paraje Calificado (Specific Site or Single Estate) defined by the identification of the specific parcels that make up the zone including soils, climate and vines that differentiate these from the surroundings.

You’ll also find the following stated on a Cava label, they each refer to a different level of ageing.

Cava – Requires 9 Months of Ageing

Cava Reserva – Requires 18 Months of Ageing

Cava Gran Reserva – Requires 30 Months of Ageing

Cava de Paraje Calificado – Requires 36 Months of Ageing

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.