Javier Pagés Font elected President of the CAVA D.O. Regulatory Board

31st August 2018

Sparkling Wines of Cava

On Monday, August 28th, the Cava Denomination of Origin Regulatory Board elected the new President, Javier Pagés Font, to succeed Pedro Bonet Ferrer. Javier Pagés is the CEO of the Codorniu Raventós Group and Vice President of the Spanish Wine Federation.

Mr. Pagés takes the reins of the Cava D.O. in a time of relative convulsion; foreign takeovers of three of the major Cava producers including the Codorniu group, internal unrest within the sector due to the price conflicts and the total renewal of the Regulatory Board. The new Board, composed of twelve members, six representatives of the base wine producers and six of the Cava producers, plus the President and a Vice President. All of the new board members represent the Penedés area.

During the presidency of Pedro Bonet, there were a number of outstanding actions, some very positive and others rather less, if not negative. On the positive side, two quality classifications for Cava were introduced. The first was the creation of Cava Premium in 2014, a move intended to recognize and promote very high quality level Cavas of Reserva and Gran Reserva categories. These are Cavas made with grapes grown Qualified vineyards cultivated according to ecological procedures and closely supervised by technicians of the Regulatory Board. At this time, more than fifty Cava wineries are recognized as producers of Cava Premium. The second positive action was taken in 2016 when the Cava de Paratge Qualificat – Singular Estate Cava was established. This classification is much more stringent that the Premium class. A third milestone was the number of bottles of Cava sold worldwide in 2017, more than 252 million standard bottles. Also, in 2018, six of the top of the line Cava producers presented the Corpinnat identity, with intent to establish the specific identity of Cava produced in the Penedés region.

However, on the negative side, in 2013, twelve wineries, most elaborators of Cava, withdrew from the Cava D.O. in protest against several aspects of Cava D.O. norms that they considered detrimental to what they considered that Cava’s image should be. They established what is now known as Clàssic Penedés sparkling wines, within the Penedés D.O. Another not too positive situation was and still is the “price war” that has been a continuing cause of headaches and frustration for several years. The principal problem here is that several Cava wineries produce products which are sold in several major macro-supermarket chains at prices considered to be well below the minimum production costs. And last but not least, three of the major Cava wineries have been acquired by foreign capital; Juve & Camps in 2017 by a Dutch holding company and Freixenet and Codorniu by German and Northamerican capital investors.

The new President declared in his acceptance presentation that he intends to face the new challenges that await him and will do his best to increase Cava’s prestige.

Shared by George Potter

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