The ‘Never Never Land’ Cava that is Naveran
16th August 2021
One of the most popular sparkling wines of the world, the second best selling after Champagne, though still remains slightly in the background of things when compared to the likes of Prosecco, is Cava. Over recent years there seems to have been a race to the lowest price and though being a traditional method sparkling wine (same production method to Champagne) it seems to have lost it’s position in the market somewhat. Cava today will sometimes be priced at the same to examples of Prosecco even though the big favourite from Italy is made in a much faster and cheaper process (tank method).
The recent pandemic and global lock downs of the hospitality sectors saw significant declines in shipments to the trade as well as bottles produced, though the good news was that online sales jumped up by 45%.
71% of total sales were international with Germany continuing to be the main country of consumption, 2020 saw that the United Kingdom had a 6.55% growth in purchases of Cava.
“Until the 1970’s, it was known as champán or champaña when the decision was then made to rename it to Cava so to avoid any confusion with Champagne from it’s neighbouring country of France.”
The Cava region is legally established and the name is reserved for quality sparkling wines made using the traditional method. The ministerial order of 27 February 1986 demarcates the production zones; within these it names “la Región Determinada del Cava” (the Designated Cava Region), still defined in the current regulations. source D.O.Cava
Recent years has seen much politics within the world of Cava producers with classifications seeming to come and go, but recently with the D.O.Cava there seems to be a pathway forward that will importantly guide consumers / buyers in the styles and qualities of labels – It is not just standard Cava on the market, there are levels of quality you can explore.
The vast majority of Cava comes from the Penedès wine region in Catalonia, in northeast Spain near Barcelona. The Cava DO is not contiguous: While 95% of Cava comes from Penedès, there are also areas in Aragón, Euskadi, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, and València that are authorized to make Cava wine. source Masterclass.com
“Never Never Land: An imaginary and wonderful place; a fantasy land.“
With some 134 current registered producers of D.O. Cava in Spain and many with multiple labels including vintages, then we have many to explore and plenty of variations to choose from. Both brut and rosé can be produced from the following grapes:
- Red Garnacha
- Subirat Parent
- Pinot Noir
“I have been a couple of times to the Cava region and visited many splendid wineries with inspiring winemakers and wonderful portfolios of sparkling wines. Many lay close to Barcelona and in deed you can be walking amongst the vines of a Cava producing winery and yet still see the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona in the distance… “
Just an hours drive away (45 km) from Barcelona is the winery Naveran who produces an award winning selection of Cava. Founded in 1984 though with a name history back to 1840 and an estate dating back to the 11th century, with 110 hectares managed and producers of organic still wines and Cavas.
“Naveran uses strict organic methods for treating its vineyards: it does not use pesticides or herbicides. It uses only organic fertilisers and, in years of excess rain, it allows the grapes to fall naturally to guarantee the quality of its harvest.“
At the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020 they received two medals from our judges and these two wines I wish to take a look at by reviewing and sharing my tasting notes with you.
Gold Medal Winner Hint of Spice – Cavas Naveran – Brut Vintage 2018 – Purchase link here
“Oily green fruits on aromas. Green stone fruits, touch of herbs and spices, petroleum, citrus flavours.”
Silver Medal Winner Summer Days – Cavas Naveran – Perles Roses 2018 – Purchase link here
“Peach, white strawberry, petroleum, red apple skin on the nose. Dry red berries, touch of spice, peach, orange peel, minerals in flavours.“
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.