VILAFRANCA DEL PENEDÈS —The wineries of the D.O. Cava have finished this year’s harvest. According to the Regulatory Board’s Technical Services: “The grapes are in good health, with a suitable acidity and alcohol content for the production of excellent Cavas.”
This harvest has taken longer to complete than usual due to climatic factors. After 2020 was marked by a considerable drop in production, this year’s harvest of grapes destined to be used for Cava was around 330,700 tons.
A meticulous grape-ripening control plan was executed throughout the harvest, and on-the-ground controls were increased. The director of the Regulatory Board’s Technical Services, Luis Marco, stated: “Although the alcohol levels have been significantly lower than those of the previous vintage, the grapes have a good balance between alcohol content and acidity, which bodes well for the production of Cava.”
The president of D.O. Cava, Javier Pagés, emphasized the Regulatory Board’s determination to “continue demonstrating our strict commitment to controlling and guaranteeing the quality that characterizes the Cava designation.” In fact, 100 winery verifiers have been deployed to supervise and control the arrival of grapes from winemakers belonging to D.O. Cava. In order to guarantee traceability, a new software platform has been set up for this campaign, as part of the digital transformation currently taking place within the D.O.
The 2021 vintage will be remembered as the first in which wineries can distinguish their wines by the grapes’ territory of origin, since the new zones and sub-zones approved by the Designation of Origin Regulatory Council came into force. These new regulations mark out three defined production areas: Comtats de Barcelona, Valle del Ebro, and Viñedos de Almendralejo, along with seven sub-zones: Valls d’Anoia-Foix, Conca del Gaià, Serra de Mar, Serra de Prades, Pla de Ponent, Alto Ebro, and Valle del Cierzo.
Organic production continues to grow, in anticipation of the wineries’ current transition process, whereby Cava de Guarda Superior wines must be 100% organically produced by 2025. Organic Cava production has increased by more than 245% in the last five years, from four million bottles in 2016 to 13.8 million in 2020. In addition, last year organic Cava once again grew in importance within D.O. Cava, accounting for 6.4% of the volume (in number of bottles), confirming the upward trend of consumer interest in organic Cava.
The excellent quality of the 2021 vintage is the result of yet another year of tireless work by the wineries of the Cava D.O. and the growers.
About D.O. Cava
With more than 70% of international sales, Cava is the Spanish D.O. which exports the most wine: its 370 associated wineries are present in over 100 countries. The D.O. encompasses more than 93,900 acres of vineyards and more than 6,800 winegrowers. Cava is a quality sparkling wine that pairs perfectly with every type of food, and is made using the traditional method, with a strict commitment to origin, land, and sustainability.