Juvé & Camps
A certain degree of ‘riddled’ emotions
José Raventós from Sant Sadurní d’Anoia in the Penedés region had returned from Champagne with big plans.
In 1921, with the help of his wife, Teresa Camps, Joan Juvé from Sant Sadurní just west of Barcelona launched his first sparkling wine made exclusively from three autochthonous grapes: Parellada, Macabeo und Xarello. Eighty years later, his winery, Juvé & Camps, is considered to be one of the leading Spanish sparkling wine producers, a true ambassador of Cava Culture.
Cava is the Catalan word for cellar. Today it means not only a sparkling wine produced according to the Champagne method, but stands as well for a growing region of 159 villages spread over eight Spanish provinces. That said, about 95% of all Cava is produced in the Penedés region.
Although other varieties such as Chardonnay are – since 1986 – permitted for the production of cava, Juvé & Camps still relies exclusively on the three traditional grapes of the region, which they grow on their own 400 hectares of vineyards. Macabeo provides fruity aromas, finesse and elegance; the powerful Xarello adds structure, acidity and colour; and the well balanced Parellada perfects the blend.
Since the beginning, the principle of Cava production has remained the same. For the now famous secondary fermentation, a so-called »Licor de tiraje«, a mixture of sugar, wine and yeast, is added to the base wine provoking the formation of carbonic dioxide. The bottles are then stored for several years to mature before being manually riddled. After about a month, the sediment which has by then moved to the neck of the bottle is removed, the missing quantity of Cava replaced and the bottle closed with a cork.
Even though it all sounds quite simple, a lot of experience, as well as a certain degree of sensitivity, is necessary to produce high quality Cava.
Cava: Pure Catalan attitude to life
It would be a mistake to consider Cava a direct competitor of French Champagne or Italian Spumante. Given its characteristic taste and style, Cava should be seen rather as an alternative or even supplement to the other two. Don’t forget, Cava is pure expression of the Catalan attitude to life, a fact amply proven by a quick glance to the restaurants, bars and cafés in the lively city of Barcelona!
Juvé & Camps
Cava Penedés, Spain