Which of the following is Spain’s sparkling wine region?
Don José Raventós, head of the Penedès bodega Codorníu, traveled throughout Europe during the 1860s selling his family’s still wines. On one such mission, Raventós found himself in Champagne and fascinated by the wine, he returned home keen to attempt his own sparkler. Using the three local white grapes still used in most cava today (macabeo, parellada, and xarel-lo) Raventós produced Spain’s first traditional method sparkler in 1872. Around this time, a small group of forward-thinking winemaking families, including the Raventós family, began meeting every Sunday after the ten o’clock Mass to discuss wine and share information. From these gatherings, an ambitious notion began to take shape. Why not convert all of the local still wines to sparkling and establish Penedès as Spain’s sparkling wine capital, analogous to the Champagne region in France? And the rest is history. Even though cava can be made in any of eight Spanish wine regions, more than 95 percent is made in the Penedès southwest of Barcelona. In addition to cava, sparkling wines that fall under the corpinnat umbrella (an association of sparkling producers who adhere to stricter standards than those for cava) are also made in the Penedès. Indeed, corpinnat wines can only be made in the Penedès.