Cava DO approves "momentous" overhaul of classification system

The Cava Designation of Origin has unanimously approved a “momentous and unprecedented” plan to overhaul its classification system.

The idea is to provide a clearer differentiation between the various styles of cava and to establish a system of territorial classification.

A geographical zoning and ordering system has been created to help consumers navigate the category more easily.

The Designation of Origin was vague about the exact nature of the changes. “The final stage of this strategic roadmap will be detailed once the definitive specifications have been approved which will include the D.O.’s commitment to high quality, better differentiation between the different cava styles and establish a system of territorial classification,” it said in a news release.

However, at a recent event in London we were told that all the Reserva and Gran Reserva wines must be organic under the proposed regulations, and the vineyards will have lower yields to ensure a high quality.

Javier Pagés, president of the DO, told DRN: “With cava we come from a great position. Many wine regions would love to have what cava has today in terms of relevance to consumers and sales penetration in different countries. But cava also has challenges, and we need to face some of them and move on.

“We need to position cava as a quality sparkling wine. We want to play a role as a quality sparkling wine. We need to communicate the quality that is happening in the winemaking better. You can make great wine, but you have to communicate.”

The proposed changes follow a consultation period involving six trade experts, including Sarah Jane Evans MW and Tom Stevenson.

The six consultants were tasked with examining the DO’s proposals, which aim to highlight the quality, differentiation, origin and prestige of cava.

Pagés said that there is “a consensus and unity in the sector” for promoting a series of measures that defend vineyards, sustainability, and optimal production times.

He expressed his satisfaction that the agreement has been approved with the full support of the sector, thereby representing “a great achievement”. Despite this, the Regulatory Council emphasised that the work will continue throughout 2020.

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