Cava is Spain's classic method sparkling wine, and Spain’s answer to Champagne. Its name comes from the stone cellars (cavas) in which the wine is left to mature. Initially the wine was called Champaña, however, following the Champagne becoming a EU protected name, the wine changed its name to Cava and it become itself, a protected name for white and rose’ sparkling wines.
Initially Cava was only produced in Catalonia, however, now it is produced in many regions. The traditional grape variety used in the making Cava were Viura or Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo, but now, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are also being used with Viura making up around half of a standard Cava blend. Pinot Noir and Monastrell are used to add red pigment and depth to Cava Rosado, or Cava Rosé.
The wine making process placed on Cava winemakers are similar to those followed by Champagne’s producers, all Cava wines must be lees aged for a minimum of nine months.
Cava is classified as:
Brut Nature: Contains 0-3 grams per liter of residual sugar and no sugar has been added to the bottle.
Extra Brut: Contains 0-6 grams per liter of residual sugar
Brut: Contains 0-12 grams per liter of residual sugar
Extra Seco (or Extra Dry): Contains 12-17 grams per liter of residual sugar
Seco (or Dry): Contains 17-32 grams per liter of residual sugar
Semi-Seco (or Semi-Dry): Contains 32-50 grams per liter of residual sugar
Dulce (or Sweet): Contains more than 50 grams per liter of residual sugar