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Document 52021XC0914(01)

Publication of a communication of approval of a standard amendment to a product specification for a name in the wine sector referred to in Article 17(2) and (3) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33 2021/C 369/02

PUB/2021/561

OJ C 369, 14.9.2021, p. 2–12 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

14.9.2021   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 369/2


Publication of a communication of approval of a standard amendment to a product specification for a name in the wine sector referred to in Article 17(2) and (3) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33

(2021/C 369/02)

This communication is published in accordance with Article 17(5) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33 (1).

COMMUNICATION OF STANDARD AMENDMENT MODIFYING THE SINGLE DOCUMENT

‘Cava’

PDO-ES-A0735-AM10

Date of communication: 25 June 2021

DESCRIPTION OF AND REASONS FOR THE APPROVED AMENDMENT

1.   Introduction of conditions for vineyards producing ‘Guarda Superior’

DESCRIPTION

The following requirements are established: vineyards used for the production of ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava (‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’) must be certified as organic, with a transition period of five years for the effective implementation of the organic status, and the vineyard must be at least 10 years old.

Section 3.a of the specification has been amended. The amendment concerns point 5(a) [sic] of the Single Document.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

The specific climate of the Cava region, defined by factors such as rainfall, moderate temperatures and sunshine, allows the vines to be grown according to the rules on organic farming, boosting biodiversity in the surrounding area. In addition, consumers are increasingly seeking organic products that are sustainably produced, respecting the surrounding area, the landscape and the environment.

Bearing the above in mind, the fact that the high-end segment of production comes exclusively from vineyards that are classed as organic gives Cava an edge over its direct competitors in sparkling wine around the world, who will have difficulty in achieving organic status, essentially due to the natural climate conditions of the geographical areas where they are based.

A generous transition period of five years has been established in order to allow all operators to make any adjustments they deem necessary, easing the adaptation process in terms of proportionality, lower costs and equality.

A 10-year old vineyard has a root system that is sufficiently developed to allow the vines to withstand the fluctuations in rainfall that typify the local climate. After 10 years, the production of a vine is considered to be regular and both the wine-grower and the winery will have monitored the quality and potential of the grapes over a number of years, allowing them to decide whether the grapes are suitable for the production of Cava wines that have a long ageing time.

2.   Increase of minimum ageing time for Cava ‘Reserva’

DESCRIPTION

The minimum ageing time for Cava ‘Reserva’ wines has been increased from 15 to 18 months.

Section 3.b.3 of the specification has been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

The aim is to give Cava ‘Reserva’ wine a longer ageing time and higher quality, thus also distinguishing it further from the ‘Guarda’ product segment.

3.   Establishment of smaller geographical units (zones and sub-zones) and demarcation of ‘paraje calificado’ zones

DESCRIPTION

The geographical area of the Cava designation of origin has been split into the following smaller geographical units: ZONES, SUB-ZONES AND ‘PARAJE CALIFICADO’ (‘QUALIFIED SINGLE ESTATE CAVA’) ZONES. The ‘paraje calificado’ zones were already provided for in the specification but it now includes the list of those that have already been recognised, along with their exact demarcation.

Section 4 of the specification has been amended. The amendment concerns point 6 of the Single Document.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

One of the factors that allows a wine’s value to receive greater recognition, and be more easily identifiable, is its origin. It was thus considered necessary to split the Cava designation of origin area into zones, in order to make it easier for the consumer and the market to identify the origin of the Cava wine they consume, giving the product added value.

Hence, zoning is intended as a mark of value and quality for wineries who wish to participate. Reference to it on the label is therefore voluntary.

There are three zoning levels: At the first level, zones are split according to broad climate and geographical characteristics based on the configuration of the designation of origin, which results in three distinct zones. The second level is constituted of sub-zones which must be defined by specific climate, orographic, historical or human characteristics that justify them. Finally, the third level is the ‘Paraje Calificado’ which is defined by the identification of the parcels that it comprises. The soil, climate and cultivation characteristics must be distinct from those of the surrounding area.

4.   Limitation of the maximum yield of the vineyards for ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava

DESCRIPTION

It has been established that the maximum yield of the vineyard for the production of ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava (‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’) must be 10 000 kg/ha.

Section 5 of the specification has been amended. The amendment concerns point 5(b) [sic] of the Single Document.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

This is clearly a quality-oriented measure, the aim of which is for the vineyard to be cared for and managed in such a way as to obtain the best quality grapes with higher sugar concentrations. Lower yields mean that the wines produced from the resulting grapes are more balanced, with higher expected acidity levels and greater probable alcoholic strength with higher sugar content. These factors are ideal for wines with long ageing times. Tilling and growing practices will need to be adapted to lower production levels so that the resulting wines are more balanced, reducing vine stress.

5.   Creation of the ‘Guarda Superior’ vineyard register

DESCRIPTION

A dedicated register has been created for vineyards whose grapes are suitable for producing ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava (‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’). The conditions for registration and the consequences of non-compliance have also been established.

Sections 3.a and 8.b.i of the specification have been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

To be able to identify the vineyards that meet the established requirements for the production of ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava and to make product certification control easier. The aim is also to foster specialisation from the wine-growing stage, i.e. at source, as well as the commitment to growing ‘Guarda Superior’ vines and the quality aspects attached to these. It also means that the pruning, fertilising, tilling, harvesting and other cultivation practices will be centred around obtaining quality grapes – specifically for the production of Cava sparkling wine, focusing on aspects that meet the demand from wineries for base wines with long ageing times – and the acidity, alcoholic strength and other characteristics required under the Cava PDO rules.

An additional aim is to establish a closer link between the vineyard, the wine-grower, the oenologist, the winery and the product to be obtained.

6.   Introduction of requirements regarding the separate handling of ‘Guarda Superior’ grapes and wine

DESCRIPTION

The following has been established as a requirement for the production of ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava (‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’): as part of the production tracing process for the protected product, when the grapes from ‘Guarda Superior’ vineyards reach the winery, they must be unloaded separately from the rest of the grapes in order for them to be labelled as ‘Guarda Superior’ and as ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ or ‘Paraje Calificado’.

Likewise, in order to be labelled as ‘Guarda Superior’ and as ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ or ‘Paraje Calificado’, the base wine used for ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava must be produced, classified and offered for sale in the winery separately from the rest of the base wine intended for Cava wines generally.

Section 8.b.iii of the specification has been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

The requirements established for the vineyards, namely specific registration, organic certification, minimum age of 10 years and yield reduction, are factors that must create a differentiation, setting ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava apart in terms of quality.

This is why it is considered necessary for grapes grown on these parcels to be harvested separately from grapes grown on parcels that do not meet these requirements. Thus, when loaded into trailers, grapes from designated ‘Guarda Superior’ parcels cannot be mixed with grapes from parcels that are not classed as ‘Guarda Superior’. Therefore, in the winery, the grapes must be unloaded separately into different receiving hoppers so as to ensure traceability and separate grape processing.

Since the grapes must be unloaded separately and into different receiving hoppers in the winery, the entire process of producing the base wine, its classification and placing on the market must be done separately, ensuring traceability from the vineyard right up until the Cava base wine is finally obtained. The mixing of wines from the ‘Guarda Superior’ segment with wines from the ‘Guarda’ segment is not permitted. If mixing takes place then the blend will be considered as wine belonging to the Guarda segment.

7.   Introduction of a specific tirage cap for ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava

DESCRIPTION

It has been established that the caps used on bottles intended to include the ‘Guarda Superior’ and the ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’ indications, must be marked accordingly.

Section 8.b.iii of the specification has been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

For the sake of traceability and to ensure ageing is monitored, it is essential to be able to differentiate the batches of Cava bottles in the ‘Guarda Superior’ segment that are being aged, from bottles of Cava in the ‘Guarda’ segment. It is therefore compulsory for crown caps on bottles of Cava produced with base wine from the ‘Guarda Superior’ segment to have a specific mark.

This mark will allow the compliance services to monitor batches during the production process and to check bottle stocks and ageing through physical counts and assessment of the various declarations that the operator is required to make.

8.   Limitation concerning the tirage date for ‘Guarda Superior’ Cava

DESCRIPTION

For wines authorised to bear the ‘Guarda Superior’ indication (‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’), tirage must take place after 1 January the year following the relevant harvest.

Section 8.b.iv of the specification has been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

The aim is for the production process to deliver high-end (‘Guarda Superior’) base wines with more character, avoiding the need for winery interventions or oenological practices that may impact negatively on quality.

9.   Change of position of point regarding vintage year requirement for ‘Paraje Calificado’ Cava and amendment to limitations to the movement of wine in a horizontal (‘en rima’) or inverted (‘en punta’) position

DESCRIPTION

The requirement for ‘Paraje Calificado’ Cava to indicate the vintage year, has been moved from section 8.b.iv of the specification to section 8.b.vii, which is the proper place for it since it relates to labelling.

Likewise, the requirement for ‘Paraje Calificado’ and ‘Gran Reserva’ Cava not to be offered for sale in a horizontal (‘en rima’) or inverted (‘en punta’) position, has been moved to section 8.b.x, which is the proper position since it relates to the movement of products.

Sections 8.b.iv, 8.b.vii and 8.b.x of the specification have been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

The changes are an editorial improvement: the text in the specification has been rearranged for greater clarity and consistency.

10.   Introduction of conditions of use of smaller geographical units (zone, sub-zone and ‘Paraje Calificado’) on labelling

DESCRIPTION

A description has been given of how and under what conditions the smaller geographical units can be used in the presentation of a Cava wine.

It has been added to point 8.b.vi of the specification. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

Since zones and sub-zones have been added to this specification amendment as smaller geographical units, it is necessary to regulate how these names can be used in the presentation of a Cava wine.

11.   Introduction of the requirement to indicate the vintage year on ‘Reserva’ Cava

DESCRIPTION

The requirement to indicate the harvest year on the labelling of ‘Cava’ wines, which already applies to ‘Gran Reserva’ Cava and ‘Cava de Paraje’, is extended to Cava wines using the term ‘Reserva’.

Section 8.b.vii of the specification has been amended. The amendment concerns point 9 of the Single Document.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

The indication of the vintage year is considered a requirement, not only for ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’ Cava wines but also for ‘Reserva’. Thus, the entire ‘Guarda Superior’ segment must indicate the vintage year on its labelling. The aim of this measure is to showcase the products in the ‘Guarda Superior’ segment, highlighting the different vintage years, as is common practice with the great wines of other designations as well as with Cava DO.

12.   Creation of the ‘Guarda’ and ‘Guarda Superior’ product segments

DESCRIPTION

Segmentation involves differentiating between two major product segments within the ‘Cava’ designation of quality.

The product segment labelled ‘Guarda’ maintains the current production characteristics of Cava, while a new segment, ‘Guarda Superior’, has been created to encompass Cava wines with the indications ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’.

Section 8.b.vii of the specification has been amended. The amendment concerns point 9 of the Single Document.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

A clearer differentiation is made between the various product types and ranges set out in the Cava PDO specification. This is to make it easier for the consumer to identify the quality characteristics that define each of these types and ranges. This proposal establishes new quality and labelling rules for each of the product types in order to make it easier to identify and to differentiate each category.

13.   Introduction of new seals

DESCRIPTION

It has been established that the terms ‘Guarda’ or ‘Guarda Superior’ must be indicated on the seals, along with the origin or smaller geographical unit. As the labelling indicates the smaller geographical units as well as the terms ‘Guarda’ or ‘Guarda Superior’, use of the corresponding seal is compulsory.

Section 8.b.viii of the specification has been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

A new design must be established for the numbered control seal, to make it easier for consumers to identify the difference between the two segments, ‘Guarda’ and ‘Guarda Superior’, as well as the smaller geographical unit, where appropriate. The purpose is to provide consumers with clearer information, first and foremost with the guarantee provided by the Cava PDO seal.

14.   Introduction of the term ‘Integral producer’

DESCRIPTION

A new dedicated term is introduced to describe a category of wineries whose full-cycle production model involves 100 % of the pressing and wine-making process being done in-house, on their own premises.

Annex 8.b.ix on the ‘Integral producer’ term is added to the specification. The amendment concerns point 9 of the Single Document.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

A label specific to each winery has been created. It will be affixed to the bottle and form part of its labelling, allowing consumers to identify those wineries that produce 100 % of their base wine on their premises. The aim is to create a differentiation so that consumers can distinguish not by product type but by the type of winery and its production model, associated in certain consumer circles with a more artisanal type of production and linked to a specific area, aspects that can be associated with quality. It also provides protection and recognition, within the designation of origin, to this type of producer.

15.   Clarification regarding compulsory declarations

DESCRIPTION

The internal rules on the designation of origin have been added as a justification for the requirement for registered operators to submit declarations to the Regulatory Board.

Section 8.b.xi of the specification has been amended. The Single Document remains unaltered.

This is a standard amendment as it is not considered to fall into any of the categories provided for in Article 14(1) of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/33.

REASONS

To reinforce the link between operators and the internal rules of the designation of origin and the strict obligation to abide by these rules, in order to ensure better control of the protected product within the production context.

SINGLE DOCUMENT

1.   Name of the product

Cava

2.   Geographical indication type

PDO – Protected Designation of Origin

3.   Categories of grapevine product

5.

Quality sparkling wine

4.   Description of the wine(s)

Quality sparkling wine

Concise textual description

Cava – White or Rosé: Clean and bright wines, with a continuous release of carbon dioxide in the form of small, bead-shaped bubbles. The colour of white Cava ranges from pale yellow to straw yellow; the colour of rosé Cava varies in intensity, with the exception of the violet-coloured rosés. Cava has characteristically fruity, slightly acidic, fresh and balanced aromas with hints of yeasty flavours coming through in the nose.

Cava ‘Gran Reserva’ – White or Rosé: Balanced wines, with nuances of ripe fruit and roasted nuts, with complex and clean aromas and hints of the lengthy lees contact.

Cava ‘Paraje Calificado’ – White or Rosé: Complex aromas with perfectly blended nuances of the area’s own minerals, together with roasted nuts. On the palate, it presents a perfect structural balance, creaminess and acidity.

The relevant EU legislation will apply with respect to the analytical parameters, where the limits are not set in this Single Document.

General analytical characteristics

Maximum total alcoholic strength (in % volume):

Minimum actual alcoholic strength (in % volume):

10,8

Minimum total acidity:

5 g/l expressed as tartaric acid

Maximum volatile acidity (in milliequivalents per litre):

10,83

Maximum total sulphur dioxide (in milligrams per litre):

160

5.   Wine-making practices

5.1.   Essential oenological practices

Essential oenological practice

The base wine for Cava may be made using only the first press juice, with a maximum yield of 1 hl of must/wine for every 150 kg of grapes. Depending on the area, healthy grapes with a minimum natural alcohol content of 8,5 % vol. or 9 % vol. shall be used. The base wines shall be produced using only the press juice and no other parts of the grape; when producing rosés, at least 25 % of the grapes used must be red grape varieties.

When making Cava ‘Paraje Calificado’:

the maximum extraction yield is 0,6 hl of must for every 100 kg of grapes.

the following are prohibited: artificially increasing the natural alcoholic strength of the musts and/or base wine, acidification, and discolouration.

the minimum total acidity of the base wine shall be 5,5 g/l (5 g/l for other Cava wines).

the maximum pH of the base wine shall be 3,3 (3,4 for other Cava wines).

Cultivation practice

Vineyard plots shall be considered to be producing grapes suitable for making Cava production as of the authorised variety’s third growing season. The density of plantation shall be from 1 500 to 3 500 stocks per hectare, using the traditional goblet or trellis methods of training.

Grapes used in the production of wines that are authorised to bear the indications ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’ must come from vineyards that are at least 10 years old and certified as organic by the competent authority.

5.2.   Maximum yields

1.

Cava

12 000 kg of grapes per hectare

2.

 

80 hl per hectare

3.

Cava ‘Paraje Calificado’

8 000 kg of grapes per hectare

4.

 

48 hl per hectare

5.

Cava ‘Reserva’ and ‘Gran Reserva’

10 000 kg of grapes per hectare

6.

 

66,66 hl per hectare

6.   Demarcated geographical area

The geographical area in which the grapes may be grown and the base wine and Cava produced is located within the boundaries of the following municipalities, set out by province in the text:

Álava:

Laguardia, Moreda de Álava, and Oyón.

Badajoz:

Almendralejo.

Barcelona:

Abrera, Alella, Artés, Avinyonet del Penedès, Begues, Cabrera d’Igualada, Cabrils, Canyelles, Castellet i la Gornal, Castellvi de la Marca, Castellvi de Rosanes, Cervelló, Corbera de Llobregat, Cubelles, El Masnou, Font-Rubí, Gelida, La Granada, La Llacuna, La Pobla de Claramunt, Les Cabanyes, Martorell, Martorelles, Masquefa, Mediona, Mongat, Odena, Olérdola, Olesa de Bonesvalls, Olivella, Pacs del Penedès, Piera, Els Hostelets de Pierola, El Pla del Penedès, Pontons, Premià de Mar, Puigdalber, Rubí, Sant Cugat Sesgarrigues, Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Sant fost de Campsentelles, Vilassar de Dalt, Sant Llorenç d’Hortons, Sant Martí Sarroca, Sant Pere de Ribes, Sant Pere de Riudevitlles, Sant Quintí de Mediona, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Santa Fe del Penedès, Santa Margarida i els Monjos, Santa Maria de Martorelles, Santa Maria de Miralles, Sitges, Subirats, Teià, Tiana, Torrelavit, Torrelles de Foix, Vallbona d’Anoia, Vallirana, Vilafranca del Penedès, Vilanova i la Geltrú and Vilobí del Penedès.

Girona:

Blanes, Capmany, Masarac, Mollet de Perelada and Perelada.

La Rioja:

Alesanco, Azofra, Briones, Casalarreina, Cihuri, Cordovín, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tirón, Fonzaleche, Grávalos, Haro, Hormilla, Hormilleja, Nájera, Sajazarra, San Asensio, Tirgo, Uruñuela, and Villalba de Rioja.

Lleida:

Lleida, Fulleda, Guimerà, L’Albi, L’Espluga Calva, Maldà, Sant Martí de Riucorb, Tarrés, Verdú, El Vilosell, and Vinaixa.

Navarra:

Mendavia, and Viana.

Tarragona:

Aiguamurcia, Albinyana, Alió, Banyeres del Penedès, Barberà de la Conca, Bellvei, Blancafort, Bonastre, Bràfim, Cabra del Camp, Calafell, Creixell, Cunit, El Catllar, El Pla de Santa Maria, El Vendrell, Els Garidells, Figuerola del Camp, Els Pallaresos, La Bisbal del Penedès, La Nou de Gaià, L’Arboç, La Riera de Gaià, La Secuita, L’Espluga de Francolí, Llorenç del Penedès, Masllorenç, Montblanc, Montferri, El Montmell, Nulles, Perafort, Pira, Puigpelat, Renau, Rocafort de Queralt, Roda de Berà, Rodonyà, Salomó, Sant Jaume dels Domenys, Santa Oliva, Sarral, Solivella, Vallmoll, Valls, Vespella, Vilabella, Vila-rodona, Vilaseca de Solcina, Vilaberd, and Vimbodí.

Valencia:

Requena.

Zaragoza:

Ainzón, and Cariñena.

Three zones have been established for this entire area (‘COMTATS DE BARCELONA’, ‘VALLE DEL EBRO’ and ‘VIÑEDOS DE ALMENDRALEJO’); the first two are divided into sub-zones; ‘parajes calificados’ can also be demarcated. All are smaller geographical units.

7.   Main wine grape variety(ies)

 

CHARDONNAY

 

RED GRENACHE

 

MACABEO - VIURA

 

PARELLADA

 

PINOT NOIR

 

TREPAT

 

XARELLO

8.   Description of the link(s)

a)   Natural and human factors

NATURAL FACTORS: The soils are mostly limy, not very sandy and relatively clay-based. They tend to have a low organic material content and are not very fertile.

The area has general characteristics typical of a Mediterranean environment: a very long summer season with long hours of sunshine and high temperatures through spring to summer, also producing wide temperature variations which allow the grapes, including varieties with longer cycles, to ripen well. In addition, rainfall is low and poorly distributed over the seasons meaning that during the period of plant growth, rainfall is scarce and relative humidity is very low. As a result, there is a pronounced water deficit, particularly in the ripening phase. The Mediterranean climate in the area is transitional between the milder climate on the coast, due to its proximity to the sea, and the harsher continental climate of the inland areas, which is cold in winter and hotter in the summer. The annual rainfall is on average 500 mm, with more frequent rainfall in autumn and spring. It is very bright with an average of around 2 500 hours of sunlight, which is sufficient for the grapes to ripen properly.

HUMAN FACTORS: In the second half of the 19th century, various wine-making families started making sparkling wines in the countryside of Barcelona province using the then-named champagne method, in which the second fermentation which produces the bubbles takes place in the bottle. It was in 1872 that the first bottles of Cava were made in the municipality of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. After tirage, the bottles of sparkling wine were stored in underground caves which had a sufficient relative humidity level and an ambient temperature which remained around 13/15oC throughout the year, helping to eliminate vibrations, which are to be avoided when making good quality sparkling wines. These are ideal conditions for the second fermentation and the ageing process of sparkling wines to take place correctly. Over time, the name ‘cava’, which identified the places where the bottles of sparkling wine were stored for ageing, ended up becoming the name of the wine itself. The most widely grown grape varieties are: Macabeo, Xarel•lo, and Parellada, which represent 85 % of those used to make Cava. These three varieties are always present in different proportions in the base wines obtained from the demarcated geographical area. The low density of vines, between 1 500 and 3 500 plants per hectare, helps to improve the quality of the base wine. In addition, the limited rainfall in the area and the goblet or trellis method of training allow for a moderate amount of productive buds, which limits the maximum yield per hectare to 12 000 kg. In addition, the base wine may be produced only from first press juice, with a maximum of 100 l of must for every 150 kg of grapes; with a staggered ripening involving the separate harvest of the different varieties, with a potential alcohol level for the base wine of between 9,5 and 11,5 % volume, a total acidity of >5 g/l and analytical indicators that ensure the health of the crop. There must also be an approximate one-to-one relationship between the malic acid and tartaric acid; production conditions that allow for a slow development of the second fermentation, and the interaction between the wine and the yeast (autolysis), which brings delicate aromas to these wines, giving them unique organoleptic qualities.

b)   Detailed information on the quality or characteristics of the product

Once the production process is completed with a second fermentation and ageing in the bottle with lees contact, Cava PDO wines have an alcohol content of between 10,8 and 12,8 % vol. Cava is characterised by low pH levels, between 2,8 and 3,4, so the wine ages correctly over time, reducing the risks of detrimental oxidation. These are wines with a low level of gluconic acid, which indicates that healthy grapes were used.

c)   Causal link between the geographical area and the characteristics of the product

The soils combined with the climate in late summer and autumn, which is relatively mild and dry, allow the grapes to develop correctly, particularly in the phases preceding their harvest, which encourages the various authorised varieties to ripen at different times, thereby producing good base wines for making a healthy Cava, with moderate alcoholic strength, high acidity and a low pH. The product’s rich tertiary aromas and appropriate release of bubbles depend in full on the production process from tirage to disgorging in the specially equipped plants, which allow the second fermentation and the ageing of the wine to develop slowly.

9.   Essential further conditions (packaging, labelling, other requirements)

 

Legal framework:

 

In national legislation

 

Type of further condition:

 

Derogation on production in the demarcated geographical area

 

Description of the condition:

Cava may be produced in five wineries located outside the demarcated geographical area, as these cellars were producing base wine and/or ‘Cava’ prior to the entry into force of the Order of 27 February 1986 and were thus granted authorisation through the Ministerial Orders of 14 November 1991 and 9 January 1992.

 

Legal framework:

 

In national legislation

 

Type of further condition:

 

Additional provisions relating to labelling

 

Description of the condition:

The cork shall display the name CAVA and the number of the bottler.

It shall be mandatory to use a trademark registered with the Spanish Intellectual Property Registry (RPI) or the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.

Only Cava ‘Gran Reserva’ and Cava ‘Paraje Calificado’ may use the terms ‘Brut Nature’, ‘Extra Brut’ and ‘Brut’.

It shall be mandatory for Cava ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’ to indicate the harvest year.

The indication ‘Guarda’ is established for Cava wines that are not ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’.

The indication ‘Guarda Superior’ is established for Cava ‘Reserva’, ‘Gran Reserva’ and ‘Paraje Calificado’.

The term ‘Integral producer’ is established only for wineries which, as producers of both base wine and Cava, press and produce 100 % of the base wine used in their Cava and produce 100 % of their Cava wines on the same premises (winery) and do not purchase bottles in a horizontal (‘en rima’) or inverted (‘en punta’) position from other producers.

It is mandatory to use specific control marks.

The indication ‘Paraje Calificado’ shall not exceed 4 mm in height, nor shall it exceed the size of the brand, and it shall feature alongside the name of the area in question.

Link to the product specification

https://www.mapa.gob.es/es/alimentacion/temas/calidad-diferenciada/dop-igp/htm/documentos_dop_cava.aspx


(1)  OJ L 9, 11.1.2019, p. 2.


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