30 Great “Chapas” from 50 of the Great Cavas 2012

30 Great Chapas from 50 Great Cavas 2012A 5 strong team was involved in 50 Great Cavas 2012, but Jethro Swift, an eleven year old chapas* collector, did all the hard work on his own while working on his personal project, “30 Great Chapas 2012”.  July 29 and 30 the wine experts were sipping and spitting, sipping and spitting (again and again) , in order to arrvive at just 50 Cavas for the publication. On a nearby table, Jethro was quietly grading the chapas, evaluating them according to their colour, design and attractiveness (in a 100 point system).  He admits that he is a bit disappointed by the lack of imagination of the producers, if they leave the chapas black, and disapproves the repetition in the imagery. Apart from this constructive criticism, he is generally satisfied with this year’s entries.  Wine Pleasures invited Jethro to share his passion for chapas with us.

WP: When did you start collecting chapas?

J.S.:  I can’t remember exactly (leaves to go and consult with WP general manager Anthony Swift). I must have been about six years old. The first one I got was so nice that I started collecting.

30 Great Chapas from 50 Great Cavas 2012WP: What kind of chapas do you prefer?

J.S.: The ones with pictures.  Those with animals, with vehicles, with legends, with history figures, with different kinds of drawings…

WP: So, how many chapas do you have now?

J.S. 547

WP: Wow… So why do you think people should collect them?

J.S.: It’s fun. Look how colourful they are!!!

WP:  So tell us, how did you like this year’s 50 Great Cava contestants?

J.S.: Most of them are good, but the blank ones are boring. I really liked the ones with chess pieces on them, that’s very unusual. Also the gravures are nice, because they look old and ancient. Some I like, because they make you want to guess what exactly is meant there. And the symbols are cool.

Winning chape Pere Mata 30 Great Chapas from 50 Great Cavas 2012WP: Your advice for the cava producers then. Why should they make their chapas unusual?

J.S.: Well, if they look interesting, people will be attracted, they will buy the bottles with beautiful chapas.

WP: And if you were a designer, what kind of chapa would you create?

J.S. :(thinks) I could do animals, houses… animals or vehicles…planes and cars.   My favorite animal is tiger. Or a dinosaur . Yes, I would make one with a dinosaur. It could be nice, because dinosaurs are old and extinct.

WP.: Yes, they would be very suitable for bottles of well-aged Cava, wouldn’t they?  Well, let’s hope that Cava producers out there will read this and next year we’ll have even more interesting chapas to look at. Thank you, Jethro and good luck collecting!

Top 3 chapas were as follows:

  1. Cava Pere Mata (Queen) – Penedès
  2. Dominio de la Vega – Utiel-Requena
  3. Cava Pere Mata (Knight’s Pawn) – Penedès

* chapa- the decorative cava cork top

50 Great Cavas ebook available to download free on 1 September 2012

  • Vinovagabonds

    Great Collection Jethro! I am proud to say that I popped a few of those Cava bottles myself 🙂 Hope you’re all doing great!

  • Cherry

    Well done, Jethro. You are the best!