50 Great Cavas Media Tour Round-up Day 1 – Sol i Vi i #Cava

50 Great Cava places to stay  - Sol i ViThe 50 Great Cavas media team arrived in the Penedés wine region on Monday. We checked in to the hotel Sol i Vi in mid-afternoon. From the hotel we visited Andernats for a winery visit, wine tasting and evening dinner.

Hotel Sol i Vi 

Hotel Sol i Vi is a hotel surrounded by vineyards. The onsite restaurant has several sections and is suitable for meetings, receptions and weddings. They can seat more than 1,000 people. The restaurant has an impressive wine list with over 60 Cavas and 70 wines from the Penedés DO. Miquel Gisbert commented that they encourage patrons to try the Penedés DO wines or the Cava DO wines. There are also wines from other areas of Catalonia, other Spanish wine regions and France. Miquel smiles and said, “Our Cavas are better.” Have a glass of Cava as you scan the list of wines.

Sol i vi 60 great cavasHotel Sol i Vi rooms are comfortable and furnished with sturdy country farmhouse-like furniture. One wall in our room had a blue and white mural of a grape harvest. It depicted vineyard workers with full baskets of grapes and other workers still harvesting grapes from the vines. As we looked out the sliding glass door, we saw vineyards in the distance. You get the feeling that you are in wine country.

Andernats Vinícola de Nulles

IAdernats 50 Great Cavas 2014n late afternoon, our media group filled a van and headed to a wine cathedral, Andernats Vinícola de Nulles. In the early 1900s most families in the town of Nulles grew grapes and made wine. After phylloxera destroyed the grape vines in Catalonia, the inhabitants decided it would be better to work together than separately. The towns people started by cooperative in 1917. The group hired César Martinell, a modernista architect known for designing wineries that were cathedral-like. The winery building was started in 1919 and completed in time of the first crush of 1920.

Adernats 1We started our visit with a Cava Reserva Brut Nature. The refreshing Cava wet our appetite for knowledge and more Cava. We ambled out to the vineyard and leafed that there are 130 partners that grow grapes and sell their grapes to the winery. After our vineyard walk we strolled through the winery. Large vats and tanks filled the cathedral nave. Above the tanks a vats there was another floor and above this level was a vaulted ceiling. The winery did resemble a church.

day 1 roundup d #50gcOur next stop was a tasting of four Cavas. One of the Cavas made the list of 50 Greatest Cavas. We tasted the XC Grand Reserva, a Cava made from 100% Xarel-lo. The wine spent 45 months bottling aging during its bottle fermentation.


After climbing a metal staircase with votive candles to illuminate our way, we walked on the top of vats to an area set up for our dinner. The setting was wonderful with brick work surrounding us and the vaulted ceiling above. The dinner consisted of five courses paired with wines. Our third course was special. We were asked to put on blind folds. A wine was place on our plate as well as a food item. In darkness we tasted the wine and ate the food. It was easy to guess that the wine was a Cava. Some in the group correctly identified the Cava as the Reserva Rosat made from the Trepat grape. A little look is worth a thousand finesses. The food items were placed on a skewer and included a cherry tomato, watermelon, pineapple and another cherry tomato. This ended up being rather fun to try to guess what you were drinking and eating while blindfolded.

day 1 round up eThe courses on the menu and wines included:

  1. A tomato and watermelon gazpacho with anchovy
  2. Tartarí de salmón ahumado con cebolla de Figueres y salsa de yogur especiada

            Maridaje sorpresa – Reserva Roast

  1. Meloso de cerdo ibérico con salsa de Ànima
    XC Grand Reserva
  2. Postre Adernats           

Our media group enjoyed visiting Andernats Vinícola de Nulles and it Cavas and wines. The dinner was quite special.

Coming up on day 2 on the 50 Great Cava Media Trip are visits to the Mas Codina winery, visit, tasting and lunch at the Llopart Winery and in the evening visit, tasting & dinner at the Cuscó I Berga winery.  Accommodation Barcelona Golf Hotel

Terry Sullivan, Wine Trail Traveler

Influential Media to Commence 50 Great Cava Tour @Adernats

50 Great Cavas 2014 coverDay One of the 50 Great Cavas Media Tour

October 6 2014 is the start of the 50 Great Cavas Media Tour. We are looking forward to greeting the Media people who are covering this year’s 50 Great Cavas Media Tour.

The group participating in the 50 Great Cavas Media Tour includes: Lara Dunston & Terence Carter from Grantourismo, Andrew Barrow from Spittoon, Marcy Gordon from Come for the Wine and Writing Between the Vines, Terry & Kathy Sullivan from Wine Trail Traveler, Oriol Ripoli and Josep Pizan from Decantalo.

50 Great Cava places to stay  - Sol i ViWe plan to meet everyone at the Hotel Sol i Vi. From there we will travel to Nulles to enjoy a Cava tasting and dinner at Adernats. Following what promises to be a delightful dinner, we are to return to our lodging site at Hotel Sol i Vi. Cava is enjoyable and very food friendly. It will be delightful to learn how the dinner pairs with Cavas.

Adernats 50 Great Cavas 2014
Wine Cathedral Adernats 50 Great Cavas 2014

Tuesday we will be traveling to visit and taste Cavas at the Mas Codina winery  followed by a visit and tasting of Cavas at Llopart Winery.  After visiting and tasting wine at these two wineries we will travel to the Barcelona Golf Hotel  to check in. Later in the day we will travel to Cuscó I Berga winery for a visit including a wine tasting and dinner. Then we will return to the Barcelona Golf Hotel to enjoy the evening and prepare for Wednesday’s winery visits.


Needless to say we are looking forward to these visits to wineries of Penedes that feature Cava wines.

Cheers! Kathy Sullivan, Wine Trail Traveler

Media Dream Team to Pop 50 Great Cavas

50 Great Cavas 2014 Media TripA Dream Team  of 6 influential writers and photographers will soon be descending on the Penedès wine region to discover some of the 50 Great Cavas 2014. They will be visiting wineries, matching cavas with local delicacies such as Fideua, Calçotada, Xató del Vendrell, Escalibada con arenque y uva, Cazuela marinera de sepia con albóndigas, Meloso de cerdo ibérico con salsa de Ànima, Bacalao con espinacas a la Catalana y “All i Oli” de miel, Gallo del Penedès con ciruelas y piñones (is your mouth watering yet?)  and taking time out to discover Museums and other places of cultural interest. Accommodation  options in the region will also be tried and tested ranging from romantic rural accommodations to charming 4* accommodation

There will be non-stop Instagramming from the photographers and Tweeting from the writers. Numerous print based articles around the world are expected to feature the 50 Great Cava tour. The Dream Team will also be joined by Oriol Ripoll, Director of Online Wine Shop Decántalo. Follow events on twitter #50gc #cava #penedes #enoturismo

Adernats 50 Great Cavas 2014Monday 6 October

15.30 Arrive & meet Sant Sadurní D’Anoia
16.00 Check in Hotel Sol i Ví
17.00 Transfer to Nulles
18.00 Visit, tasting and dinner in Adernats
22.00 Accommodation Hotel Sol i Ví & free time 

Tuesday 7 October

Mas Codina 50 Great Cavas 201407.00 – 08.30 Breakfast
09.00 Transfer to Puigdàlber
09.30 Visit and tasting at the Mas Codina winery
12.00 Transfer to Subirats
12.30 Visit, tasting and lunch at the Llopart Winery
16.00 Transfer to La Beguda Baixa
16.30 Check in Barcelona Golf Hotel & free time
18.00 Transfer to Avinyonet del Penedès
18.30 Visit, tasting & dinner at the Cuscó I Berga winery
22.00 Accommodation Barcelona Golf Hotel & free time 

Llopart 50 Great Cavas 2014Wednesday 8 October

09.00 Transfer to Vilafranca del Penedès
09.30 Visit of VINSEUM, Museu de les Cultures del Vi de Catalunya
11.00 Cava tasting in VINSEUM by Mascaró
12.00 Transfer to Sant Sadurní D’Anoia
12.30 Visit, tasting and lunch at the Juve i Camps winery
16.00 Transfer to Vilafranca del Penedès
16.30 Presentation & Tasting at the Consejo Regulador del Cava
18.30 Transfer to Llorenç del Penedès
19.00 Check in Cal Jafra & free time
20.00 Dinner in Cal Jafra 

Bohigas 50 Great Cavas 2014Thursday 9 October

09.00 Transfer to Vilanova I El Geltrú
09.30 Visit of the Museu del Ferrocarril de Catalunya
11.00 Cava tasting in the Museu del Ferrocarril de Catalunya by Dominio de Vega
12.00 Transfer to Odenà
12.30 Visit, tasting and lunch at the Bohigas winery
16.00 Transfer to Subirats
16.30 Check in Accommodation Masia Olivera & free time
18.00 Transfer to Vilobí
18.30 Visit, tasting and dinner at the Vallformosa winery
22.00 Accommodation Masia Olivera

Canals i Munné 50 Great Cavas by Wine PleasuresFriday 10 October

09.00 Transfer to Sant Sadurni D’Anoia
09.30 Visit of the Centro de Interpretación de Cava – La Fassina de Can Guineu
10.30 Cava tasting the La Fassina by Celler Vell
11.00 Visit, tasting and lunch at the Canals i Munné winery
15.00 End of Media Trip.

Make sure you get your free copy of 50 Great Cavas 2014  whether you are looking for cava styles to explore, outstanding wineries to visit or professional tasting and reviews it is certainly a must.

Follow the trip as it happens on Twitter @50greatcavas and on Facebook: 50 Great Cavas and feel free to join the conversation.

Meet the Dream Team:

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50 Great Cavas Dream Team of Writers & Photographers Announced

50 Great Cavas LLopartThe quest for 50 Great Cavas 2014 is over and it is once again time to plan for the annual 50 Great Cava Media Trip which will take place from 6 – 10 October 2014. This year we have selected a team of 6 influential writers and photographers. With the Dream Team of writers and photographers most of the world will hear about the 50 Great Cavas, the wineries they are produced in and the regions they are found thanks to the print and digital coverage, plus non-stop Instagramming from the photographers and Tweeting from the writers. The Dream Team will also be joined by Oriol Ripoll, Director of Online Wine Shop Decántalo.

Leading the group will be Wine Pleasures founder Anthony Swift, immersed in the culture of enjoying Cava in the beautiful region from which it is made, Anthony will surely be sharing his passion and extensive knowledge with the group. Coming along (in no particular order) to enjoy and share their experiences will be:

Lara Dunston Wine PleasuresLara Dunston

Lara is an established food and travel writer, and she works with her writer-photographer husband, Terence Carter. Their food and travel stories have appeared in magazines, newspapers and websites around the world, including The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, National Geographic Traveler (UK and US), CNN Travel, Travel+Leisure Asia, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Delicious, Feast, Get Lost, Wanderlust, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Hemispheres, Lifestyle+Travel, Voyeur, Ritz-Carlton magazine, Four Seasons magazine, Bangkok Airways’ Fah Thai, Garuda’s Colours, Qatar Airway’s Oryx, Thai Airways’ Sawasdee, Silk Air magazine, Business Traveller, Executive Traveller and more. They have been writing on food and wine for travellers for over 15 years, covering everything from Australia’s best wine regions and wine routes to wine experiences, wine tours and tasting opportunities in Argentina, South Africa, Hungary, Portugal, and Southeast Asia.

Terence Carter Wine PleasuresTerence Carter

Terence is an established photographer and food and travel writer, and he works with his writer wife Lara Dunston. As well as having his work published in the media outlined in Lara’s profile, Terence undertakes commercial photography assignments for restaurants and is currently developing cookbooks, which he will photograph and co-author with Lara. Terence provides non-stop instagramming during assignments and was named one of the world’s best food Instagrammers.

Terence and Lara also publish a popular travel blog called Grantourismo which is currently #2 in Australia and #51 in the world.

Andrew Barrow 50 Great Cavas Media Group 2015Andrew Barrow

Andrew writes – about wine mainly (tasting notes, food and wine matching, vineyard visits and so on) and take photographs of the same. He has recently become rather a Gin Fiend too and loves covering pop-up bars, more established lounges and is thrilled when covering a decent restaurant. Travel too plays an important part. Spittoon has been online since 2004 and has led, over the years, to various writing gigs (online for AOL, Guardian Word of Mouth, Via Michelin) and is now a regular contributor to Reader Digest Online. There is also the off-line work providing website content, shop tasting notes and book chapters in the likes of Wine Opus. Add in membership of the Circle of Wine Writers [CWW Facebook Page] and he also holds the WSET Diploma. On the photography front a review of his work has led to being awarded the Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society, has been nominated for the 2014 Louis Roederer Wine Writer Awards (THE ARTISTRY OF WINE AWARD) and has won the Pink Lady Food Photography of the Year Award specifically the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year. While not trampling around the fields around my South Oxfordshire home you may find him, champagne in hand, on a train travelling to some exotic destination around Europe. He’ll probably fly home…

Marcy Gordon 50 Great Cava Media TripMarcy Gordon

Marcy Gordon is a freelance Food, Wine, and Travel writer focusing on wine tourism and wine regions around the world. She is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent and also writes about wine and wine travel for a variety of print publications. She publishes Come for the Wine, a popular blog, for wine and travel enthusiasts. She was recently listed as one to the Top 100 Wine Influencers on Social Media. Her twitter feed is a trusted source for those looking to discover new and interesting wines around the world.

She is the founder and executive director of Writing Between the Vines – Vineyard Retreats for Writers  — a literary arts foundation providing residencies for writers on vineyard estates around the world. The program launched in 2013 and hosted five writers this past year.

Terry Sullivan 50 Great Cavas 2014 Media TripTerry Sullivan

After 34 years in education as an elementary and middle school teacher and university lecturer, Terry began a second career as an author, writer and blogger. The most recent book, Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine was published in March 2014. Taking thousands of photographs and writing articles, Terry and his wife Kathy visited and wrote about over 1,000 wineries and vineyards in Europe, North America and Oceania. In 2008 Terry began making wine both at home as well as at wineries in Virginia, Maryland and the country Georgia. Terry has been a presenter at the International Wine Tourism Conference for the past three years in Perugia, Italy, Zagreb, Croatia and Tbilisi, Georgia. He has also presented at the Eastern Winery Exposition in Pennsylvania in 2013.

Kathy Sullivan 50 Great Cavas 2014 Media TripKathy Sullivan

Kathy Sullivan is a writer, author and blogger with a deep passion for the wine industry. She has enjoyed visiting numerous wineries throughout the wine regions of the world including: California, Italy, New Zealand, Canada, Georgia, Croatia and France. Kathy is intrigued with winemaking, the history of wine, the people behind the wine and the wine-food connection. She also makes experimental wines at home and has made wine at a Maryland winery and a Virginia winery. She is the coauthor of three wine books: A Wine Journey, A Wine Tourist’s Guide: Visiting Tasting Rooms and Georgia, Sakartvelo: The Birthplace of Wine. Kathy’s other wine writings are on the Wine Trail Traveler website.

Oriol Ripoll 50 Great Cavas 2014Oriol Ripoll

Barcelona born Oriol is the founder and CEO of the online wine shop, Decántalo Oriol started the company back in September 2010 as a partnership between two professional groups from the sectors of wine and digital projects development, In 2013 Oriol made the bold decision to provide an outlet for the 50 Great Cavas as many of the 50 Greats were not available in the local wine shop. Now the bubble lover can order online and any or all of the 50 Great Cavas delivered to their doorstep anywhere in Europe. Decántalo serve thousands of satisfied customers from more than 50 countries and punctually deliver cavas and wines.

50 Great Cavas 2014 coverTogether the Dream Team of writers & photographers will present a telling, creative and most of all entertaining account of their experiences whilst travelling the very destination which the many of these great cavas call home. And of course make sure you get your free copy of 50 Great Cavas 2014  whether you are looking for cava styles to explore, outstanding wineries to visit or professional tasting and reviews it is certainly a must.

Follow the trip as it happens on Twitter @50greatcavas #50gc #cava #Penedes and on Facebook: 50 Great Cavas

Massís del Garraf Terroir key to Sparkling Success at Cuscó Berga

50 Great Sparkling Wines Cusco BergaVineyards surround the village of Les Gunyoles d’Avinyonet reaching out from the valley to the steep hills towering (Massís del Garraf) over this small community in eastern Penedès. It is here that in 1985 Josep Cuscó Berga started producing wines and cavas under his family name. With the help of his sons the winery expanded and grew to be a modern facility that holds both the production compartments and an exhibition area focused on bringing out the connection of wine industry with local history and culture. The building housing vast cellars descends deep into the very midst of the hill on which it stands. Natural limestone walls surround numerous wine-shelves and allow for perfect temperature and humidity to be maintained which is essential to the process of fermentation and ageing.

50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World Cusco BergaThe same limestone contributes to local soil composition which is a key element of Cusco Berga products’ unique taste and flavour. In the mountainous area of the vineyards even the 40 years old Parellada grapes have to struggle with unfavourable, harsh conditions but are an absolute must in the final cava blend providing the much needed acidity and mineral freshness. The three brothers that now manage the winery struggle to keep the plants prospering in this hostile environment but it is often a fight with overwhelming odds as dangerous fungi pose a constant threat to cultivation. It is a daily routine for the owners family to supervise their crops and sometimes even manually inject oxygen into the most needy subjects.

Cusco Berga 50 Great Sparkling Wines 2014But not only the sloppy parts of the 35 ha vast estate are in danger of pest and illnesses. In the valley where most of the grapes are grown (yielding 10.000 – 12.000 kg per ha yearly while in the mountainous area – only 5.000 – 6.000 kg per ha) the remedy is the usage of pheromones that makes ecological farming (contributing to a substantial part of the winery production) possible. Among the vines the sweetness and ripeness of fruits is measured each day and all the varieties are attended to with same care, be it barely fruit-bearing 3 year old Cabernet Blanc or rare Moscatel de Alejandría (the winery sells 100% Muscat among its other wines). Cusco Berga combines professional approach with love and passion to wine at every level in consent with the family spirit and wine-making BRUT NATURE RESERVA ECOLÒGIC 50 Great Sparkling Wines 2014traditions.

Tasting Notes from 50 Great Sparkling Wines of the World 2014

Brut Nature Reserva Eco 2011 – Fine lively bubble. Citurs notes.  Crisp entrance. Notable but pleasant acidity. Subtle citric flavours.

Cusco Berga received Gold and Silver awards in the annual publication 50 Great Cavas 2014

50 Great Cavas – a Wine Pleasures visit to Agustí Torelló

50 Great Cavas 2014 - Agusti TorelloTo say Mr. Agustí Torelló Mata established a prestigious winery would be an understatement, he has in fact lived and breathed wine for a lifetime. The family business and commercial brand started in 1993 but this is only a scratch on the surface of the 40 years of experience the founder already had in the industry. While he was the son of a musician and a tailor, his enthusiasm for Cava only grew through his young working experience, forced by the economic hardship of the civil war to leave school at 13 years old; Agustí started working with his uncle in a cava house. What he saw at first as some magical laboratory of no significance would eventually spark an interest and become his career and his passion.

50 Great Cavas 2014 - Agusti TorelloAfter moving to Valencia to study wine technology and travelling the world learning from each wine region he visited, the business was first born in 1954 as a wine laboratory analyzing and innovating in wine development for external wine companies. Over the years he became somewhat of a pioneer in the development of Cava fighting for the movement for recognition in the wine world. Agustí Torelló Mata now a winery in its own right stays a small family company benefiting from the very latest modern technology as well as traditional methods in cases where the quality could be compromised.

Proudly producing a “Penedés Cava” they are using 100% local grapes as they believe it is the only way to express the characteristics of the region from which such rich and varied conditions produce the best traditional cava grapes. One of only 6% of cellars making their own base wine, they ensure these old vines are producing the highest quality of grapes and closely control the entire process.

50 Great Cavas 2014 - Agusti TorelloFull of character the bodega is a wine tourist’s delight, the cellars and the visitor centre are a great representation of a modern Cava. A trip down to the cellars walks guests down the spiral stairs with beautiful roart iron hand rails and glass doors. A true difference is their desire to make the cellars less of a dark or dirty environment but instead a fresh enjoyable atmosphere, kept immaculately neat and even having artworks on the pillars.

Only producing Brut Nature and Brut, looking not to distort a classic dry taste, they also wish for their consumers to enjoy their cava as soon as possible after disgorgement. They best do this by completing the final stages of the cava process dependant on the orders they receive. Making a variety of specialty Cavas, Agustí Torelló is certainly a winery with an edge.

Tasting Notes from 50 Great Cavas 2014

50 Great Cavas 2014 - Agusti TorelloBrut Gran Reserva 2009 – Delicate ageing aroma with butter & toasted notes against a background of ripe fruit.  Fine smooth bubble. Ageing notes blend with ripe fruit & the toasted & nutty nuance. Elegant!

Rosat Trepat 2011 – Fresh summer raspberries open jubilantly on a crisp entrance . Notes of strawberries on the palate. Persistent bubbles. Crisp structure. Pleasant medium finish.

Gran Reserva 2009 – Complex with pear, quince & flowers on the nose. Creamy mouthfeel of light caramel balanced with fresh apple acidity. Long persistent finish.


50 Great Cavas 2014 – another exceptional year!

50 Great Cavas 2014 coverThe 4th edition of 50 Great Cavas 2014 by Wine Pleasures has been published.

Back in 2000, the cava world did not have a unique guide and since then the publication is sought after by bubble lovers and recognized as an authority on cavas in the wine import industry.

As always, we selected the Top 50 by looking at body, colour, clarity and bubbles. We tasted for acidity, mouth-feel and mousse, finish, balance, sweetness and overall flavour. We searched deep for primary and secondary aromas and bouquet.

50 Great Cava roducer Fermí BohigasCavas were classified and tasted according to dosage and ageing time on the lees. This year’s blind tasting has been an exceptional one as (after much debate) all of the 50 Great Cavas 2014 have scored at least 93 points. Some nice prices too ranging from 5 to 50 Euros making them affordable for not only special occasions but also for aperitifs and slow cooking meals with family and friends.

DecantaloAs many of the 50 Great Cavas tend to be difficult to find in a local wine shop, the Wine Pleasures team came up with an online solution to tasting the 50 Great Cavas anywhere in Europe thanks to a synergy with online wine retailers Decantalo.

50 Great Cava wine tasting tourNew for 2014 is a short section on wine tourism where cava lovers are provided with accommodation options when visiting some of the 50 Great Cava producers.

View and/or download the publication here>>

Further information

Anthony Swift
T. 00 34 93 687 34 57 44
E. [email protected]

50 Great Cavas – a Wine Pleasures visit to Juvé y Camps

50 Great Cavas 2014 Juvé y Camps 2Going back more than two hundred years to 1796, Joan Juvé Mir, a bold and enterprising vine grower with ideas way ahead of his time, laid the foundations of what would become the family firm of Juvé y Camps. His son, Antoni Juvé Escaiola, took over the reigns at the time of the phylloxera plague having to replant and restore vineyards to ensure continued wine production in the Penedès region.

Antoni’s work and example encouraged his son, Joan Juvé Baqués and his wife Teresa Camps Farré to produce the first sparkling wine under the “Juvé” brand in 1921.

Their two sons, Josep and Joan, joined the management of the firm at the beginning of the 1940’s. They gave a new momentum to the companies development, in particular by building a new winery on the outskirts of Sant Sadurní D’Anoia.

50 Great Cava Wine Tasting Tour 3Some years later, under the direction of Josep and Joan Juvé, a thorough restructuring of the company was undertaken with the enlarging of the underground cellars for the production and maturing of the “Cavas” as well as the bringing in of some important technical advances.
Juvé y Camps development, from father to son, over three generations, has culminated in the construction of a fine new winery for the production and ageing of still wines, in the middle of the Espiells propertycreated by the family architect, Josep Juvé Raventós.

Today Juvé y Camps focus their attention on producing Gran Reserve Cavas, producing 40% of the total production of Gran Reservas in the whole of the DO Cava. Minimum ageing for their Gran Reserve Cavas starts at 36 months. Winery visit are possible but you should organise in advance.

50 Great Cava Wine Tasting TourTasting Notes from 50 Great Cavas 2014

Gran Juvé y Camps 2008 – Green apple, ripe tropical fruit, lightly toasted bread & floral notes: almond blossom. Delicate bubble. Smooth mouthfeel. Long finish.

Reserva de la Familia 2009 – Notes of toast, brioche & fresh dough. Creamy texture. Fine bubble. Long finish. Evocative!

Brut Rosé 2012 – Raspberries, redcurrents and red cherries on the nose. Bitter entrance. Lively mouthfeel. Fruity palate.

50 Great Cava Wine Tasting Tour here.

50 Great Cavas is on Facebook and Twitter @50greatcavas #cava #50gc

Pere Venture – The Strong-willed Gentleman of Cavas

50 Great Cavas 2014 Pere VENTURASr Pere Ventura, founder of the cava house carrying his namesake, has high affinity for all things elegant. The aesthetics of Pere Ventura’s headquarters in Sant Sadurní D’Anoia bear proof of his good taste. Manicured lawns and pruned foliage adorn the site’s spacious compound. Upon entering the premises, take time to bask in the stunning interior design, which carries modernistic touches and utilizes natural materials such as stone and glass. There is nothing quite like sitting by a roaring fireplace and sipping a glass of cool cava.

50 Great Cavas 2014 Pere VENTURAVentura is generous about sharing the finer things in life with cava enthusiasts. The checkered print synonymous with Pere Ventura’s branding, wittingly reminiscent of a chessboard, evokes the feel of an intellectual and classic pastime, for one of Ventura’s ambitions is to promote the pleasures of drinking cava.

The roots of Pere Ventura’s family tree are entwined with the history of Spanish sparkling wine. In 1872, Manuel Montserrat Font, Ventura’s great-grandfather, laid the groundwork for his offspring by initiating cava production in the Penedès region of Catalonia. Meanwhile, Josep Raventós, Ventura’s grandfather, is credited with producing Spain’s first ‘Traditional Method’ cava. Raventós accumulated knowledge of the wine industry while working at the house of Champagne Mercier in Épernay, Dijon. After the Civil War drew to a close, Raventós carried the jewels of knowledge of champagne-making methods back to his homeland.

50 Great Cavas Pere VenturaIn 1991, a young Ventura stepped out of his comfort zone and left his family’s trade to start a new chapter. While Ventura’s entrepreneurship mirrors that of the men who came before him, his individuality shines through in his brand, which he founded at the tender age of 22. Cavas by Pere Ventura possess signature lightness but don’t skimp on flavour. Take note of Ventura’s handprint on the label of your next acquisition – he gives you his stamp of his approval.

 Tresor Rose Pere Ventura 50 Great Cavas 2014Tasting Notes from 50 Great Cavas 2014

Tresor Rosé NV – Wild strawberries on the nose. Explosion of fruit on the palate. Crisp short finish. Pleasant mouthfeel. Resplendent!

Cupatge D´Honor Vintage 2011 – Brioche, baked apples, vanilla & subtle citric notes. Fresh entrance & palate. Medium finish.

Tresor Brut Reserva NV – Green apples with subtle notes of almonds & pastry. Creamy entrance with balanced acidity. Fresh medium finish.

50 Great Cava Wine Tasting Tour here.

50 Great Cavas is on Facebook and Twitter @50greatcavas #cava #50gc

50 Great Cavas – A Wine Pleasures visit to Parés Baltà

Pares Balta 50 Great Cavas 2014Parés Baltà, owned by the Cusiné family, has been passed down from father to son since 1790. There are currently three active generations of this family: the grandmother, Rosa Cusiné; her son, Joan Cusiné Cusiné; and his sons, Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol. A traditional winery with young and fresh ideas making smooth, well balanced wines and cavas, created with grapes grown on their five estates. These five estates boast a mosaic of soils and microclimates, with vineyards ranging from 170m to 750m above sea level, giving each wine a unique personality.

Pares Balta 50 Great Cavas 2014The Cusiné family are 100% dedicated to caring for the vines and creating their wines with passion and thoughts, which is seen in their environmentally considerate approaches. So much so that their wines and cavas are certified as organic. A strong commitment to the natural environment encouraged the family to raise and care for their own flock of sheep which fertilize the vineyards. And more recently bees are being used to ensure that the tiny flowers are pollinated and to transmit the influence of the Mediterranean climate onto the grapes.

Pares Balta 50 Great Cavas 2014The winery can be found at the Parés Baltà masia (Penedès), dating back to 1790 and built at various stages with a range of different building materials such as adobe and stone. When restoring the old masia, the original structure was maintained and then the most up-to-date technology was installed, including various tasting rooms. The cava (cellar), in the shape of a cross with an arched roof made of solid brick, was built at the beginning of the 20th century by hand and is 10 metres underground. At this depth a temperature somewhere between 14ºC and 15ºC is constantly maintained.

Parés Baltà is very active in wine tourism. Winery visits and tastings are available daily. While it is advisable to make a reservation, on the spur of the moment show ups are catered for wherever possible.

Brut Nature 50 Great Cavas 2014Tasting Notes from 50 Great Cavas 2014

Brut Nature NV – Blend of white fruit & pastry aromas. Fresh but balanced entrance. Fruity long finish. Exquisite

Blanca Cusiné 2009 – Jammy notes of apricot, honey & figs. Fruity entrance. Creamy texture. Frothy palate. Bitter almond finish.

Brut NV – Green pears with subtle pastry notes. Balanced acidity and sweetness. Frothy mouthfeel. Short finish.