Terroir & Vineyards

Gran Castillo Rocio

D.O. Cava

First bottles of sparkling wine were produced in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Penedés, in 1872. The early growth was coincided with the arrival of phylloxera in the 1880s, which led to rapid expansion due to re-plantation with Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo – the local trio used for Cava today.

The name “Cava” was adapted in 1970 when Spain agreed to abandon the usage of the potentially misleading term “Champaña”, and the word originates from Catalonia where it means “Cellar”. After Spain joined the EU in 1986, it was insisted that Cava should be made from grapes grown from prescribed regions. As a result Cava can come from a list of municipalities all over Spain. However, 95% of the volume of Cava is produced in Catalonia, chiefly around the village of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia in Penedés.

Vineyards are predominantly planted trellis system and pruned in either Cordot de Royat or Guyot. Cava is almost made exclusively from the trio of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo, but some red Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha or Monastrell may also be used to make rose.

Cava has to be made by the traditional method, just like Champagne. It has to be bottled aged on its lees for a minimum of 9 months before being disgorged.

Landscape and Terroir

Vineyard are largely planted some 15 km from the coast around Sant Sadurní d’Anoia and Vilafranca del Penedés at 200m above sea level on a small plateau. Soils are low in organic content and are generally sandy clay with limestone subsoil, which provide excellent drainage.


Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. Frost is not very common. Annual precipitation is around 500mm. As moving further inland and uphill, the climate gradually becomes more continental with more extreme temperature and with higher precipitation.

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