Nine Spanish producers to leave the Cava DO

Nine sparkling wine producers in Spain’s Penedés region are to quit the Cava denomination and bottle under a new, quality-focused label called Corpinnat.

The move from Gramona, Recaredo, Torelló, Llopart, Nadal, Sabaté i Coca, Mas Candí, Huget-Can Feixes and Júlia Vernet follows months of negotiations between the producers and the Cava Regulatory Board.

The nine producers account for only 1% of Cava production, but 30% of Gran Reserva Cava production and six out of the 13 Parajes Calificados – Cava’s new premium classification.

Members of Corpinnat must adhere to a strict set of production rules, including 100% organic grapes, manual harvest, at least 18 months’ ageing (but with some wines aged for more than 30 and more than 60 months), the inclusion of the wine grower in the value chain and carrying out all vinification in their own winery.

The first sparkling wines labelled as Corpinnat – but not Cava – will be released this spring, along with the words ‘Vino Espumoso de Calidad, Método Tradicional’ (Quality Sparkling Wine, Traditional Method).

A spokesperson for Gramona told Decanter.com, ‘It is going to take about three months for us to finish our Cava stocks before we release the new bottles using Corpinnat labels.’

Corpinnat – roughly translated as ‘Born in the Heart of Penedés’ – was first discussed in 2015 by descendants of the founder members the ‘Agrupación de Elaboradores de Cava’ (Association of Cava Producers) in the 1970s, who were concerned about the future of quality Cava production.

The Asociación de Viticultores y Elaboradores Corpinnat was created in 2017, with the aim of promoting specific areas in the Cava DO, and highlighting quality moves made over the past 50 years by producers who aspire ‘to have Cava considered among the finest sparkling wines of the world’.

Gramona, currently co-president of Corpinnat with Recaredo, said the new venture had been greeted with ‘scepticism’ by the Cava Regulatory Board and, despite some ‘constructive’ discussions, the producers had been left with ‘no other choice’ but to leave the DO.

In 2012, producer Raventos i Blanc  quit the Cava DO, adopting an uncertified appellation designation, Conca Del Riu Anoia .