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Producers desert Cava DO for its ‘detrimental’ image

Sparkling producers in the Penedes wine zone of Spain are abandoning the Cava appellation and branding their wines 'Spanish sparkling wine'.

Mas Comtal: Cava brand is ‘detrimental’

Josep Albet of Albet I Noya winery, current president of the Regulatory Council of Penedes, told Decanter.com many growers were frustrated with the poor brand image of Cava.

They had decided to market their wines outside the DO framework, he said.

‘The extremely low price that Cava commands is sealed in many markets. In addition it is very difficult for high-quality Cava producers to justify their prices against companies operating under the same generic Cava name, that sell bottles at under €2 to supermarkets,’ Albet said.

Pablo Chamorro, Spanish wine author and expert in organic viticulture, said that nine growers had already abandoned the Cava DO to his knowledge, and that five more would potentially desert the appellation over the next 12 months.

Marta Milà, proprietor of the Mas Comtal winery said that she had left the DO in 2011 because the Cava brand was ‘detrimental, not beneficial to my commercial needs.’

Over 95% of Cava is produced in Penedes, although growers in a total of eight wine regions have the right to bottle Cava in Spain.

According to Albet, one of his forthcoming proposals to the council will be to shrink the existing appellation size drastically.

‘Another problem is that the Cava appellation is too wide, covering major parts of Catalunya, Aragon etc. It is too much to control, understand and regulate. I always believe that small is beautiful.’

Albet said he is also preparing a recommendation to have the entire Penedes wine zone certified as organic, in order to further add value and differentiate the region’s wines.

Written by James Lawrence

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