D.O. Cava vs. Catalonian independence

I am pretty sure that you have not missed the latest events in Catalonia. I try to keep myself updated through my friends in the area (on both sides of the struggle) and follow the media as everyone else.

But the latest weeks I have also received more enquiries than normal from students writing WSET-papers on cava, asking me about the future of the D.O. These students have not asked me about the ongoing independence quarrels with Madrid, but it got me thinking…

Although I have many times talked about the independence “issue” with many of the winemakers, I have never really thought about the implications it would have on the D.O.
As the rules state now, cava can be produced in 159 municipalities, spread out over the provinces; Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, Girona, La Rioja, Álava, Zaragoza, Navarra, Valencia and Badajoz. As you realise the majority of these are OUTSIDE Catalonia. So if Catalonia got its independence, what would happen?
As far as I know a D.O. is an area within ONE country. If that is the case, would that mean that cava would only be made in Catalonia and all the other provinces would lose their right to call their sparkling “cava”?
Since the regulatory board of the D.O. cava is actually situated in Vilafranca del Penedès, I guess they would decide in favour of their own area, which does have both the history and the production quantity on their side. But it is still a very interesting question.


I will have to look in to this some more…

4 Replies to “D.O. Cava vs. Catalonian independence”

  1. Hola Anna! Yes a moot point. You will probably already know that the big players Friexenet & Codorníu have made plans to move their Business Offices to outside of Cataluña, should independence go ahead. I wonder how this will impact on negotiations, the more so as Señor Bonet, who is from one of the owning families of Freixenet, is also the President of the Consejo Regulador DO Cava.

    Also, you may know that some years ago when Cataluña first started to seriously raise the issue of independence, there was opposition mobilised in the rest of Spain suggesting that products made in Cataluña should be boycotted. I know that for example, Cava made in the Valencia region enjoyed a spike in demand and sales, to the point of at least one producer running out before the Christmas of that year. Cava made in Cataluña suffered some loss of market share. Plus, to this day, there is a promotional campaign pushing ‘Cava Valenciano’

    1. Hi Colin,
      I know, it is terrible that companies are planing on moving, cava companies or not, since it will be a loss to the area.
      I know that Mr Bonet must be in a rather tricky situation since he is both head of the DO and in the board at Freixenet.
      When the boycott started some years ago I remember that some of the smaller producers, that had only sold within Spain, contacted me to try to start exporting. of course there are always many sides to a question and the independence issue has many sides, of which we have not seen all yet I’m sure.
      But talking about the DO… have you ever heard about a DO being geographically “split up” on two countries?

  2. What an interesting topic and what an extraordinary situation. The formation of new countries is so rare in the western world today and this is of course only one in a line of issues that follows and also a topic that not many even consider when debating the independence. But I think it’s really interesting.

    Please keep us updated!

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