Cava is what Spain calls its sparkling wine. The Cava region is just south of Barcelona. We decided on our last day in Barcelona to visit Cava and tour at least one winery. It is a very easy 45-minute train trip from Placa de Catalunya station to the train stop in the town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia.
There are two big bodegas that produce Cava within walking distance of this train stop, Freixenet and Codorniu. We stopped in at Freixenet first because it is directly in front of the train station. Codorniu is about a 20-minute walk away. Here, we are told that both of these bodegas offer wine tours and tasting by appointment only. Fortunately at Freixenet it was a light visitor day, and we were able to book a 12:45 tour in English.
We had time to kill so we walked into the town of Sant Sadurni. What we found was Cava land. It seems that this tiny town is all about Cava. It bills itself as the “Capital del Cava.”Each year the town celebrates the Cava harvest with various festivities. There are banners hanging from high street lights advertising the celebration that runs from September 26 to October 14. The town is so into Cava that even its metal auto barriers are in the shape of Champagne corks. As we walked the town streets, we found several small bodegas that produce Cava.
The Freixenet winery is the leading exporter of Cava wine in Spain. Each year they ship millions of bottles of their sparkling wine throughout the world and much of it to the U.S. The tour is one and a half hours long and includes a ride on a trolley that takes us throughout the mammoth facility. The winery has a storage capacity of one hundred eighty million bottles. Just imagine how much space that requires. The tour concludes in their beautiful tasting room where we are able to sample the Freixenet Brut. Freixenet also has a huge merchandise and wine shop. The only things that we’re willing to carry home are a mouse pad and a serving tray.
On a side note, one of the four current family owners is Gloria Ferrer, who also happens to own the Gloria Ferrer Winery in Sonoma County’s Carneros wine region.
We wish we had more time to visit one of the other cava producers and explore the surrounding vineyards of this area, but tomorrow it is time to head home. We definitely would’ve visited Bodega Torres, another two train stops away. We have enjoyed our visits to Marimar Torres in the Russian River Valley, owned by a family member of owners of Bodega Torres.
Our trip to Spain has been a wonderful experience. We will definitely be shopping for Spanish wines to add to our cellar and regular consumption.