Avinyo Cava Reserva 2017
Up until the late 19th century, the Esteve family of Avinyó subsisted on the growing and selling of cereal crops, legumes, and a little bit of wine, all grown around their traditional horseshoe-shaped farmhouse, Can Fontanal. But when phylloxera crossed the border from France into Spain, the family was dealt a double blow. The pest completely destroyed their vineyards and their savings when concerns over the louse caused a run on the region’s largest banks.
Faced with starting over, Joan Esteve Marcè saw the opportunity in hardship and developed a plan to pull the family back from the verge of bankruptcy. He traveled to France in search of phylloxera-resistant vines. When he returned to the estate, all of the Esteve Family vineyards were replanted with new rootstocks immune to the pest. His calculated gamble paid off, and he spent the rest of his life modernizing the winery and increasing production. In the same spirit of innovation that led Joan Esteve Marcè to France, Joan Esteve Nadal brought the first tractor to Penedès in 1957. He expanded the family’s holdings to four parcels totaling about 40 hectares and replanted many of the vineyards with the indigenous varieties of xarello, parellada, and macabeu. As a result, Avinyó farms only estate-owned vineyards, a rarity among cava producers.
Today, another generation is at the helm. Four siblings blend tradition, technology, and a relentless pursuit of quality to make their distinctive cavas. Extended lees aging, on-demand disgorgement, vintage dating, and ever-evolving organic farming all signal that the Esteve family will keep innovating and excelling for generations to come.
A superior source of white grapes for the production of Spain’s prized sparkling wine, Cava, the Penedes region is part of Catalunya and sits just south of Barcelona. Medio Penedès is the most productive source of the Cava grapes, Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. Penedes also grows Garnacha and Tempranillo (here called Ull de Llebre in Catalan) for high quality reds and rosès.
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.