Avinyo Cava Reserva Rose 2016
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.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
What are the different types of Champagne and sparkling wine?
Beloved for its lively bubbles, sparkling wine is the ultimate beverage for any festivity, whether it's a major celebration or a mere merrymaking of nothing much! Sparkling wine is made throughout the winemaking world, but only can be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France and is made using what is referred to as the "traditional method." Other regions have their own specialties—Crémant in other parts of France, Cava in Spain and Prosecco in Italy, to name a few. New World regions like California, Australia and New Zealand enjoy the freedom to make many styles, with production methods and traditions defined locally. In a dry style, Champagne and sparkling wine goes with just about any type of food. Sweet styles are not uncommon and among both dry and sweet, you'll find white, rosé—or even red!—examples.
How is Champagne and sparkling wine made?
Champagne, Crémant, Cava and many other sparkling wines of the world are made using the traditional method, in which the second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) takes place inside the bottle. With this method, spent yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful, toasted bread or brioche qualities and in many cases, the capacity to age. For Prosecco, the carbonation process usually occurs in a stainless steel tank (before bottling) to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas imminent in this style.
What gives Champagne and sparkling wine its bubbles?
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel.
How do you serve Champagne and sparkling wine?
Ideally for storing Champagne and sparkling wine in any long-term sense, it should be at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool Champagne and sparkling wine down to about 40F to 50F. (Most refrigerators are colder than this.) As for drinking Champagne and sparkling wine, the best glasses have a stem and flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) to show.
How long does Champagne and sparkling wine last?
Most sparkling wines like Prosecco, Cava or others around the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early consumption. Wines made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release can typically improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for guidance.