Catalonia: Freixinet Wine Cellars
France has champagne and Catalonia has cava. Both are traditional method sparkling wines and both care DO – denominacion de origen – label (only champagne produced in France can be called champagne and only cava produced in Catalonia can be cava). In fact, Freixinet is the world’s largest producer of sparkling wines. The winery and cellars are located at Sadurni D’Anola, just south of Barcelona, and an extensive tour takes you through the historic cellars and the tasting at the end. Mostly the grapes of three local varieties are used for cava – macabeu, xarelo, and parellada – that are then combined in different proportions to make the cupages and sugar content determines dryness from extra brut to dulce. The cellar tour is fantastic, as you go deep underground to the see the mold-covered bottles. And finally the best part – tasting!