Visiting Recaredo, introduction

I will start with a few words about Cava. What is Cava? It is a sparkling wine made in the exact same way than Champagne. The grapes used for Cava, from the most planted to the least, are Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada, Chardonnay for the white and Garnacha and Pinot Noir, completed with many other grapes like Monastrell for the red. According to the Institut del Cava, There is 244 producers of Cava and about 250 million bottles produced each year. In comparison, Champagne has 300 “maisons de champagne” and around 5000 independent producers. Each year over 300 million bottles are put on the market. The number of independent is indeed much higher in Champagne. Or, conversely, Cava is much more concentrated. The other big difference is the price of the fruit. In Champagne, it is sold between 8 and 9€ the kilo (1,2 kilo is required to make one bottle), whereas it is around 60¢ for the best fruits in the region of Cava. That, alone, explains the price difference between a bottle of Champagne and a bottle of Cava. Needless to speak about the difference of fame between both regions. Finally, even though 96% of the Cava is produced in Catalonia, the appellation Cava DO is available all over Spain. This is a disputable inheritance of the earliest uses regarding the word and appellation Cava. But what you can keep in mind is that almost exclusively, Cava is from the region of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, next to Barcelona.

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Recaredo is a very special estate in the world of Cava. Recaredo works in biodynamie (and, as far as I know, they are the only one). They produce only Brut Nature (which means that there is no added sugar, no “dosage”). For a few years, they have taken away Chadonnay and Pinot Noir from their blends, sticking to the local Xarel-lo, Macabeu, Parellada, Garnacha and Monastrell. They are an independent family owned estate who owns around 50 ha, 23 of them being one single plot in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. In addition to paying a lot of attention to wine growing, their wines are aged a very long time, in most cases more than 48 months. Their style is powerful and yet cristal clear wines. One can finally add that they also produce still wines under the name Celler Credo.

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After tasting a few wines in Finland, we have planned a visit of the estate in Spring 2015. We had the privilege to spend 4 hours visiting extensively the vineyards, the estate cellar and the wines. This was an exceptional opportunity to immerse ourselves in the world of Recaredo. A very productive stay that helped us greatly to develop our understanding of the wines.

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