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Cava announces new premium category Cava del Paraje

A new classification of Cava has been launched by The Cava Regulatory Board called Cava del Paraje. The new classification is specific to the DO of Cava and differs from Spain’s Grandes Pagos de Espana certification. The new classification was announced in May but officially launched this week. To qualify Cava del Paraje wines must be made from grapes from vines that are at least 10 years old. Grapes must be hand harvested from vineyards with a maximum output of 8,000kg per hectare. Fermentation must be carried out at the estate and have a maximum yield of 48 hectolitres per hectare. The initial base wine must be fermented in bottle for a minimum of 36 months. They can only be produced as Brut wines. Currently it's estimated that 450,000 bottles of the 30 million bottles of premium Cava produced would qualify.