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Cava continues to be shaken as producers abandon Cava and set up a competitor hierarchy

Cava launched a fresh PR offensive this week to encourage drinkers to the brand, but rebellious producers who set up the Corpinnat as a high end Sparkling wine exclusively from organic grapes grown in Penedès have been busy setting up their own DO.

The Corpinnat group have been working with Spain’s still wine appellation Penedès DO to set up a larger organic Sparkling wine DO. Currently the 18 sparkling wine producers in Penedès DO call their wines Classic Penedès DO. The new DO would not use the name Penedès on the label.

All of the wines for the new DO would have to be organic and come exclusively from Penedès. Currently neither of these rules apply to Cava. The new DO would place 9 Corpinnat producers at the top of a hierarchy similar to a Grand Cru, with the other producers being the next tier down.

The move has been seen by some as an attack on Cava DO who some say are dominated by a small number of brands selling high volume, low quality sparkling wine.

The rules for Corpinnat?
• All grapes must be from within a defined area within the Penedès DO (spanning 22,000 hectares) and at least 75% of the grapes used must be from vineyards owned by the winery.
• Any grapes bought from growers must be done so at a minimum price of €0.70/kilogram (average prices in the region are about €0.40/kg).
• They must be certified organic (at least) and the crop harvested by hand.
• 90% of the grapes used must be indigenous varieties: Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Trepat only being permitted to make up 10% of any final blend. Garnacha, Monastrell, Sumoll and Xarel·lo Rosat meanwhile are the only red grapes that may be used for rosé.
• The grapes must be vinified entirely at the winery.
• The minimum ageing of the wines is 18 months on lees.