The name ‘Cava’ was given for referring to Spanish sparkling wines, in distinction to their French equivalents. It is made with native grapes like Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. This Spanish bubbly undergoes the méthode champenoise, a complex process where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, deep within the cool, underground caves that give Cava its name. It’s production in Spain owes a lot to the early 19th century research of one man, Luis Justo Villanueva, who introduced this practice to the Catalan agricultural department and sought to promote it amongst local wine-producers.
Because of the different grapes and climate of the area, Cava took on its own unique characteristics. Spanish Cava is more dry than Champagne and is often described as lemony, light and perfumed.