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Gramona president says Spanish fizz is in danger of becoming too splintered

Published:  16 April, 2019

The co-owner of family-owned Cava producer, Gramona, has voiced concerns over the fragmenting state of his country’s sparkling industry after too many designations have sprung up delineating Spanish fizz.

Currently, producers can market a sparkling wine under the Cava ‘brand’, under the new Corpinnat designation, the DO Penedes designation and even the generic Spain-wide ‘Vi Escumós de Qualitat’ certification.

In addition, the authorities introduced another designation in 2013 called ‘Clàssic Penedès’ – an appellation within DO Penedes that offered an alternative path for those producing quality sparkling wine who wished to leave DO Cava.

“We're in danger of utterly baffling consumers,” said Xavier Gramona. “How do you explain to the trade and consumers that premium Spanish fizz can potentially be made under these myriad of designations? We run the risk of alienating our audience.”

Only in January, Gramona and eight other producers announced they were leaving the Cava DO to set up breakaway group Corpinnat.

Corpinnat was part of a concerted effort by the group to tie Cava production to the area of Penedes – the “birthplace” of sparkling wine in Spain.

“There is no great wine appellation in the world that doesn't protect its integrity of origin. However, for political reasons, the Spanish authorities simply drew boundaries around the municipalities in which all the Cava producers were located, including La Rioja, Zaragoza, Navarra and Valencia,” he said.

But Gramona also told Harpers he hasn’t “closed the door on Cava for good” and continues to have “productive discussions” with the Consejo Regulador president Javier Pages about a possible return.

Several conditions would have to be met however before the group rejoins the DO.

For that to happen, “they would have to agree to allow Corpinnat to exist alongside Cava, which may not be possible. However, Javier Pages has said he would like us to return. So let's wait and see. The other option is to petition for the creation of a standalone Corpinnat DO, which would take at least five years. Yet I'm not entirely convinced this is the right course of action either,” he said.