The temple of Cava


As for specialties I have not taken too much delight in these three months, but it looks as if in the last few days I am catching up with what I had missed. After pintxos and xurros, indeed, today the turn of cava has come. For those to whom the name does not ring a bell (it was my case before I left for Catalonia), it is a select kind of wine, quite similar to champagne, made with special kinds of grapes which are grown in Catalonia, especially in the county called Penedés.

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Taking the opportunity offered to me by a school trip to Sant Sadurnì d'Anoia, therefore, I visited the Codorniu estate, where one of the most famous cava is produce and preserved in cellars. Sant Sadurnì is a nice village located right in the middle of the above-mentioned county (Alt Penedés, to be precise), a few kilometres from its administrative center (Vilafranca del Penedés) and just 30 kilometres far from Vilanova i la Geltrù. The estate has not been chosen randomly: the Codorniu family has been producing cava for more than 100 years, with great success.

The venue itself adds a special touch of magic to the visit: most of the building in the estate, indeed, were designed by the famous Modernist architect Domenech i Montaner (who also realised many buildings in Barcelona, in the Eixample district). The distinctive traits of the Modernist style are indeed easily recognizable, and contribute to create an enchanting atmosphere together with the lush garden. Anyway, the core of the visit obviously consists of the production of the wine.

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After a brief but useful video which introduces the history of the Codorniu family, indeed, a graceful miniature train will bring you around the garden and finally into the cellars building. After having the chance to sniff the scent of various kinds of cava, you will then plunge into the deepest secrets of the temple. Down into the old cellars, indeed, it is possible to see how cava has been produced for many decades. Your unforgettable experience will be topped by an exciting mini-train tour in the dark tunnels connecting the various cellars. After speeding around, almost touching the old wooden barrels or the dusty bottles in which the wine was preserved, it will be finally time for some rest and, at last, degustation.

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Sipping a flute of cava, therefore, you will get the chance to taste one of the top products of Catalonia and to appreciate the result of more than one century of conscientious work.


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