140 Year Old Cava Producer Brings Bubbly Romance to Our Valentine’s Tasting Bar

The story of Raventós i Blanc is in many ways the story of Cava itself. The property was originally purchased in 1497 by Llorenc Codorníu. It was passed down through a line of Codorníus until 1659, when Anna Codorníu married Miquel Raventós. Today, the Raventós i Blanc winery sits directly across the street from Codorníu’s visitors center, and their geographical opposition reflects the divergent paths that the two families have taken. Codorníu is a massive commercial enterprise, churning out close to four million cases of wine a year. Raventós is at the other end of the spectrum, producing small quantities of artisanal cava on a family-owned estate.

The oldest Cava producer in the world brings romance to Valentine's Day.

The first bottles of methode Champenoise sparkling wine in Spain were produced by Josep Raventós i Fatjó in 1872. These were made to supply the French, whose own Champagne vineyards had been ravaged by phylloxera. A little over one hundred years later, in 1986, Josep Maria Raventós i Blanc founded the Raventós i Blanc winery. “The key is having your own vines,” he said. “Only from a deep knowledge and direct management of the vineyard can a bodega obtain quality grapes with personality, which is the basic distinction amongst different producers.” Those principles are carried on today by his son, Manuel, chairman of Raventós i Blanc.

Will drank a bottle of the Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rosato 2007 during a fantastic meal at Tio Pole, a tapas/wine bar on the west side. For the record, this isn’t the kind of “tapas” place that has popped up on every block in the city, charging ridiculous prices for plates the size of quarters. This is great, authentic Spanish cuisine and absolutely worth the trip into the city. Will was so blown away by this graceful bubbly that he ordered it for Amanti Vino the very next day. How can you go wrong paying $22.99 for a vintage Cava produced by the family that invented the stuff!?!?

Steve Tanzer  described it as follows on the way to giving it 92 points: ”

“Pale salmon-skin color, with a fine bead. Delicate, precise aromas of strawberry, red currant, spicecake and jasmine. Light-bodied and focused, offering spicy red berry and citrus flavors and an undercurrent of tangy minerality. More graceful than most pink Cavas – and more than a few rosé Champagnes. Finishes with impressive clarity and mineral-driven persistence.”

We couldn’t agree more and you can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day without some great pink bubbly. We will have it open at the tasting bar tomorrow, starting at 2 pm. It’s a date!


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