Pepe Raventos is a very interesting fellow indeed. His family were, with the historied house of Codorniu, very much integral to the inception and development of Cava as we know it. After studying enology in Madrid, Pepe Raventos worked alongside the Loire’s late, great Didier Dagueneau, Alsace’s Phillippe Blanc, Burgundy’s Olivier Lamy, and Germany’s Harald Hexamer.
With all that experience under his belt he decided to remove himself from the Cava DO and with his new winery Raventos i Blanc create an entirely new designation for super premium traditional method sparkling wine. He calls this Conca del Riu Anoia (or Anoia River Basin), with a view towards establishing it as a separate DO over the coming years.
Just to give you an idea of the scope of his ambitions, here are the current stipulations for the descriptor:
CONCA DEL RIU ANOIA
The following requirements and commitments must be adhered to:
- The wine must be 100% estate produced and bottled. The winery may not buy finished wine or ageing bottles and may not have done so in the three years prior to joining the new DO.
- The wine must be at least 80% Estate grown. The following restrictions will be enforced:
- – The grower must demonstrate a 100% dedication to agriculture.
- – There must be oversight and control of any third-party viticultural company employed.
- – The vineyard must be an average of at least 10 years old. At least 20 years old would be ideal.
- – The vines must be cropped to a maximum of 10,000 kg / ha.
- – The date of harvest will be determined by the taste of the berries, the sugar/acid balance, the health of the vine and the weather forecast.
- – All grapes will be hand-picked and transported in containers weighing less than 2,000 lbs. “Whole Grape Winery”.
- – 100% organic and biodynamic viticulture.
- – 100% Native Grape Varieties in all cuvees.
- – The wine must age for at least 18 months.
- – Always vintage, nature comes first.
- – Origin: Valley of the River Anoia. This area extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the Catalan Mountains and from the River Anoia to the River Foix. Everything will be determined based on geology.
We sat down with him after a tasting and lunch with Cru Imports at Toronto’s The Chase Fish and Oyster for a chat about his aspirations for the wines of Conca del Riu Anoia.
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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And those sparkling wines really took his breath away.