This Petillant sometimes known as Vi D’Agulla, the Spanish Catalan term for a prickly wine being that it is bottled with a little natural effervescence. And it is also the traditional summertime quaffer of the Penedès region of Catalonia, Spain. This wine is vibrant and refreshing, with a floral nose and palate of citrus and tropical fruits. The perfect wine for the summer heat! You may need more than one bottle of this wine.
Up until the late 19th century, the Esteve family of Avinyó subsisted on the growing and selling of cereal crops, legumes, and a little bit of wine, all grown around their traditional horseshoe shaped farmhouse, Can Fontanal. But when phylloxera crossed the border from France into Spain, the family was dealt a double blow. The pest completely destroyed their vineyards and their savings when concerns over the louse caused a run on the region’s largest banks.
Faced with starting over, Joan Esteve Marcè saw opportunity in hardship and developed a plan to pull the family back from the verge of bankruptcy. He traveled to France in search of phylloxera resistant vines. When he returned to the estate, all of the Esteve Family vineyards were replanted with new rootstocks immune to the pest. His calculated gamble paid off, and he spent the rest of his life modernizing the winery and increasing production.
In the same spirit of innovation that led Joan Esteve Marcè to France, Joan Esteve Nadal brought the first tractor to Penedès in 1957. He expanded the family’s holdings to four parcels totaling about 40 hectares and replanted many of the vineyards with the indigenous varieties of Xarello, Parellada, and Macabeu. As a result, Avinyó farms only estate-owned vineyards, a rarity among cava producers.
Today, another generation is at the helm. Four siblings blend tradition, technology, and a relentless pursuit of quality to make their distinctive cavas. Long lees aging, on-demand disgorgement, vintage dating, and ever evolving organic farming all signal that the Esteve family will keep innovating and excelling for generations to come.
Winery/Producer: Avinyó Cava
Grape(s): 70% Muscat de Frontignan, 20% Macabeo, and 10% Xarel-lo
Style: White, dry, sparkling
Origin: Avinyó, Penedès, Catalonia, Spain
Vinification: After a nighttime harvest, the grapes are very gently pressed in a pneumatic press. The alcoholic fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is then cold stabilized before the beginning of secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks with the addition of native yeast and raw cane sugar; and the use of Charmat method, or sealing of the tank, to allow the wine to naturally carbonate. The wine is bottled in all its freshness in January.
Aging: Aged in stainless steel.
% ABV: 10.5%