The production of Cava is based in the south Catalonia, just south of Barcelona. Although this is the home of Cava within Spain, 7 different regions are allowed to produce Cava. The first commercially significant vintage of Cava was 1872. The wine was based on cool secondary fermentation in underground cellars, grapes sourced from high altitude vineyards yielding grapes with higher acidity and heavy bottles to resist explosion. Another force which made an impact was the vine louse phyolloxera striking the Champagne of France.
Climate: Moderate temperatures and 16-18 inches of rain a year near Barcelona yield the prototypical Cava.
Soil: Deep clay-chalk near Barcelona with soils varying by region, as you might imagine.
Grape Varities: Allowed grapes include Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo, Chardonnay, Malvasia, as well as the following red grapes: Garnacha, Monastrell and Trepat. Outside of Catalonia Macabeo is the major grape for Cava. Most harvests start in late August to maintain natural acidity.