1. Spain is home to so many vineyards, bodegas, and wineries that are famous around the world for top-quality wine. In Catalonia, you’ll find many local bodegas that produce cava, sparkling wine that is Spain’s answer to champagne. You’ll find this bubbly delight all over Barcelona, but here are a few places where you can go to really enjoy the best Catalan cava around!

What is cava?

Catalan cava is a delicious way to taste history and culture!

Cava, which locally has the nicknames champán or xampany, is sparkling wine from Catalonia. As with champagne in France, there are requirements from the growing conditions to the grapes to the production process for a sparkling wine to be labeled as cava. Cava production in Catalonia goes all the way back to 1851, and got the name cava (cave or cellar, in Catalan) from the place where it was made. Catalan cava must come from Catalonia, using a list of approved grapes. Most commonly, Macabeu, Parellada and Xarello are the grapes of choice, but others may be used. There are many levels of sweetness, ranging from brut nature (very little sugar) to dolç (sweet dessert wine). Lastly, it’s important to note that cava can either be with or rosé wine.

Where to try it in Barcelona

You can order a glass of cava in most bars and restaurants in Barcelona, but here are a few places where you should go to have an extra special experience.

  • El Xampanyet: one of the most famous cava spots in town. El Xampanyet is a traditional cava bar that also serves amazing tapas, too. This bar is small and filled with locals and tourists alike, so be prepared to stand or wait a bit for a table. There is a wide variety of wine and cava to choose from with an extensive tapas menu. In the heart of the city, you won’t find a better spot to try authentic Catalan cava and cuisine. Address: Carrer de Montcada, 22
  • Can Paixano: this cava bar is a Barcelona institution. Close to the beach and Port Vell, this little bar is always packed with locals looking for a cheap glass of cava and some tasty bites. Sandwiches are the specialty here, with local delicacies like Iberian ham, chorizo, and Manchego cheese. You can’t beat the price, and the atmosphere is something to be experienced. Address: Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 7
  • La Vinya del Senyor: If Can Paixano is to crowded, hop on over to La Vinya del Senyor. It’s just a stone’s throw away and has an excellent selection of wines and cava. This restaurant is a bit more formal than the others, and is better suited for those who want to relax and enjoy views of the neighboring Santa Maria del Mar cathedral. Address: Plaza Santa Maria, 5

Wineries near Barcelona to visit

Visiting a vineyard or bodega to try Catalan cava makes for an amazing day trip that you’ll never forget. One of the most popular cava wineries to visit is Freixenet in the Penedès wine region outside of Barcelona. For just about 16€, you can take the train from the city, go on a guided tour of the winery, and sample a few glasses of cava, all included in the price! Just about a hour away by train, you can’t beat this when it comes to experiencing real Catalan cava.

Another popular cava winery to visit is Codorníu, a family of winegrowers whose history goes back more than 450 years. This visit is similar in that you can learn all about the history of the winery and cava process from a guide and sample some of the bodega’s finest cavas. Another great option is Alta Alella, the closest winery to Barcelona. This winery produces organically-farmed Catalan cava. Not only can you sample delicious wine, you can explore the natural park that surrounds the winery.

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Want to learn more about cava and try it for yourself? Come stay with Olala Homes in Barcelona while you have the adventure of a lifetime!