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It may be grown on soils that range from limy and half-permeable to calcareous and sand covered—and made in styles that range from zero dosage to 50 grams per litre—but there’s just one method to making Cava: traditionelle. That’s just a bit of the knowledge being dispensed to some of the nation’s top wine professionals during February’s Cava Academy.
Launched in 2020 for the first time ever in the U.S., the Cava Academy is part of a multi-pronged effort by D.O. Cava to expand Americans’ understanding of their methode traditionelle-made sparkling wine. And, to knight some of America’s top wine professionals with the title of Cava Educator and Ambassador.
Over the course of three Monday sessions, sommeliers, educators, and aspiring ambassadors will descend on Manhattan’s Corkbuzz for the chance to earn the official Cava Sommelier accreditation from the D.O. Cava. Under the tutelage of Master of Wine Mollie Battenhouse and Master Sommeliers James Bube and Mia Van de Water, students will learn about Cava’s range of styles, native grapes, quality-focused production techniques, ageing capabilities, and diverse terroir aspects—such as the soil profiles of Cava vineyards in the Penedés region.
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Through tastings and course work, candidates for the accreditation will learn about Cava’s possibilities for complexity, as well as gain an in-depth understanding of everything from quality levels to how Cava’s nine allowable varieties influence the resulting wines. They’ll also learn about Cava’s newest regulations, and be introduced to some of the D.O.’s most important wineries. Located largely in the Catalonia region of Penedès, the D.O. Cava comprises about 38,000 hectares of vineyards and more than 6,800 wine grape growers, and 280 wineries.
The course will culminate in a written exam and blind tasting, with all who pass earning the official Cava Educator and Ambassador accreditation. Best of all, the three candidates who score highest on the exam will win a fully funded trip to Penedès—located less than an hour south of Barcelona—and the chance to visit Cava winemakers and some of the most famous vineyards in all of Spain.
Held at Manhattan’s Corkbuzz on February 10, 17, and 24, the 2020 Cava Academy is limited to 45 participants. To be accepted into the academy, prospective candidates must apply online and submit a short, one-paragraph essay detailing why they want to participate—and even include which dream wineries they’d visit on a winning trip. D.O. Cava highly encourages wine professionals to stay in touch and keep up-to-date with Cava-related news, including upcoming promotional events such as Cava Discovery Week and Cava Summit, as well as future Cava Academy dates, cities, and submission guidelines by emailing email@example.com with subject line “Subscribe Cava.” Visit the official U.S. website docava.us for more information.