Visiting Cava Codorníu – A must stop for Barcelona Wine Travel
Jul 25, 2023, Updated Sep 13, 2023
A visit to Cava Codorníu, the biggest winery in Spain and the first to produce Cava, is definitely a must for any wine lover visiting Barcelona Spain, and anyone looking for a great historical (and entertaining) winery experience. Explore what you can expect from a visit to this historic winery in a stunning region!
- Raventós Codorníu is the oldest family company in Spain, and also the biggest winery in Spain.
- Has an old and rich history (over 450 years).
- The property is considered a National Historical-Artistic Heritage as of 1976.
- Known for inventing Cava.
- They produce 90 million bottles of wine a year.
- 30 km of caves (or around 18 miles of caves).
- With the introduction of the Anna de Codorníu brand in 1984, they were also the first to produce cava from Chardonnay grapes (this is in addition to the traditional Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes).
Who is Codorníu
Raventós Codorníu is a winery located in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, in the Penedès region of Northwest Spain, approximately 30 miles outside Barcelona. Known around the world for its Cavas (sparkling wines made in the traditional Champenoise method) Codorníu is a testament to the passion and dedication of the Raventós family, who have been producing wines for over 450 years.
The Codorníu family started in the wine industry in 1551. Codorníu heiress, Anna, married Miquel Raventós, joining two winemaking families together. Their future heirs kept the Raventós name, but Anna’s surname, Codorníu would become the brand name.
In 1872, Josep Raventós Fatjó produced the first bottle of cava by applying the method of sparkling wine used in Champagne (known as the traditional method outside of the Champagne region) to a combination of the local grape varieties of Macabeo, the Xarel·lo, and the Parellada. Hence the beginning of a new tradition in Spain.
Josep’s son, Manuel, later took charge of the company and focused on cava production. He also led charge on building a state of the art winery, designed by architect Puig i Cadafalch, which became classified as a National Historic and Artistic Monument in 1976, and is also referred to as “Cava Cathedral”.
In the last century The Raventós Codorníu group has since acquired more than a dozen other wineries throughout Spain, and also Argentina (Séptima) and California (Artesa).
Visiting Cava Codorníu Winery
A visit to Codorníu is an incredible opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the Catalan region, as well as to taste some of the finest Cavas in the world.
The winery is surrounded by vineyards, with the Montserrat mountains in the distance. The scenery alone is enough to make a visit to Codorníu worthwhile. However, the winery offers much more than just a pretty view. Visitors can take a tour of the winery and learn about the production process of their wines and Cavas. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who are fun and passionate about wine and eager to share their expertise with visitors.
During the tour, visitors will learn about the grape varieties used to produce the different wines, as well as the aging process and the traditional methods used to produce these sparkling wines. Visitors will also learn about the history of the Raventós family and the impact they have had on the wine industry in Catalonia. The tour is an amazing opportunity to learn about the cultural significance of wine in the region, as well as the traditions and customs associated with winemaking.
After the tour, visitors can enjoy a wine tasting session, where they can sample some of the finest wines and Cavas produced by Codorníu.
The tasting is a great way to deepen one’s appreciation and understanding of the region, its history, as well as to experience the unique flavors and of Codorníu’s sparkling wines.
One of the must-try wines is the Codorníu Anna Blanc de Noirs. This wine is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, and is aged for a minimum of 15 months. The wine has a delicate aroma of red fruit and a balanced acidity, making it a delicious choice for pairing with seafood, poultry, or cheese. The Codorníu Anna Blanc de Noirs has won numerous awards and is a testament to the winery’s commitment to producing high-quality sparkling wines.
Aside from the wine tasting session, Codorníu also offers a variety of other activities for visitors to enjoy. One popular option is the picnic experience, where visitors can relax in the winery’s gardens and enjoy a picnic basket filled with local products and a bottle of wine. The winery also offers workshops on wine tasting and food pairing, as well as guided tours of the vineyards and cellars.
In addition to its dedication to producing high-quality wines and Cavas, Raventós Codorníu is also committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The company has implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices, such as using renewable energy sources, minimizing waste, and reducing its carbon footprint. Visitors can learn more about these practices during a tour.
Related Article: The Ultimate Spanish Appetizer – Pan con Tomate
There are a variety of tour options, ranging form 22€ – 75€ depending on what you’d like to see and how long you wish to stay.
You can receive tours in English and other languages.
What to Expect from the Tour of Cava Codorníu
Four floors underground, Codorniu’s tunnels lie in peace, damp and dark. Here, the brand can store 90 million bottles paved in 30 km (or 18 miles) of tunnels that are spread over four floors accessible via stairs and an elevator. It’s quite a sight!
On the tour you will walk amongst some of the old caves, and then have the opportunity to get onboard a train (yes, a train!), taking you through some of the historic parts where wines were once made. The underground tour, by the way, was my absolute favorite part of the experience, to witness such history is a precious thing!
It’s also an incredible opportunity to taste a wide variety of wines from the company, may of which you won’t see in the US, expressing the depth of winemaking in the region.
I was able to taste several of their “experimental” wines, those that they test for a few years to see if they want to make them for the market. A very cool experience.