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Codorníu is now the world's biggest producer of bottle-fermented sparkling wines made using the traditional method. It produces a wide range of cavas, with even basic wines such as the Selección Raventós Brut showing impressive quality.
The Codorníu winery is considered the inventor of cava.
The special aspect of the méthode traditionnelle, with which Codorníu became the first vintner to produce cava, is that fermentation begins and ends in a bottle. The bottles are filled with the base wine, or cuveé, and sealed with a crown cap to enable the wine to ferment for at least nine months. The bottles are then subjected to riddling and disgorging before the second fermentation process with the tirage liqueur begins in the cellar. Consisting of sugar and yeast, the tirage liqueur encourages the formation of carbon dioxide and determines the particular flavour of the sparkling wine to a large degree. [JS1] With its cavas, the Codorníu winery has shown great skill for centuries – something that is just as important for the composition of the cuveé as it is for the creation of a consistently high-quality flavour. The sparkling wine from the Codorníu winery was named after its underground place of production: "la cava" means "cave" or "cellar" in Spanish.

National heritage site and winemaker in one: Codorníu

The Codorníu winery is doubly worth a visit: as well as the fine art of cava tasting, a tour of the sparkling wine cellars is also a special experience. The spectacular winery building, built in a modernist style influenced by Antoni Gaudí, was declared a national heritage site in 1976 and is a listed building. When it was completed in 1915, it seemed far too large for the Codorníu winery's production at the time, which amounted to around 100,000 bottles. Today, it is the core of the company and its unique atmosphere makes a perfect setting for guided tours and wine events.
It is also interesting that the Codorníu winery bucked the trend of the time in that it was not built right next to existing roads and railway lines, but near the vineyards – a decisive factor for the quality of fresh sparkling wines.

What sets Codorníu apart as a winemaker

Codorníu still monitors the entire production process today, from cultivation through to bottling. Juan José de Castro's team of wine experts uses the latest methods for this. And yet the 30-kilometre labyrinth of cellars at the Codorníu winery is still used to store some 27 million bottles which slumber away as they slowly mature. As well as classic cavas made from local varieties such as Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo, the winery also creates new cuvées in which the Champagne variety Chardonnay sets the tone. The Codorníu winegrower has also launched a rosé cava made from Pinot noir – thanks to the Codorníu family's initiative, the variety was approved for cava production by the regulatory board prior to that.

Wines from the Codorníu winery