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Not really a region, Cava is a unique category, one that sits apart from the usual EU system in which wines are demarcated by geographic boundaries. The nigglers would insist that DO Cava is too, but it’s a rather liberal rendering of such notions. While 95 percent of Cava wine is grown and vinified in the vineyards in and around Penedés, sparkling wine has been produced for decades in other areas, and the Spanish authorities were loath to exclude them from the international powerful classification when defining the DO in 1972. So vineyards throughout Cataluña as well as in Ribera del Guadiana, Utiel Requena, Campo de Borja, Cariñena, Navarra, Rioja, and even Aranda de Duero are allowed to “contain” themselves within this rather fuzzy DO. You can find more on the region within the Penedes section.

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