Originally cava is a natural sparkling wine produced in the region Champagne (France) from the 18th century onwards. However, the name Champagne is legally protected since the Madrid Agreement for the International Registration of Marks was concluded in 1891, which reserved it for the sparkling wine made in the French region.
So sparkling wines made with the same method, champenoise, had to use another name. In Catalonia this became cava and as a ‘new’ product it aroused interest in the first half of the 20th century.
The loss of red grape vines due to the phylloxera epidemic moved Dolors Sala to use white Catalan indigenous grapes for her cava’s instead. Generally a blend of three varieties is used: macabeu, parellada and xarel·lo, the Penedès classics. The percentage of each grape changes every year according to its quality and the taste.