Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Cataluña, Catalonia, in English, a proud and industrious region on the Mediterranean coast which encompasses a part of southern France (see roussillon) and a part of north east Spain (see maps under france and spain), some of whose inhabitants do not consider themselves French or Spanish, and even if they do, think of themselves as Catalan first. Cataluña is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions with Barcelona its capital.

Barcelona and its densely populated hinterland is a hive of enterprise and industry and it is therefore no coincidence that Cataluña was at the vanguard of Spain’s 20th-century winemaking revolution. The region began to stir in the early 1870s when José Raventos began making sparkling wine by the traditional method in the small town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. He founded the giant codorníu firm, and his foresight generated the cava industry which earned its own Denominación de Origen (see do) in 1986.