Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Freixenet, the largest producer of traditional method sparkling wine and most significant exporter of cava in the world. The brand was born at the beginning of the 20th century when Pedro Ferrer Bosch and his wife Dolores Sala Vivé decided to concentrate on sparkling wines. The company, still family-owned, was named after an estate in Mediona, penedès, which had been in Pedro Ferrer’s family since the 13th century, known as La Freixeneda, meaning a plantation of ash trees. His wife’s grandfather founded the former Sala company, which started exporting wines to the usa in the second half of the 19th century. The company was initially keen to establish export markets, a policy which has paid off in the latter half of the 20th century. It now has four production centres in San Sadurní d’Anoia: Freixenet SA, Segura Viudas SA, Castellblanch SA, and Torrelavit SA, as well as wineries in a number of do regions around Spain: Solar Viejo in Rioja, Morlanda in Priorat, Garbó in Montsant, Valdubón in Ribera del Duero, and Vionta in Rías Baixas. The combined production of Cava alone is now more than 140 million bottles per year. Best-known brands are the medium-dry Carta Nevada, launched in 1941, and Cordon Negro, a brut Cava in a distinctive black bottle. Freixenet’s overseas interests include the Bordeaux négociant Yvon Mau, Henri Abelé in Champagne, the Wingara Wine Group and Katnook Estate in Australia, Gloria Ferrer in the carneros district of California, Finca Doña Dolores, a sparkling wine estate in mexico, and Finca Ferrer in the Uco Valley of Mendoza in Argentina.