Even though it cannot officially be called champagne, comparisons between the Spanish sparkling wine Freixenet and its French counterpart are as difficult to resist as a glass of the stuff.That is why the makers of this methode champenoise, or Cava, are popping corks at the news that they are selling more of their bubbly internationally than the French sell of theirs. Joan Juve, who is the president of Spain’s Cava cooperative, said it is a great time for the drink which is enjoying success in Catalonia, Spain and now internationally. With annual profits of 25 million Euros and 120 million bottles sold overseas the company’s success appears to be more than just so much effervescent hype. For around a century the company has been following the method used by French Champagne producers. The Penedes region, where the wine is produced, has been well-known since Roman times for the quality of its grapes. Today Freixenet’s global strategy means it exports its wines to some 120 countries. It is also expanding its operation overseas. It has recently established vineyards in California, Mexico and even in the home of the competition: France’s Champagne region. The network of distribution and sales companies is expanding all the time in the hope that this will guarantee the continuation of this sparkling Spanish success story.
Spanish competitor to Champagne has reason to celebrate