Cava Records a Mixed 2023

Around two thirds of cava was exported. Germany was by far the most important market, with premium qualities remaining in a niche.

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Cava seems to be resilient. (Photo: irissca/stock.adobe.com)
Cava seems to be resilient. (Photo: irissca/stock.adobe.com)

The Spanish DO Cava has published its latest export figures for 2023. In total, it exported around 254m bottles, which represents a small decrease of 0.33% compared to 2022.

However, on a ten-year average, the DO recorded an increase of around ten million bottles per year. The DO reports that around 214m kilograms of grapes were harvested. 85% of cava production is conventionally grown and vinified, while 15% is certified organic. The rosé category accounted for less than 10% but saw a 3% increase.

Source. Cava DO
Source. Cava DO

Around two thirds of the Cava volume was exported. Germany maintained its position as the most important export destination (circa 4% growth, approx. 31m bottles in total), followed by Belgium (+5%, circa 22m bottles), the United States (-13%, circa 19m bottles) and the UK (+5%, circa 18m bottles). Also noteworthy is the development in emerging markets with good growth potential such as Brazil (+75%), Poland (+35%) and Estonia (+31%) with significant growth. By contrast, the biggest losers in terms of volume were South Korea (-45%), Ireland (-20%) and Russia (-14%).

In the quality pyramid, entry-level wines, Cava de Guarda, which are aged on the yeasts for at least nine months, account for the lion's share of around 89%. All qualities from Reserva upwards recorded a drop in volume. Reserva accounted for around 9%. The new quality levels Gran Reserva and the highest quality level Paratge Qualifica, which saw the light of day for the first time in 2023, have to share a small niche. The latter performed best on the domestic market.

Source. Cava DO
Source. Cava DO

As MEININGER’S INTERNATIONAL reported, drought has led to harvest losses. Henkell Freixenet has processed grapes from other regions due to the drought and the resulting shortage of grapes and will offer the "Premium Sparkling Wine" from the pressure tank as an alternative to the well-known "Carta Nevada" at a comparable RRP. PD

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