Grupo Codorníu: Cava's Past and Present
Codorníu is Spain’s second biggest cava producer, after Freixenet, with a total production of 45 million bottles and has the largest underground cellars in the world, with 25 kilometres of caves distributed in 5 floors, housed in a Modernist building declared a historic artistic monument. The company, one of the most ancient in Europe, exports 45 per cent of its production to over 90 countries
The Codorníu family history has been traced back to the 16th Century, when they already owned machinery and equipment for making wine. Later, in 1659, the Codorníu and Raventós families came together through the marriage of Anna, eldest of the Codorníus, to Miquel Raventós. In 1872 José Raventós made the first bottles of the Spanish sparkling wine following the ‘traditional method’, having selected the three varieties that were to become the norm for cava. In 1894, Codorníu made its first exports to Cuba and Argentina, as well as earning high commendations in international contests. In 1897, the company was appointed to the Spanish Royal Household, and since then Codorníu makes a unique cuvée for La Zarzuela Palace.
1914 saw the birth of the Raimat project in the province of Lleida, where the stark earth provides grapes with outstanding bouquet and flavour. Construction of the grand wineries at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia was completed in 1915, following plans by Modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. In 1984 born Anna, a new cava made with Chardonnay grapes, a tribute to the heiress and last person in the family to bear the Codorníu name and in 2010 they elaborate the first white cava with the red variety Pinot Noir: Reina Mª Cristina Blanc de Noirs.
Ten wineries and business in 90 countries
Today, with nearly five centuries of tradition under their belt, Codorníu is still in the hands of the same family and stands as one of Europe’s prominent winemaking companies, with over 3,000 hectares of land under vines. Twenty years ago, Grupo Codorníu was made up of five wineries, but today, after a period of ambitious expansion, the company holds ten centres, making both cava and quality still wines: Codorníu (under Cava appellation), Raimat (Costers del Segre appellation), Bodegas Bilbaínas (Rioja and Cava appellations), Séptima (Mendoza, Argentina), Legaris (Ribera del Duero appellation), Artesa (Napa Valley, California), Bach (Penedés appellation), Nuviana (Valle del Cinca), Cellers Scala Dei (Priorato appellation) and Abadía de Poblet (Conca de Barberà appellation).
The Group exports 45 per cent of its production to over 90 countries and has overseas offices in Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America. Its main markets being United States of America, United Kingdom and Belgium.
Wine Tourism by small electric train
Grupo Codorníu is keen on promoting wine tourism. Back in the 1970s they appointed a PR team to welcome visitors to the wineries at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. The Codorníu Cavas, which today receive 100,000 visitors a year, were declared National Heritage Site by King Juan Carlos I in 1976. During the visit, in addition to admiring the breathtaking architecture, cava enthusiasts can follow the entire winemaking process and even take an electric train ride through the five floors of underground cellars.
The Codorníu family history has been traced back to the 16th Century, when they already owned machinery and equipment for making wine