There is a revolution happening in Penedès and AT Roca is at the vanguard. After decades under the control of the sprawling and dominating Cava DO, a handful of producers have defected. It started with a single winery, but slowly more and more quality sparkling wine producers are disassociating themselves from this DO that has nothing to do with a sense of place. Catalans have never been afraid of separating from the masses, and in the heart of Catalunya, AT Roca is no different.
Over 75% of the total Cava production comes from just two behemoth wineries, and they control all aspects of the DO. The Cava DO is unique in that it does not have physical boundaries, rather the requirement is only that their sparkling wines be made in the método tradicional. The DO encompasses over 23 different regions across Spain, leading many of its Catalan members feeling that it cannot ever truly represent what is most important to them: the unique terruño of Penedès. Often maligned, Penedès has a reputation for only producing inexpensive wines of lesser quality. There’s a budding movement to change the way people view Penedès sparkling wines, and for people to start recognizing the importance and uniqueness of the terruño. A growing number of wineries have chosen to no longer associate themselves with the Cava DO, and have formed their own organizations with more stringent requirements such as aging and farming practices.