Or the smallest cellar ever. I actually had a few potential headlines for this post and it wasn’t easy to choose. Despite being small, I could talk about Marquès Rigol for ages, which I won’t do because it would be such a long post (and no one has time for that! 😳).
A small reminder of what cava is!
Marquès Rigol definitely has all the odds of being the smallest cava cellar. The company’s manager told me a funny story dating back to 1987, the year when the cellar was set up. According to the law, a cava cellar must be (approximately) at least 55 m² but Marquès Rigol was a couple of meters short. And how do you think they solved this problem? They built a small room (where they store a couple of bottles now) next to the main cellar which gave them some extra space and allowed them to officially be called a cava cellar!
Recently, cava’s quality has been questioned and even criticised by some, which even led to the creation of Classic Penedès, a new kind of appellation for sparkling wines produced with the traditional method and claiming to have a higher quality standard. So if you ever were disappointed by some mass produced cava cellars and now you are looking for something more exclusive and unique, it’s time for you to visit Marquès Rigol and restore your faith in cava. They don’t focus on the production numbers. In fact, they only offer 2 cavas, a Reserve and a Great Reserve one.
Every single bottle is made manually by the family members themselves, the grapes are also hand picked. The owner- is the 80-year-old, full of energy and life, Àngela Marquès Rigol. She is in charge of everything and will be happy to walk around with you and teach you everything about cava making.
A few years ago Marquès Rigol changed their image in an attempt to modernise it:
The best bit of any visit to a winery is definitely the last part: the tasting. After having seen the cellar and having listened to all the funny stories, we drove to the vineyards which offered a breathtaking view over Penedès. Being surrounded by vineyards is always nice, especially when tasting a glass of cava!
Although Marquès Rigol doesn’t position the cellar as an ecological one, they do use some ecological techniques, such as sexual confusion, meaning they don’t need to spray the vines with pesticides. On the vines, there are red stripes (as you can see the green ones on the photo above) which are sprayed with natural insect pheromones. Thus, male butterflies don’t mate with the female ones due to this confusion. As a consequence, the insects don’t breed and they aren’t a threat to the vineyard.
Marqués Rigol offers its customers two cavas (only Brut Nature, which means there is no sugar):
-Àngela Marquès Rigol Brut Nature Reserva (the white label), 15 months ageing
-Àngela Marquès Brut Nature Reserva Familiar (the black label), 36 months ageing
Both are available here.
If you are around Barcelona in summer, hit me up and we can have a lunch on the vineyard (with cava obvs) together.