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Celler Carol Valles

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Vino+Gastronomia, Top 20 Cavas in Spain
Catalonia, Spain
Owner / Winemaker:
Joan Carol Valles
Size, Total Production:
15 ha, 90,000 bottles
Dry, Mediterranean
Clay and limestone
Xarel-lo, Macabeu, Parellada, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Organic Status:
Cava production is centred on the towns of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia and Vilafranca in the Penedes a 45 minute drive inland from Barcelona in North East Spain. It’s dominated by industrial giants like Freixenet and Codorniu but far better wine is produced by a swathe of small, family producers with passion for their craft. Carol Valles is typical and rated one of the best. It’s an old family estate, which is today run by Joan Carol, his wife Marie Teresa Valles and family. Joan ran a paper industry business hard until he had a heart attack in 1995 which prompted him to consider the important things in life. Consequently, he decided to slow down, go back to nature, and devote himself full time to his passion, the family winery which Marie Teresa’s grandparents had purchased.

The winery is located between Sant Sadurni and Vilafranca in rolling hills, a peaceful and beautiful group of buildings, housing the family and the cellars. It’s hot and dry - and little appears to move in the summer. Joan oversees every aspect of production from the vines around his house, to the off-site winemaking and, in particular, the blending. He’s particularly proud of the fact that he carries out alot of the riddling and disgorgement himself by hand and thus the bottles are very personally produced. He’s most proud of the entry level Cava, the Parellada i Faura, feeling it’s more satisfying to be able to produce a large number of bottles of excellent entry level quality than just a few top end bottles. His Cava is particularly special for being aged 18 months before disgorgement, double the legal minimum, and for being brut nature, there being no dosage, since normally speaking the fruit gets fully ripe enough here to support that.

The Parellada i Faura Cuvee which we import, which forms the bulk of Carol Valles production, is regularly rated in the Guia Penin Top 300 wines of Spain and in Vino+Gastronomia Top Wines of Spain, quite a feat for such a modestly priced Cava produced by a small, modest, and so charming a family estate.

Wines from Carol Valles

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