by Fred McMillin
'Tis the Season to Be Bubbly
The Rest of the Story
It had been a wonderful six centuries for the house of Freixenet (fresh-eh-net), named after the Ferrer family's first homestead, "La Freixeneda," meaning "a place where the ash trees grow." Then disaster! The Spanish Civil war. Company president Pedro Ferrer Bosch and his son were kidnapped and killed.
However, Pedro's widow, Dolores, rallied the troops and put together a juggernaut. Her Spanish sparklers reached the U.S.A. in 1972, seven years prior to her retirement. Before long American sales were over a million cases a year. Here's the latest of the company's bubblies to reach our shores.
The Label: "CAVA"—The word means "cave" in Spanish; it means "fermented in the bottle" in the Spanish wine industry. Cava wines may be made only from native Catalonia grapes, which give this Spumante a unique charm. The flavors are a bit sharper than the Italian Muscat Spumanti.
Rating—RECOMMENDED in its price range, particularly for large, holiday parties when a touch of sweetness is good.
Contact—Paige Poulos, phone (800) 497-3376.
A further tribute to the widow Dolores. During her tenure Freixenet reduced costs by inventing the Girosol ("sunflower" in Spanish). Computer-controlled, it shakes and rotates 504 bottles of bubbly to settle the sediment, thus avoiding the expensve hand operation.
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