A cava with history

On 26 March 1894  Zaragoza’s Diario de Avisos published a copy of the letter sent by the Mayor of Cariñena and some of the town’s dignitaries to the Aragonese journalist, Mariano de Cavia, based in Madrid.

In the letter, couched in the typical Aragonese humour of the time, they inform him of the dispatch of one barrel and a few bottles for an Aragonese Folk Dance Festival (known as the ‘jota’), which they are hoping to organise. They later add: “as we know that, after a good meal, ye ‘toffs’ down there like to drink what they call champagne, we are sending ye some of what we make here, because with the other, the jota sounds bad; and with this one you will see how Santiaguico Lafuente and also the secretary from Bárboles are more creative in their strumming, which is a joy to be heard”.

This is the first reference known to exist in Cariñena to what is now referred to as ‘cava’.

Years later, in 1909, on the occasion of the town being granted city status by King Alfonso XIII, the guests at the banquet held in its honour are known to have toasted with Champagne Cameo, produced by a local wine-maker.

In the early 1980s, and in consultation with a family of wine-growers from El Penedés, where the winery’s enologist, Javier Domeque, had done his training, Bodegas San Valero started to make a limited edition of cava exclusively for their own associates. And by April 1984, as a result of the product’s huge success, they set up Bodegas Gran Ducay to expand its production and begin to market it more widely.

Following Spain’s entry in the EEC and the harmonising of national and European legislation, Cariñena is one of the few municipalities outside Cataluña to become part of the so-called Cava Region, which now enjoys the classification of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for Cava.

Hence, Gran Ducay, made using the traditional method of fermentation in the bottle, is one of the few cavas to be certified by the Regulatory Council for the Protected Designation of Origin for Cava in Aragon.

Gran Ducay’s badge of identity

The creation of Bodegas Gran Ducay was a significant milestone for Cooperativa San Valero and the town of Cariñena. It was also the achievement of an aspiration – that of developing a new line of business in the production of cava – as a result of the word of mouth success that the first initiative, exclusively targeting members of the cooperative, had had among the general public.

Over the course of time, Bodegas Gran Ducay began to market the high-end wines of today’s Grupo BSV, and therefore needed a physical badge of identity that would sum up the company’s most significant corporate values: Cariñena origins, vocation for excellence, and historical reputation.

In this way, by reviewing documents dealing with the local history of wine, it was decided to select the signature of one of the ancient notary publics in the area and to adapt it to the message the winery wished to convey.

Graphic elements were deleted so as to divest the symbol of any flamboyance but without taking away any of its connotations of brilliance and splendour, or detracting from the successful composition of the original signature. These modifications also strengthened the geometry represented by the triangle and, as a result, the easiness of remembering the logo. At the same time, the very baroque figure in the centre is a symbolic reminder of the care and attention to detail typical in making quality wine. Finally, a suitable typeface was selected to fit the graphic image, and that, at the same time, would not be difficult to read.

Gran Ducay in the Vuelta a España

Since 2007, Gran Ducay Brut Nature is the official cava of the Vuelta a España. Over 20,000 kilometres and many millions of fans of cycling and sparkling wines link a product rated one of the eight best cavas in Spain with an elite sporting event of international standing.

In all these years, Gran Ducay has shared the podium and honours with the best cyclists of the world and has provided the leitmotiv of happiness generated by victory after sustained effort.

Our cava is likewise the product of effort, aspirations and the insatiable desire to get better and better and offer the public ever greater moments of satisfaction. For this reason, it is identified with sport and, in particular, with cycling, which it supports not only in its most visible manifestations, but also in those that are essential for keeping the basic sport going and in implanting healthy habits in our youngsters.