The first cooperative winery in Catalonia was the Cooperativa Agrícola de Barberà de la Conca, formed in 1894. The cooperative movement brought villages together and ensured the financial survival of thousands of growers and their families through the sharing of knowledge, resources, technical innovation and transport, as well as pooled investment in new wineries. A new generation of architects, disciples of modernism, created “cathedrals of wine”, intended to increase productivity and quality, and drive economies of scale.
In 2006, sixteen of these historic cooperatives, including Barberà de la Conca, came together to form Castell d’Or, a new collective of more than 2,200 families working more than 6,200 hectares of vineyards in Catalonia. New facilities using the latest technology in winemaking, maturation, storage, and energy and water conservation produce in excess of 8 million bottles a year.
The proximity to the coast and the high altitude of some of the vineyards — situated up to 750m above sea level — provide a diversity of microclimates best suited for the individual requirements of Cava’s three native grape varieties, Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parelleda. This optimisation of growing and diversity of grapes and terroir allows for the creation of multiple Cavas with unique characteristics, qualities recognised with the awarding of multiple gold medals at the some of the world’s most prestigious wine shows, including Mundus Vini and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.