How much would you pay for a bottle of Cava, produced using the same method as Champagne and according to rules laid down by the Spain’s DO authorities?
Well, if you’re prepared to buy enough of the stuff – say 100,000 bottles – you could have it for €1.15 per bottle, complete with cork, label and foil.
Take away the costs of those necessary incidentals, and what’s left has to cover a year’s work in the vineyard, harvesting, pressing, bottling and the relatively complicated – even if automated – Champagne-method process plus nine months of mandatory ageing on the yeast.
Now, what if, instead of Cava, you were to buy a similar amount of Prosecco… It costs a lot less to produce – no Champagne method; no mandatory nine-months on the yeast – but sells for much more money – both in bulk, and in the shops.
People buy Cava because it’s cheap. They buy Prosecco because they like it.
The mystery of cheap Cava, given its fundamental unsustainability is why it still exists