Parellada is a green grape from Spain, above all known for being one of three varieties allowed in the production of Cava, Spain’s number one sparkling wine.
In order to produce grapes with good levels of acidity it needs to be planted on higher ground. It too low on acidity it could not be used in the Cava production, where today some ninety-five percent of the grapes go. It has aromas of white flowers and green apples.
Cava will come with different levels of sweetness, from dry (Brut) and extra dry (Extra Brut) to the aged Reserve and Gran Reserve.
What do you have with a nice glass of Cava? It depends on which kind you have. If it is a Brut or an Extra Brut a seafood dish such as Oysters, or a dish with Ham will be excellent choices. Serve the Cava at 6-8°C/43-46°F.
If you instead are having a Reserve or a Gran Reserve a spicy dish will be very nice. 8-10°C/46-50°F will be a nice serving temperature.
Where is it grown?
In spite of its popularity for making sparkling wine, it is not reported to have spread outside Spain’s borders. In Spain, it occupies an acreage of 8.847 ha/21,861 ac, making it the sixteenth most planted grape in the country. However, this corresponds to as little as one percent of the total planted area in Spain. The variety has also decreased in acreage with twenty-one percent between the years 2000 and 2010.
Its heartland is in the Penedès area, situated between Tarragona (4.452 ha/11,001 ac) and Barcelona (3.645 ha/9,007 ac). This mounts to ninety-two percent of the variety’s acreage, and it fits also with the information that more than ninety percent of Spain’s Cava production takes place in the Penedés area.
Parellada is however reported to be planted in an additional fourteen regions, though on a small or very small scale. It is nevertheless interesting as the Cava DO allows for the production of sparkling wine in other parts of Spain as well.
Parellada is recognised as being native to north-eastern Spain’s Aragon, which in medieval times was a separate kingdom. It borders to France in the north, and to Catalonia in the east. It is reported to having been documented more than five-hundred years ago.