Cava Codorniu is the oldest cava producer in Spain, and one of the biggest sellers too. Located in the town of Sant Sadurni just a few minutes outside Barcelona, it is very well known for its modernist architecture and sprawling grounds.
How to get there: As I mentioned in my earlier post, you can take the train and then stroll over or take a cab to the winery. Codorniu also has a bus service from Barcelona, that picks up at a couple of stops and bring you to the winery – a good option for larger groups, or if the train is too much hassle.
Protip: If you want to visit more wineries in Sant Sadurni, take the train for the flexibility!
The art nouveau style building itself is wonderful, designed by Josep Puigi i Cadalfach, a Gaudi contemporary whose work is also magnificent. While waiting for our English tour to start, we enjoyed the reception area which has a small café with coffee and juices.
The tour started with a film about the history of Codorniu, and while generally informative, it was in 3D, which made it more fun. Codorniu, is the oldest company in Spain, and the 17th oldest in the world – which made the history absolutely fascinating.
The guide then showed us around the gorgeous grounds in an electric open air train. We were also taken down into the cellar several floors underground to see the actual “caves”. Here, an underground train took us on a ride to see the corridors filled with bottles. The labyrinthine cellars run over 25 km – mindblowing!
The tour ended with a tasting in the cellar tasting room with couple of glasses of cava – a rose cava (my favorite) and a cava brut.
While the entire tour is a bit “tourist-like”and the group is fairly large, it’s still worth it to hear about the history of cava, the company Codorniu and have your mind boggled at the size of the caves. Don’t expect to see much of the wine making itself, however – it’s definitely more of an operations/facilities tour.
Cost: A visit to Codorniu costs 9 Euros for adults, which includes the generous tasting. Reserve beforehand, as they do not accommodate walk-ins.