• Pago de Tharsys

    Photo Gallery

  • Barrel Room

    Pago de Tharsys red wines aging in French and American oak.

  • Cava Assembly Line

    Bottles of Cava are riddled and disgourged by machine before being corked and labeled.

  • Dining Rooms in the Bodega

    Now renovated, the Pago de Tharsys Bodega dates back to 1808.

  • Cave with Barrels and Amphora

    This natural cave still operates as an aging cellar for Brandy. Amphora like vases are still lodged in its walls.

Pago de Tharsys

If you were under the impression that Cava, Spain’s fizzy, wallet-friendly cousin to Champagne, is made only in the Catalonian region of Penedés, you’re probably not alone.  For many years the name “Cava” was in fact restricted by law to the area surrounding its birthplace, a town called Sant Sadurní d’Anoia.  As such, only the lucky Catalans were able to reap the rewards of its international appeal.   That was, however, until dreamer and respected oenologist, Vicente Garcia, decided to rock the boat, and singlehandedly wage a legal battle for the right to produce Cava in his hometown of Requena.  It was a long fight that was met with severe pressure from the big producers of Catalonia.  But eventually, in 1992, Garcia was victorious, and D.O status (Denominacíon de Origen) was granted.  He became affectionately known as “The Father of Valencian Cava.”

Vicente Garcia o Pago de Tharsys

The “Father of Valencian Cava”, Vicente Garcia, pours a glass of Millesime Rose.

Today, Vicente Garcia owns and operates the prestigious Pago de Tharsys, which produces some of the finest sparkling wine in the country .   His cava has won awards such as the “Grand Gold Concours Mondial de Bruxxelles” and Enoforum‘s “Best Cava in Spain.”  In his own words, the wines are not just those of high quality, but “express the personality of our terroir.”  Organic cultivation is practiced throughout the vineyard, and there are no treatments to affect the character of the grapes.  As well, all of the grapes are harvested at night when temperatures are cooler, a practice that prevents oxidation and preserves the purity of fruit, ultimately producing a fresher tasting, higher quality wine.

Vastly different from the typical cepage of Penedés, Garcia’s Cava selections use grapes which are more suited to Requena.   The Grand Reserva for example, is a Brut Nature blend of 80% Macabeo, and 20% Chardonnay and offers ripe flavors of citrus, peach, nectarine, hazelnut and almond.  The aptly named “Unico” is made from 100% Bobal, a red grape indigenous to the area.  Without any color extraction from its skin, it produces a white sparkling wine with flavors of apricot, peach and apple.  Our favorite however, is the Mellesimé Rosé, a super elegant, salmon colored Cava made from 100% Garnacha that spends 24 months on it’s lees in the bottle.  Flavors of strawberry and raspberry are complimented with toffee and yeast, with a creamy texture that could win the hearts of the most devout Champagne fans.

A trip to Pago de Tharsys is well worth the 40 minute drive or so from the city of Valencia.  The 200 year plus old Bodega has been beautifully restored and sits in the middle of 12 hectares of vineyards.   It boasts a beautiful wine shop with local artisan treats, its own lake, and even a handful of modern hotel rooms, for those looking to make an overnight stay.  And for those who don’t fancy sparkling wine, never fear.  Pago de Tharsys makes several serious, quality still wines as well, including an Albarino, a rarity in the Communidad of Valencia, which is surprisingly awesome — but then again, for Vicente Garcia, nothing is an “impossible” dream.

Look for Pago de Tharsys at Carrefour, Corte Íngles, Navarro BodegueroBodega Biosca, and Énopata.


Pago de Tharsys Unico

Pago de Tharsys experimental “Unico” is 100% Bobal