Wiki Spanish Food editorial team
Freixenet, a global leader in traditionally-made quality sparkling wines, is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of its first cava. The company is run by the same family that produced the first bottle one century ago, and remains a leader in exports, selling 150 million bottles in more than 140 countries all over the world.
Freixenet's success over the years is the result of its international vision, innovation, the continuous search for excellence, production of the best possible products in each segment, and perseverance.
According to company chairman Josep Lluis Bonet, its success over the last century is attributable to "family cohesion, a long-term vision, a commitment to quality with a view to offering the best value-for-money, innovation, passion, and a firm focus on internationalization".
Pere Ferrer Bosch and Dolors Sala Vivé, parents of Freixenet's current honorary chairman, Josep Ferrer, laid the company’s foundation and dedicated that first bottle of Freixenet to their dream: to be successful, to advance, to gain in strength and to always maintain the same distinguishing characteristics—talent, hard work, tenacity, ambition, a desire to be the best— and for the company to be handed down from generation to generation.
Freixenet has been celebrating this milestone anniversary with several events over the course of the year, from tastings and pairings to new product presentations. Its most recent Christmas TV ad campaign paid tribute to the first bottle of Freixenet cava, featuring all of its "bubbles"—people chosen to participate in the company's holiday ads over the years—directed by filmmaker Icíar Bollaín.
Coinciding with Alimentaria, the company presented a special edition of its iconic Reserva Real cava, the 2007 vintage, a top-flight product used to toast the 100-year anniversary.
One of the company's most sentimental projects was the recovery of the Freixeneda de Mediona country estate, which gave its name to the brand. This 8th century property has been rebuilt, beam by beam, and has been in the family for 19 generations; it's now being adapted to cater to wine tourism.
Freixenet's winemaker, Josep Bujan, used grapes from that estate to make his first red wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Garnacha, which was also presented at Alimentaria. Josep Ferrer aims to pay homage to his parents and the brand's roots with this limited production red, Freixeneda 2011.
Talent as a hallmark of Freixenet
Francesc Sala Ferrés founded Casa Sala in 1861, the first wine exporter in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. His son, Joan Sala Tubella, took over the business, and after his daughter, Dolors Sala Vivé, wed Pere Ferrer Bosch, the company started making cava, in 1911. Freixenet, the brand, was created 53 years later, when Dolors Sala and Pere Ferrer Bosch decided to maintain the activities of Casa Sala, but making cava.
Josep Ferrer later took the helm, and in just 25 years, Freixenet grew spectacularly from a small family company to number 1 in the world, while still remaining a 100% family-run firm embodying the hallmarks of its founders. Wine innovation and creative talent are the distinguishing features of Freixenet: this has enabled it to create new cavas to meet the demands of the most discerning customers, giving rise to the Cuvées de Prestige collection, the largest selection in, and at the highest end of, the sector.
No other winery has a comparable range. A leader in sparkling wines, Freixenet entered a new era. Well aware of the diverse quality in different types of wine from different provenances, the company has gained a foothold in other winemaking areas around the world. Today, 100 years after the first bottle of Freixenet came to market, the brand represents not only an excellent range of cavas, but also a group comprising 21 wineries in 7 countries, in the best winemaking areas on three continents: Europe, America and Oceania. It has built wineries such as Gloria Ferrer in California, Sala Vivé in Mexico, Wingara in Australia, in Argentina and acquired Maison Henri Abelé, one of the Champagne region's oldest wineries. It also produces wine in some of Spain's top Designations of Origin, including La Rioja (Solar Viejo), Ribera del Duero and Rueda (Valdubún), Priorat (Viticultors del Priorat/Morlanda), Montsant (Fra Guerau) and Rías Baixas (Vionta).