Our Freixenet family history goes back to 1861, when Francesc Sala Ferrés started a business making and exporting wine to America. His original winery is still here today, lovingly restored by the current family, and it still makes small quantities of Cava – handmade in the original way.
From the strong roots set down by Francesc Sala Ferrés, our story blossoms in 1889 with the marriage of Pedro Ferrer and Dolores Sala Vivé, heiress to the Sala wine emporium. What a couple! Dolores’s in-depth knowledge of winemaking, combined with Pedro’s vision and entrepreneurship, created the foundations of today’s company.
It was these two who made the bold decision to turn from still winemaking to the complexity of producing Traditional Method Cava. And that brings us to the next adventure in our story.
What would they call this sparkling Cava? The young couple chose a name very close to home. Pedro grew up in a vineyard called La Freixeneda or ‘Ash tree grove’ in Catalan and, as a result, he was nicknamed ‘el Freixenet’. Little did they know this nickname would just a century later be known all over the world.
The couple took a first bold step to bringing our Cava to the world when they opened an office in New Jersey in the 1930s. After all, as Pedro and Dolores said, celebration is something people do all over the world and our Cava should be part of it: a truly remarkable vision for that era.
In the late Thirties, the Spanish Civil War claimed the lives of Pedro and his eldest son. This meant Dolores and her three daughters were left to run the company. One of Dolores’s first decisions has pretty much affected all of us: in 1941 she introduced Freixenet’s Carta Nevada to the world. What a bold move. A delicious and desirable Cava in a distinctive, white frosted bottle, which definitely added the word beautiful to the fun of our sparkling wine – quickly becoming a global icon.
Dolores retired in 1957, passing on the responsibility of steering the company to her son, Josep Ferrer. He had a passion for making Freixenet taste even better and made a number of breakthroughs that improved the quality of our sparkling wine. We were the first company in Spain to press grapes pneumatically, the first to use refrigerated tanks to control fermentation and one of the leaders in developing our own yeast.
Why keep this wonderful wine just to ourselves? Josep was often heard saying. The world should enjoy it. And so began our company’s dream of making our bottled sparkling sunshine available to the whole world.
All of these quality improvements found a home in a new star in Freixenet’s world. In the 1970s the sparkling Cava, Cordon Negro, was launched in a sleek, sexy, black frosted bottle that just seemed to catch everyone’s eye. Once tasted, this fresh and fruity sparkler quickly became the world’s biggest selling Cava.
Today, Freixenets Cordon Negro and Carta Nevada lead a range of sparkling Cavas sold in over 100 countries and made at our winery in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. We also make wines in 16 of the world’s most prestigious wine regions, from California to Argentina and from Australia to La Rioja.
The fifth generation of the family now runs our company. And just like Francesc Sala Ferrés back in 1861, we are still driven to make the best possible wines for you. Still passionate about uncovering new and better technologies. Still respectful of Mother Nature, on whom we depend for our annual harvest of grapes. And most important of all, still committed to helping you make every celebration extra special.