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Josep Maria Raventós i Blanc was not just the founder of the winery named after him: he was a key figure in the recent history of winegrowing in Catalonia.
President of the Consell Regulador del Cava [Cava Regulatory Council], promoter and creator of the Cava DO, and mayor of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. The endless work he carried out to ensure the prestige, quality and unique personality of Catalan cava is a legacy of incalculable value. He left Codorníu in 1982. However, as heir, he was entitled to keep the Can Codorníu house and the estate.
A graduate in chemistry from the Institut Químic de Sarrià, he was the son of Manuel Raventós i Fatjó and Montserrat Blanc, the eldest of six siblings and, therefore, the heir of Can Codorníu and the Raventós estate. For 40 years he oversaw the growth of the brand. He played a pioneering role in the mechanization of the production process, which he managed to harmonize with the traditional “champagnoise” method and an obsession for the prestige and quality of his cavas, using the method used by producers in Bourgogne, Champagne and Bordeaux.
From the Sindicat Nacional de la Vinya [National Vine Union] to the Unió de Criadors i Elaboradors de Vins Escumosos (UCEVE) [Union of Growers and Makers of Sparking Wines], forerunner of the Cava Institute [Institut del Cava]), he fought to integrate the winegrowers and the winemakers, working to produce high-quality grapes and achieve profitable viticulture.
He strived to create a high-quality cava and to increase its prestige and personality throughout the world. As President of the Consell Regulador del Cava [Cava Regulatory Council]; and spokesperson of the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine), he devoted a great deal of energy to the cava sector, and attained the approval of the designation of origin from the EEC in April 1985.
In 1982, tensions in the family and the business led him to decide to give up his management position on the Can Codorníu estate, which he continued own outright.
Then, with the help of his son Manuel Raventós, he began to build a new winery, located on the family Raventós' hundred-year-old estate. His vision was to make cava that put quality before quantity and could easily compete with the famous sparkling wines from Champagne.
A few days later, on 12 March of the same year, and before the winery was opened, he died of a heart attack during a trip to New Zealand. Raventós i Blanc's legacy passed into the hands of Manuel Raventós, who undertook the commitment and challenge of making his father's dreams come true.
Several months later, a new cava was produced, a cava that would be named after Manuel's father. It is an elegant, senior cava bred from the most intimate subsoil of his vines. It is his legacy: the Josep Maria Raventós i Blanc cava.