In the small Catalan town of Subirats lives a wine grower by the name of Xavier Bernet. Here at his winery, named for his daughter Julia, he produces Cava with poise and precision. These are pure wines indicative of terroir and varietal, part of a small yet growing movement to help restore the reputation of Cava as fine wine, associating the DO with more than just inexpensive and mass-produced sparkling wines. Bernet started this project in 2003, guiding his work by a philosophy he calls “Closed Circle” production (he designates this on his corks), a concept based on his supervision of the entire process from start to finish. Buying grapes (as well as finished wine) has become commonplace in Cava production, but Xavi believes that the wine starts in the vineyard. He owns 7 hectares in Penedès and all of his production comes from his vines. From the planting of the vineyard to disgorgement and the finished wine, Xavi is involved in all aspects of the grape’s journey to glass. The primary focus here is Xarel-lo, which is the only grape Xavi uses to make his sparkling wines. Xarel-lo provides structure and strength to wines, and has long been favored by Cava producers for providing longevity. In the cellar he prefers long contact time with lees; his entry-level “Cuvee U” spends about 2 years on lees (the Cava D.O. only requires 9 months of lees contact) and typically aged in bottle for at least one year before release.