Cava is a sparkling wine with the protected 'Denominación de Origen' (DO) status from Spain, most of which is produced in Catalonia, Spain. The Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo are the most popular and traditional grape varieties for producing Cava. Only wines produced in the champenoise traditional method may be labelled 'Cava', where the bubbles are made during fermentation and those produced by other processes may only be called 'sparkling wines' or 'vinos espumosos'.
In the past, cava was referred to as "Spanish champagne", which is no longer permitted under European Union law, since Champagne has Protected Geographical Status where only wines from Champagne can be given that name. Colloquially, it is still called 'champán' or 'champaña' in Spanish or xampany in Catalan but it is defined by law as a 'quality sparkling wine produced in a designated region.'