The History of Sparkling Wine Includes Accidental Science and Exceptional Bubbly
Adapted from an article on WineEnthusiast.
Excerpt on Cava: Spain Gets in on the Action
In 1872, a winemaker named Josep Raventós Fatjó decided to try his hand at traditional-method bubbles. He used Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes native to Penedès, in Catalonia, where his family had been making wine under the Codorníu label since 1497. Legend has it that he was so pleased with the results, he immediately called for a cave (cava) to be dug, so he could produce more, and Cava became the name of the regional designation.
Cava has always been made using the traditional method, but higher quantity production and a shorter required time for secondary fermentation led to much lower prices than Champagne.