I went to the Freixenet (Fresh-en-et, not Frecs-en-et) Winery near Barcelona and saw how they made their Cava wine. “Cava” means cave, and they do it in a cave 20 m under the ground (storage of the bottled product, that is). Cava is as good as Champagne, if not better in my opinion, since I prefer the southern European wines because they tend to be more dry. A side note: the only Champagne I like is Veuve Cliquot, mainly because I served it when I lived in Paris for openings of gallery shows at the Canadian Cultural Centre, where I worked for two years hanging art shows and, well, served Veuve Cliquot at openings. But even Veuve Cliquot is not a Champagne because it is not from the Champagne region of France. It is officially a vin mousseux (sparkling wine). So, my point really is to say Champagne from Champagne is but one variety of sparkling wine, and I prefer sparkling wine not from Champagne.
Freixenet is as good as any winery in the world. In fact, it produces 50% of all sparkling wines that come out of Spain, and it is the 9th largest seller of wines in the world. It has been around a long time, and still produces their products in time-honoured tradition. The only thing cheap about Freixenet is its price. The quality of the product rivals almost any other wine.
So, here are some pics.