10 things to know about Cap Classique before the Bubbly Festival


WHAT better way to round out what’s been a tough year than with a celebration of bubbly? That’s what’s in store for lovers of South African Cap Classiques at the Bubbly Celebration festival at Plaisir Wine Estate on the weekend of December 4 and 5.

Says organiser Darielle Robertson: “After all we have been through, I think we need to treat ourselves, our friends and our family to a little bubbly love, and what better way to do that than with a festival at which visitors can taste fabulous bubbly from a variety of producers, as well as listen to live music and enjoy great food in the company of good friends.

“It’s also a salute to Cap Classique, which this year marks its 50th anniversary since the first bottle was produced way back in 1971.”

Here are 10 more interesting facts about Cap Classique:

  1. Méthode Cap Classique is the South African version of champagne, the difference being that the name Champagne can only be used for wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France.
  1. Cap Classique is different to sparkling wine as the latter has carbon dioxide added to it later in the process. Cap Classique also has smaller, more elegant bubbles than sparkling wine.
  1. The bubbly wine style first appeared in SA 50 years ago and is the fastest growing wine category with over 10 million bottles produced annually.
  1. The first Cap Classique sparkling wine released was Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut in 1971. It sold for R3 a bottle and was, at the time, the most expensive local wine on the market.
  1. In 1992, there were 14 Cap Classique producers in South Africa. Today there are more than 250 producers with over 300 labels on the market.
  1. There are three different styles of Cap Classique. The main criteria are vintage (the year the grapes were harvested), the type of grapes used (cultivar) and the sugar level.
  1. There are two main types of glass best suited for drinking bubbly: 
  • The flute, which encourages a long, slow release of bubbles, so you can enjoy your fizz for longer
  • The tulip glass which has the slimmer base and neck of the flute but widens out in the middle – so it develops and maintains bubbles, and focuses the aromatics towards your nose. 
  1. The best way to pour bubbly is straight down into the centre of the glass.
  1. The best serving temperature for bubbly is between 6°C and 8°C. Anything warmer and it is likely to prematurely lose its flavour and delicate bubbles.
  1. Bubbly is the most versatile food pairing wine and can be enjoyed over breakfast with a fluffy mushroom and cheese omelette, with oysters and sushi for lunch, as an accompaniment to pan-fried duck breast for dinner and even pared with a fresh apple pie and ice cream dessert.

Among the producers who will be taking part at the Bubbly Celebration festival are Plaisir, L’Ormarins, Krone, Haute Cabrière, Rickety Bridge and Valdo Prosecco with more to be announced.

The Bubbly Celebration takes place at Plaisir Wine Estate, Franschhoek, on Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5 from 11am to 4pm. The dress code is Summer Elegance. Tickets cost R280 per person for each day and can be booked at www.webtickets.co.za. The price includes a souvenir glass and 10 tasting coupons. 

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