Celebrating Cap Classique Day with Durbanville Wine Valley!
1 September not only marks Spring Day in South Africa but also Cap Classique Day! Do you need more reason to put a bottle of Cap Classique on ice? While Durbanville Wine Valley is particularly well known for its award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, excellent expressions of Cap Classique are produced here, considering it is one of the coolest wine-producing regions in South Africa.
For the occasion, Durbanville Wine Valley will cast the spotlight over the coming weeks on the many outstanding expressions produced in Durbanville - one of the Cape’s coolest wine regions.
“Durbanville Cap Classique wines consistently ‘sparkle’ in championships and for good reason,” says Durbanville Wine Valley manager Natasha de Villiers. “The combination of a cool climate, outstanding soils, ample sunlight, and ocean breezes are hallmarks of all top-quality vineyards. Combine that with the multi-generational know-how of Durbanville wineries and it’s not hard to see why local Cap Classiques are all-round favourites.”
Underscoring this reputation is that the style is produced by almost every winery in the region, including Bloemendal, which released its first Cap Classique this year and Diemersdal, which will be releasing its first Cap Classique soon.
Now, in the run-up to Cap Classique Day, the Wine Valley members have partnered with the Cape Wine Academy to host a series of tasting educationals at venues in the Durbanville Wine Valley itself. The handful of introductory courses to be hosted will cover various aspects including the making of Cap Classique and employ tastings of local wines as examples of the diverse and delicious expressions achievable.
“We are tremendously excited about this venture,” says Cape Wine Academy principal Heidi Duminy CWM. “The Durbanville Wine Valley is the ideal location for these tastings because the region not only produces outstanding Cap Classiques, but through its popularity as break-away destination, also epitomises the lifestyle spirit of this splendid wine style.
“Cap Classique is enjoyed at breakfast, lunch and dinner and even in cocktails, no matter the occasion, arguably making it the most versatile of wines,” says Heidi. “It is a most marvellous style, but with a fascinating story too.”
In fact, many of the Durbanville Wine Valley Cap Classiques are also part of an expanded, first-of-its-kind course just launched by the Cape Wine Academy. It will eventually form part of a three-tier programme called Cap Classique First Star, executed in association with the Cap Classique Producer’s Association.
Cap Classique was first introduced in South Africa in 1971, when local winemakers began experimenting with the methods used to make Champagne. Rather than simply injecting gas into wine, Cap Classique requires careful winemaking and second fermentation in the bottle to create refined bubbles and complex flavours. Sparkling wines not labelled as Cap Classique may be assumed to get their bubbles from artificially added Carbon Dioxide. The difference in production time and intricacy required in the making of the two styles directly relates to their corresponding flavour, experience and price.
In Durbanville, Cap Classique is produced by Groot Phesantekraal, Signal Gun, Canto, Meerendal, Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, Maastricht, Nitida, Klein Roosboom, Durbanville Hills and De Grendel.
Their accolades are many. Among them, Klein Roosboom Marné was named Best Brut at the 2020 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. Durbanville Hills Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2015 was crowned World’s Best Sparkling Wine at the 2020 World Sparkling Wine Awards, announced In London and the winery’s Blanc de Blancs 2015 also won Double Gold at Veritas 2021. Canto has achieved numerous medals, including Double Golds at recent Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards for its Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut 2018 and Chardonnay Brut 2016.
But Durbanville Wine Valley Cap Classiques are not just trotted out on special occasions. Many of the wineries have dedicated tastings of their wines in this style, at their visitor facilities.
Among the offerings are:
At Groot Phesantekraal, the winery’s Blanc De Blanc 2019 is included in a tasting of five wines. https://grootphesantekraal.co.za/wine-tasting/
Signal Gun’s De Wit Family Reserve Tasting shows five wines, including the B. Loved Brut. https://signalgun.com/restaurant/tasting-room/
Canto offers a macaron and Cap Classique tasting. https://www.cantowines.co.za/canto-tastings/
Maastricht offers a choice of three or five wines with its Brut Rosé for tasting. https://maastricht.co.za/tasting-room/
Nitida’s Artisanal Tasting includes four wines including its Cap Classique. https://nitida.co.za/tastings/
Related to Cap Classique, Klein Roosbom offers visitors the opportunity to try sabrage, the tradition using a sword to lop off the head of a bottle of bubbles. https://kleinroosboom.co.za/wine-experience/
At Durbanville Hills, the Blanc de Blancs may be sampled as part of the Crystal Tasting. Included are five wines and a souvenir crystal glass. https://www.durbanvillehills.co.za/tasting-room-menu/wine-tasting/
De Grendel’s flagship tasting includes the Brut and with its exclusive tasting, the Brut Rosé. https://degrendel.co.za/pages/wine-tasting
For more information about Durbanville Wine Valley, visit www.durbanvillewine.co.za or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many of the wines from Durbanville are available for sale directly from the wine route’s website.