Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne festival

  1. Celebrate #CapClassiqueDay with a bottle of Franschhoek Méthode Cap Classique

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    Everyone agrees that there is just something extraordinary and exceptional about popping open a bottle of your favourite Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) and even more so if this special experience happens to take place in a breathtaking setting in the Franschhoek Wine Valley. It is certainly the ultimate in celebrating life’s biggest moments and these days it is also accepted that you no longer need a ‘big’ moment to celebrate with bubbly, you can simply drink it because you love it.

    For those of you who still need an excuse to pop open a bottle of MCC, we have great news! This Sunday, the first day of Spring, has been officially named #CapClassiqueDay. This is a day when producers, bubbly lovers and friends unite and share all the excitement that is Cap Classique.

    In Franschhoek we will definitely be celebrating this day! With over 24 of our producers in the valley dedicated to crafting some of the best MCC’s, there is no doubt that Méthode Cap Classique forms a large part of our valley’s offering. We are also one of the first regions to create a dedicated Cap Classique Route, a route which takes bubbly lovers on a journey along our valley while they experience all the different styles of MCC our Vignerons produce.

    Le Lude MCC Tasting

    Here you will learn all about our terroir, different styles of MCC, and discover some of the interesting methods used to produce our MCC. Jargon like ‘riddling’, ‘digorging’ and ‘agrafe®’ will soon become part of your vocabulary.

    We love a good celebration and our bubblies so much that we also started a festival ten years ago dedicated to sipping on great South African MCC’s and a few Champagnes in a gorgeous outdoor setting in Franschhoek. The Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival presented by Sanlam Private Wealth takes place at the historic Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek over the weekend of 30 November and 1 December this year. It is also the perfect opportunity to dress up in your most stylish outfit. Visit our website at for more information.

    Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival

    But first, it is time to go out and get a bottle of your favourite Franschhoek MCC to enjoy on #CapClassiqueDay this Sunday. If you need a few suggestions, have a look at our list of favourite bubblies below:


    This Colmant Blanc de Blanc blend was created from a special selection of Chardonnay and is the epitome of Chardonnay expression – fine, elegant and fresh. This impressive MCC won the trophy of “BEST CAP CLASSIQUE BLANC DE BLANCS” at the 2018 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, the only competition that focuses exclusively on Cap Classique.

    Price: R265, Buy online.

    2012 LE LUDE CUVÉE

    At the 16th annual Decanter World Wine Awards, which saw France scoop 13 of the 50 Best In Show medals. South Africa earned six Platinum medals, which included the 2012 Vintage Le Lude Cuvée – the first South African MCC to receive this prestigious accolade. This award-winning MCC comprises 83% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot Noir grapes, and is whole-bunch pressed with only the cuvee used in the Vintage blend. It’s matured on the lees for 56 months, of which only 2,361 bottles were released.

    Price: R1 195, Buy it from the Le Lude Estate in Franschhoek


    Made from 100% Chardonnay, expect a vibrant, fruity and crisp MCC. In Babylonstoren style the wine was made as simply and authentically as possible. Before bottling, yeast residue is removed through a process called dégorgement à la glace, by freezing the neck of the bottle. Once the bottle is turned upright again, internal pressure forces the frozen yeast out of the bottle. Often the lost liquid is replaced with sweet wine or even cognac, but our cellar master Charl Coetzee decided to add nothing at all! This Sprankel is pure. This pure quality, combined with a lengthy ageing process, produced rich creaminess and fruit accents. Sprankel combines well with cheese, fruit, salmon, shellfish and caviar. Its smooth character sits beautifully with poultry and seafood dishes.

    Price: R650, Buy online 


    La Motte Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) originates from Franschhoek and the Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir grapes from which the wine was made, were produced on La Motte. Vineyards grow against a southern slope 200 metres above sea level. Almost equal amounts of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were matured on the lees to bring enough body and roundness to avoid adding any sweetness, while the firm acidity delivers finesse and freshness. An attractive bouquet of citrus, brioche and nuts with fine bubbles brings an exciting presence on the palate and leaves a refreshing finish. The 2015 vintage was listed on the 2018 Sommeliers Selection Wine List.

    Price: R360, Buy online


    The fruit for the 2014 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir Brut MCC by Black Elephant Vintners was selected from two vineyards in the Franschhoek Valley. Each site contributes a different flavour profile to the final blend as it grows in diverse soil types and slopes. The blend comprises 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir. This MCC’s nickname is “The Emcee” and it is best paired with The Sound of Silence by Disturbed.

    Prce: R265, Buy online


    The Jean Roi Cap Provincial Rosé 2017 by Anthonij Rupert Wyne is a premium rosé made in the same style as the rosés found in Provence. It has a gentle fruity nose with stone fruit (nectarine and white peach), overlaid with a delicate white blossom note. The acidity is refreshing and in harmony with the fruit, adding a lovely lemon zest twist to the mouthful. Rounded and full with good length, the wine finishes dry with a gentle hint of citrus peel at the end.

    Price: R290, Buy online


    The Pierre Jourdan Brut by Haute Cabrière is an elegant Méthode Cap Classique created from a blend of the classic varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

    Price: R145, Buy online

  2. Meet Pierre Casanave – Veuve Cliquot winemaker

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    Adding to the excitement of this year’s festivities visitors can look forward to meeting celebrated Veuve Cliquot winemaker, Pierre Casenave, who will be making an appearance at this year’s festival. The Veuve Clicquot Champagne House situated in Reims, France is internationally recognized as producing one of the world’s finest Champagnes. A meet and greet certainly not to miss out on.

    Born in 1977, Pierre Casenave grew up in the pyrénées atlantiques, renowned for tapas, ferias and rugby, a region closed to Spain. Pierre is an oenologist at the Champagne House Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France.

    Casenave has had quite an original career path, as he studied pharmacy first during six years at the University of Bordeaux, majoring in chemistry.  During his fifth year, he continued with his chemistry studies in Pamplona, Spain. Thereafter, he completed a Doctorate Dissertation in Chemistry under the subject: ‘a chemical approach to the vinification in Bordeaux’. Pierre recognised his passion for Enology and obtained a diploma in Enology from the University of Montpellier. He then enrolled at Bordeaux International Wine Institute in 2007 and graduated an MBA Wine.

    Professionally, Pierre has been a winemaker at prestigious wineries in Saint Emilion, Pomerol, as well as the Stellenbosch wine region in South Africa and in California.

    Pierre Casenave joined Champagne Veuve Clicquot in 2008 as a winemaker in the wine communication team leaded by Cyril Brun. He is proud to belong to the tasting panel led by chef de caves Dominique Demarville, taking an active part in the creation of the finest quality blends for all of the House’s wines. He is also involved in the harvest and especially in the Chardonnay winemaking in Vertus. Casenave now plays a significant role in the communication efforts of Veuve Clicquot – tasting, promoting and training all over the world in French, English and Spanish.

    Visit for more information on the Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival.

  3. Vote for Franschhoek Wine Valley and its members in the 2012 Klink Awards!

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    Calling all foodies, wine lovers, outdoor adventurers and wine farm fans! Show your love for South Africa’s winelands by voting for your favourite nominee in the country’s first ever, consumer-driven, interactive wine tourism award – the #Klink Awards. You also stand a chance to win fabulous weekly prizes through your participation.

    Franschhoek Wine Valley and its members have been nominated in a variety of different categories. Please support the valley by voting for us and our members below:

    BEYOND EXPECTATIONS: Award for Great Food and Excellent Value

    Situated between our Klink awards for bistro-style country cuisine and fine dining, this award is for a Winelands restaurant in the mid-price category that serves seriously good food at very fair prices,

    attracting foodies by raising the bar and presenting local garden and winelands produce with passion and contemporary culinary style.

    Vote for the following Franschhoek establishments:

    Bread and Wine at Môreson
    Haute Cabrière
    Babel at Babylonstoren

    WILD CARD: Award for Most Unusual Attraction on a Wine Route

    Celebrating the most unusual and memorable attraction on a wine farm, this award is for a destination that offers a unique selling point attracting wine tourists to the cellar- door – from wine and river cruises to vintage motorcar and heritage museums.

    Vote for the following Franschhoek establishments:

    Pierneef Art Collection at La Motte
    Franschhoek Motor Museum at Anthonij Rupert
    MUSEUM VAN DE CAAB at Solms-Delta

    COUNTRY COMFORT: Award for Boutique Accommodation on a Wine Estate

    The winner of this category offers boutique accommodation on a wine farm that promises something extraordinary in a vineyard setting, whether that be in a Cape Dutch manor house or a luxury guesthouse. The winning venue will capture the romance of a wine farm getaway and offer world-class accommodation.

    Vote for the following Franschhoek establishments:

    Vrede en Lust Manor House
    Plaisir de Merle
    Basse Provence Country House Rickety Bridge

    GOURMET: Award for Best Gourmet Restaurant at the Cellar Door

    This award goes to the best of the best cellar-door restaurants in the Cape Winelands – those gastronomic destinations with signature chefs who create cuisine on the cutting edge to attract domestic and foreign wine tourists. We were looking for restaurants which pay great attention to detail in terms of an overall cellar-door experience, have a great location, first-class service, a focus on artisanal and local Winelands produce, seasonal menus, tasting menus which expertly pair food and wine, a sommelier service and a wine list which showcases older vintages, own wines and/or regional wines at the cellar door.

    Vote for the following Franschhoek establishment:

    Pierneef à La Motte

    TREAD GENTLY: Award for Most Green Wine Farm

    The wine farm that sets the standard for green, planet-friendly farming practices in terms of sustainable viticulture and wine production, biodiversity and conservation initiatives, as well as organic or biodynamic viticulture is celebrated with this award.

    Vote for the following Franschhoek establishment:


    FAMILY DAY OUT: Award for Best Child-Friendly Venue on a Wine Farm

    This award goes to a wine farm where you can take the whole family and the kids are taken care of in a safe environment. There must be something for everyone here. The adults can relax and enjoy their wine experience – while a kids’ menu, special kids’ activities or a kids’ playground for all ages keeps everyone happy on a day out in the Winelands.

    Vote for the following Franschhoek establishment:

    Allée Bleue

    CROWD PLEASER: Award for Best Wine Route Event

    This award goes to the most popular wine route event on the annual Winelands calendar – an event that draws repeat visitors year after year, helps to build a regional wine brand and market a specific wine route destination.

    Vote for the: Cap Classique & Champagne Festival, Franschhoek

    HAPPY TIMES: Award for Most Memorable Wine Route.

    This award goes to the most popular wine route selected by wine tourists who cherish memories of their experience of a particular wine region because of its ambience, accessibility, scenic beauty, soul, sense of community, family tradition and heritage, warmth, friendliness, culinary offerings, etc. These criteria all go into the memory mix.

    Vote for us please! Franschhoek Wine Valley

    DELICIOUS DELI: Award for Best Deli on a Wine Farm

    These days, cellar-door delis sell all manner of goodies: estate olives and olive oils, artisanal breads, cheeses and charcuterie, boutique chocolates and nougat, organic vegetables, farm honey, jams, pickles and picnic baskets. This award recognises the top cellar-door deli, one that tempts wine tourists with an authentic range of traditional and contemporary Winelands produce grown on the farm or sourced locally from artisanal producers.

    Vote for the following Franschhoek establishment:

    Cotage Fromage at Vrede en Lust