2nd Cap Classique Technical Seminar

THE CAP CLASSIQUE ASSOCIATION is proud to announce the programme for the 2nd Technical Seminar Day which will be held on Wednesday 20th July 2011 at Joostenberg Conference Center, Stellenbosch. To avoid any disappointment please book now as the tickets are selling quickly. This year promises to be better and more technical than last year. Hope to see you there!  Further information please contact:

Pieter Ferreira – pieter@grahambeckwines.co.za Mobile 082 902 9817

Cap Classique Association – Sandra Lotz – sandra@efpromosies.co.za  Telephone 021 807 3104



The program is as follow:

08h00 to 08h50 – Registration

09h00 to 09h15 – Welcome by Chairman, Pieter Ferreira & Update on Cap Classique & Viteff Expo.

09h15 to 10h45 – Session I

  • Cold Stabilization and the use of CMC in Champagne – Presented by Alain Bourgeois from IOC, Champagne & CDS-Vintec.
  • Cold Stabilization and the use of CMC in South Africa – Presented by Nicolas Follet from Oenosense Consulting & AEB.
  • How to Remove Phenolics in Base Wine – Presented by Francoise Botton from Laffort
  • Overall View on WINETECH – Presented by Gerard Martin – Manager of Winetech.

10h45 to 11h15 – Tea Break

11h15 to 13h00 – Session II

  • Oxygen Transmission and Permeability of Crown Caps and the Influence on Aging – Presented by Mathias Mélan Moutet from Comptoir Commercial Champenois & ACS.
  • Disgorgement – The Dosage – Calculations and Options – Presented by Alexandre Ponnavoy – Enartis.
  • The Impact of Bottle Neck Profile on Cork’s Resistance to Pressure – Presented by Joaquim Sa, Amorim Cork SA.
  • The Gastronomic views on Cap Classique and Food Pairing – Presented by Bertus Basson of Overture Restaurant.


13h00 to 14h15 – Lunch Break

14h30 to 17h00 – Session III

  • Analysis options – Presented by Hanneli Smit, VinLab .
  • Anchor Yeast Geisenheim sparkling wine project – Presented by Karien O’Kennedy, Anchor Yeast.
  • Presentation & Tutored Tasting on a house style: Champagne Lanson


For banking deatail:

Account holder:  Cap Classique Producers Association

Bank:  ABSA

Acc number: 4076088412

Acc Type: Cheque

Branch code: 632005

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Opening a Champagne Bottle

At a viewing party for The Bachelorette last night, I was surprised to learn that many of the ladies in attendance don’t like to open champagne. “It’s scary,” a friend said. “I’m afraid I’m going to hit someone in the eye!” another chimed in. Since I’ve opened more bottles of sparkling wine than I can count, I’m living proof that it’s a safe act to perform on a regular basis. In fact, it’s a task that everyone should master with confidence! To encourage you to open that bottle of bubbly, I’ve got five reasons you shouldn’t fear the cage, or the cork. Find out what they are — and chime in with your thoughts in the comments — when you read on.

  1. It’s fun. Think about it: when do you open champagne? Or Prosecco? Or Cava? When you’re at a party! Uncorking sparkling wine is practically synonymous with having a good time.
  2. You have the chance of getting the first sip. If you pour too quickly, the champagne glass will overflow. In order to make sure it doesn’t spill on the ground or your party dress, there is only one thing to do: drink it!
  3. If you do it right, no one will get hurt. Make sure you know the proper technique foropening a bottle of champagne; always point the bottle away from you and anyone else who is nearby.
  4. The more bottles you open, the better you will be at it. Practice makes perfect, so start drinking more bubbly and you’ll get better and better at sliding off the cork.
  5. The sound is an instant signal for “the party has started!” It shouldn’t cause alarm; it’s the sound of anticipation for the party. It bursts with excitement!

Are you a pro at opening bottles of bubbly? For those who are scared of it, will you give it another try?


Source: Thinkstock


Having a wacky good weekend in Robertson

06 June 2011  by Carla van der Merwe, WINE.CO.ZA
My first visit to the Wacky Wine Weekend festival in Robertson led to a greater appreciation for supporting local produce and also showed me some warm hospitality.
I started my journey to Robertson in the early morning of Thursday, 2 June 2011. The first stop on my Robertson itinerary was a visit to Rooiberg Cellar’s where I had a candid conversation with Cellar Master Andre van Dyk who fondly reflected on how the festival had evolved over the past eight years and how it had aided in the change in perception of Robertson wine.

Van Dyk continued that Robertson was always seen as a “bulk wine producer”, but that the decision to market Robertson “as a valley and no longer as individual producers” has helped to highlight the quality wines that the area produces. Van Dyk also adds that “the quality of wine in Robertson has improved through the use of viticulturalists” and that “classification is done in the vineyards, by an external panel who decides on the classes for each block and they are managed according to their classification”.

My next stop took me to Rietvallei Estate which boasts six generations of winemakers and the oldest block of Red Muscadel in South Africa (the block was planted in 1908). I had the chance to talk to general manager and winemaker Kobus Burger and marketing manager Colyn Truter. Burger said that he was looking forward “to a more relaxed and wine focused festival” and that there would be “a relaxed vibe with food and wine at Rietvallei”.

With regards to what made their ‘wacky’ experience different to that offered by neighbouring farms, was their four shot golf challenge which allowed members of the public to try their luck at putting into the vineyards. Truter mused that the golf challenge had become so popular (it has been offered since the first Wacky Wine Festival) that people now bring their own clubs.

When asked to comment on the Wacky Wine festivities in the valley, Truter adds that “from a marketing perspective the Robertson valley producers have always wanted each farm to offer something different to consumers to attract different crowds”.

My last stop for Thursday was the Graham Beck master class tasting where new winemaker Pierre de Klerk conducted the tasting. The informal and interactive tasting involved smelling a number of glasses that contained real world examples of the flavours most commonly found in wine. The glasses contained, amongst others, spices, coffee, butter, toast, fynbos, chocolate, various fruit and vegetables and wood chips.

On Saturday I set off to De Wetshof where I attended their Voyage of discovery Chardonnay tasting where Johann and Peter de Wet showcased their various Chardonnay’s alongside two of the best French examples made in similar styles.

The tasting was conducted in the De Wetshof barrel cellar where the brothers explained that the climate and soil was always taken in to account in the production of their wines. The limestone found naturally in the valley contributed to the strong minerality in their unwooded Chardonnay’s the Bon Vallon 2009 and the Limestone Hill 2010 which kicked off the tasting. The two afore mentioned unwooded Chardonnay’s were compared to their French counterpart the Domaine La’roche Saint Martin 2007 from Chablis.

The lightly wooded Finesse / Lesca Chardonnay 2009 and the newly released Site Chardonnay 2009 were next. The Site Chardonnay is made from 28 year old vines and boasts the GPS co-ordinates on the label.

The final two Chardonnay’s were De Wetshof’s flagship Bateleur 2007 and the Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2007 from Burgundy. Both wines were made in a similar manner were similar soil types and climates and were perfect examples of how terroir influences wine.

After my educational morning I headed off to Excelsior where their ‘My Own Creation’ wine stand allowed patron’s to blend, bottle, cork and label a bottle of wine.

My last stop before heading home was the local Dros which (just like the Spur) boasts two wine lists, one which offers national and another which lists only Robertson wines to keep it local.

Stellenbosch Wine Festival 2011

07 June 2011  by Stellenbosch Wine Routes
The 150 farms that form the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes are pulling out all the stops for a double barrel celebration to mark their 40th anniversary and the 10th Stellenbosch Wine Festival during the last week of July this year.
The festival, to be held at the Paul Roos Centre from 28 to 31 July, is one of the biggest country food and wine festivals under one roof in the Cape and extends its Winelands hospitality again this year with the ever popular Stellenbosch Wine Week. From 22 to 31 July, visitors to South Africa’s oldest and foremost wine route will be able to partake in special Wine Week cellar door attractions on participating farms leading up to the Wine Festival. Stellenbosch Wine Week offers a wide-ranging kaleidoscope of family-friendly activities including gaming nights, a foreign film festival, food and wine pairings, adventurous day trips, family picnics, live music, exclusive winemaker dinners and rare vertical and varietal wine tastings, all blended into one big barrel of fun.

Various special accommodation packages in and around Stellenbosch, ranging from budget Winelands sleepovers to luxury rest and relaxation amidst the tranquility of aristocratic vines, are available to make the Stellenbosch Wine Week and Wine Festival more accessible to upcountry visitors this year.

Tickets to the Stellenbosch Wine Festival range from R120 per person per day for online bookings or R140 at the door, to R350 for the Golden Pass for the entire festival. The entry fee to the opening of the festival, an exclusive Wine Connoisseurs Evening from 16h00 till 21h00 on Thursday, 28 July, is R160 per person for online bookings or R180 at the door and includes gourmet delights. Be sure to take advantage of these special online prices by booking your tickets on www.webtickets.co.za now. Click here for more information or call (021) 886-4310.

Please click here to view the Stellenbosch Wine Routes June 2011 newsletter.

Shipwreck Champagne fetches ‘record’ price

A 200-year-old bottle of Champagne recovered from a Baltic shipwreck has fetched a record price at auction.

Champagne Juglar

The bottle – identified as Veuve Clicquot– was part of a cache of 168 bottles found last summer in a wrecked schooner dating from 1825-30 in Finland’s Åland archipelago.

It was sold to an anonymous bidder from Singapore for €30,000 (£26,700) by New York auction house Acker Merrall and Condit last Friday in Mariehamn, the capital of the autonomous Åland archipelago between Finland and Sweden, near where the bottles were found.

Acker said the same buyer paid €24,000 for another bottle of Champagne from the cache, from the now defunct Juglar house.

Finnish Champagne expert Essi Avellan MW, editor of FINE Champagne magazine, who tasted some of the bottles when they were opened last November, said she was astonished by their freshness.

‘Both the wines were very much alive and remarkably fresh. As expected they were sweet in style, with a surprisingly bright, golden colour and honeyed, toasty and farmyardy aromatics.

‘The Juglar was more harmonious and complete, while Veuve Clicquot’s aroma was overwhelmingly pungent and smoky, but the palate retained a freshness and immense concentration.’

While the auction house claims the price paid for the Veuve Clicquot is a record, this has not been independently confirmed.

Acker has claimed previous records for rare Champagne: in March 2009 it sold a bottle of 1928 Krugin Hong Kong for HK$164,560 (€15,900), and in 2008 two bottles of Dom Perignon Rosé 1959 were sold for £43,000, or about €27,600 each.

According to the BBC, the Åland authorities want to turn the Champagne auction into an annual event to boost tourism.

2nd Swartland Revolution – 11 & 12 November 2011

With the raging success of the inaugural Swartland Revolution organisers have made 250 tickets available for this year’s Revolution that will take place on the weekend of 11 – 12 November 2011 in Riebeek Kasteel.

With guest feedback that included praise such as “the best wine event that I have ever attended”; “like Woodstock… but without the sex”; “world class performance” and “a revolution against boring wines, against boring events; this was a revolt against the plain and the sad, the straight and the narrow; it was simply a benchmarking of joie de vivre” most of last year’s attendees have already booked their place at this year’s event.


The programme for 2011 has just been finalised and is bigger (and even better) than in 2010;

Three tastings of benchmark wines:

– Eight wines from the local Mullineux Cellar;

Olivier Clape presenting six of his wines from The Northern Rhone in France

– and nine wines, all personal favourites selected by London based wine writer Jamie Goode, ze German Sommelier Jorg Pfutzner and local kenner Michael Fridjhon.

The food will again be “simply superb” as noted by 2010 revolutionary: – Celeb chef Reuben Riffel and his team are ready to braai up a storm once more. If last year’s BBQ was any indication we can expect mountains of perfectly prepared meat, salads to stun and fire grilled veggies that will impress even the most hard core carnivores.

– For Saturday lunch the team at Bar Bar Black Sheep will again prepare a truly local feast to mesmerise guests.

The event will conclude with The Swartland Independent Street Party. At R50 per person this tasting is more accessible and open to the public. With local producers showcasing their natural wines it will attract a whole new crowd as we take over the Riebeek Main Street and party into the sunset.

Tickets are on sale at webtickets.

Full weekend package (incl all meals and tastings): R1750 pp

Reuben’s BBQ only: R500 pp

Breakfast and Coffee only: R75 pp

Bar Bar Black Sheep festival feast only: R350 pp

Swartland Independent Street Party: R50 pp


More info at: www.theswartlandrevolution.com

Mail: swartlandrevolution@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter: @swartlandrev

Cell: 083 558 65 94

IWSC 2011 comes to Paarl

03 March 11 by wosa.co.za

Frances Horder, competitions director of the International Wine & Spirits Competition, is currently braving 40°C-plus temperatures in Paarl, South Africa, organising logistics. That’s because – for the first time ever – the IWSC will be judging South African wines in South Africa. “Three years ago we were looking to expand the competition and decided to judge American wines in America – a sort of a Mohammed going to the mountain kind of thing – and it worked really well. It was expensive, logistically, but the costs were more than covered since we doubled our entry,” Horder said.

The IWSC is very cognisant of the strength of the rand and the pressure that local wine producers are under with regard to containing expenses – and international wine competition entries is one of those Horder said. “The entry fee doesn’t change but it does mean that the only transport costs involved are those of getting the samples to the Grande Roche in Paarl rather than shipping them overseas.” It is hoped that this cost saving is enough of an incentive for more local producers to enter. “We’re very happy with the South African numbers as there’s a strong entry every year. We get around 700 entries and South Africa traditionally does well. We’re not expecting the entries to increase this year.” Horder said that the American experiment turned up some interesting results. “We used local judges and were expecting results to improve – and quite the opposite happened. We found that the American judges were very hard on their own wines.”

The judging takes place in Paarl mid-July and local judges will be pressed into service. “We’ll be using a number of South African judges who would otherwise have travelled to the UK as well as some who haven’t judged at IWSC before.”A full day will be spent with all judges ahead of the final tasting in an induction process. “We want to ensure that all IWSC procedures and methods are followed throughout.” One difference between the judging at IWSC headquarters in the rural Surrey countryside and the charms of Paarl in mid-winter will be the lack of squealing tyres. The IWSC operates out of premises at an old World War II airfield, Dunsfold, which is also the venue for the popular motoring series, Top Gear! Dunsfold’s runway forms the “track” on which presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May (and The Stig!) do high-speed vehicle tests.

Sell personalities not wines

Sell personalities not wines.

Old Mutual Trophy Winners for 2011

18 Category Trophies at the 10th Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show.

White Wine Trophies:

Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc: Delaire Coastal Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc – Museum Class: Lomond Sugarbush 2007

Trophy for Best Semillon: Cape Point Semillon 2006

Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Blend: Spier Creative 2

Grande Roche Trophy for Best White Blend: Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Special White Blend 2010

Trophy for Best Chardonnay: Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009

Trophy for Best Riesling: Jordan Riesling 2009

Trophy for Best Riesling – Museum Class: Hartenberg Weisser Riesling 1999


Red Wine Trophies:

Trophy for Best Merlot: Hillcrest Quarry 2008

Trophy for Best Pinotage: Rijk’s Pinotage 2007

Trophy for Best Pinot Noir: Meerlust Pinot Noir 2009

Trophy for Best Shiraz-based Red Blend: Ormonde Theodore Eksteen 2008

Trophy for the Best Shiraz: Thelema Shiraz 2007

Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon – Museum Class: Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 1995 (KWV)

Trophy for Best Bordeaux-style Blend: KWV The Mentors Orchestra 2009

Dessert Wine Trophies:

Trophy for Best Dessert Wine: Nederburg Private Bin Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel 2008

Trophy for the Best Fortified Dessert Wine: Nuy White Muskadel 2005

Trophy for the Best Fortified Dessert Wine – Museum Class: KWV White Jerepigo 1933

Other Trophies:

Old Mutual International Judges’ Trophy: Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009

Old Mutual Trophy for Discovery of the Show : Nuy White Muskadel 2005

Old Mutual Trophy for Best Red Wine: Thelema Shiraz 2007

Fairbairn Capital Trophy for the Most Successful Producer: Spier Private Cellar


Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2011: Trophy and Gold medal awards

Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show 2011: Trophy and Gold medal awards.