Caroline’s White Wine Review 2013

Annual White Wine Review
We’ll see you at The Table Bay Hotel next Wednesday evening, 30th October 2013. Taste the finest white wines and Cap Classiques produced in South Africa. All the winemakers themselves will be there, to show you their wine personally – and each will bring one wine only. That wine will be the very best in their cellar at present – look out for : Graham Beck’s Brut Zero 2008, AA Badenhorst, Malagas, Quoin Rock, Rall, Cape Point, Ghost Corner, Meerlust, Boekenhoutskloof, La Motte, Nitida – just a few mentioned to whet your appetite.

Venue: The Table Bay Hotel, ballroom
Time: 17h00 onwards, until 21h00
Cost: R150 p/p which includes an uncrested crystal glass and programme
Parking: V&A Parking areas for own account
Tickets: Computicket only – booking open now. A limited umber of tickets will be sold at the door.


Graham Beck Wines Activities during Wacky Wine Weekend

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Some great shows awaits you on Friday and Saturday evening en there are many different treats that will be on sale:


Beans about coffee:

 Americano – 250ml R15 / 350ml R20

  • Cappuccino – 250ml R15 / 350ml R20
  • Latte – 350ml R20
  • Hot Chocolate – 350ml R25


Oyster & Bubbly Bar:

  • Single Oyster – R 15.00
  • 6 Oysters  – R 75.00
  • 12 Oysters – R 120.00
  • 6 Oysters & a glass of bubbly  – R 100.00
  • 12 Oyster & 2 glasses og bubbly – R 220.00


Burgerlicious :

Lightly spiced Blesbok burger, toasted milk bun, onion marmalade

Smoked Paprika chips



Sticky smoked pork belly wrap, sweet chilli dressing


Pot Pies?

Lamb shank Rogan Josh in a creme fraiche pastry pie



Cheese selection

Cold meats

Potted duck liver parfait

Freshly baked breads

Marinated olives




We hope to see you there on one of the days during the Wacky Wine Weekend & Graham Beck Wines in ROBERTSON!!!





Graham Beck Wines at Rustic Cellar in Boca Raton

Don’t forget only a few seats left…. And the Menu is:

A roasted pear with Blue Cheese Starter. Followed with dishes known for the South African Fare. The tasting continues with: Bobotie with Blatjang, Bunny Chow, Rusks and Gatsby’s. (Chef will surprise you with some sort of sweet ending.

Friday Night Graham Beck tasting at 7:30PM… 25 pp++. RSVP Deb @rustic

Oh yeah and the Winemaker is bringing the following wines…

Graham Beck Brut NV, Brut NV Rosé, Blanc de Blanc, Game Reserve Cabernet, and Game Reserve Chenin Blanc (and maybe a couple of extras…)

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet a winemaker and enjoy the wine and foods from south africa!

We are currently at 28 people and counting. It will be a fun night for sure.

Deb Brubaker
The Rustic Cellar, Inc.
409 S.E. Mizner Blvd
Boca Raton, FL 33432
T. 561-392-5237
C. 561-756-6410
F. 561-372-8754

For the love of bubbly and my country

Originally Posted on 30 August 2012  by Alison Sussex
I recently came across a British writer’s article on New World sparkling wines, particularly those made in the traditional method. He wrote extensively and enthusiastically about USA, Australian, New Zealand and Latin American sparkling wines.
South Africa was given a brief mention, but the South African section was more notable for what it did not say than what it did say. Included was the paragraph: “Production is very small scale with fewer than two-dozen producers”.

I was surprised that a British wine buff knew so little about South African Cap Classique – surely a dynamic and exciting sector world-wide. I also felt my patriotic feathers slightly ruffled, and decided to do some digging around for more information in order to put the record straight. I contacted the author and he said he would really welcome additional details; he said that he had tried doing further research on South African Cap Classique himself, but had found information on South African Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) wines hard to come by.

Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira, chairperson of the Cap Classique Association (CCA), proved to be most helpful in this regard, and provided me with the following information:

Cap Classique was established in 1992, well before the embargo was placed on Méthode Champenoise in 1995. At that stage, the CCA came into existence, having 14 members. The CCA now has 82 members in their producers’ association. This is by no means inclusive, and according to the Platter Wine Guide, approximately 100 South African wineries make Cap Classique. The CCA raison d’être is the promotion of South Africa’s premium MCC wines, as well as the promotion of the common interests of the producers of MCC wines.

Cap Classique refers to bottle fermented sparkling wine made according to Méthode Cap Classique. Carbonated sparkling wine is mainly made by cooperatives and wholesalers. Pieter estimated there are fewer than three producers producing Charmat method (Cuvée Close) sparkling wine.

The latest statistics on sparkling wine from SAWIS (2011 figures) in South Africa are:

• Total litres sold locally per annum = 8.8 million litres
• Total litres exported per annum = 6.6 million litres

These figures do not distinguish between sparkling wine and Cap Classique, and Pieter estimates that of the 15.4 million litres produced per annum, roughly 5.4 million litres would be Cap Classique wines and 10 million litres would be sparkling wine. The major MCC wines that are exported are Poncracz, Graham Beck, Simonsig, Pierre Jourdan and Villiera, and the main export markets are Sweden, UK, Germany and the USA.

Total Cap Classique production per annum is approximately seven million bottles, and current sales suggest that this volume doubles every five years, making it an extremely exciting category in the South African wine industry. There are only a few really big producers (producing more than 200 000 bottles a year; two of these produce a million bottles a year). About six producers together produce nearly 80% of the sparkling wine produced in South Africa.

Styles which are emerging are Blanc de Blancs, blends, Rosés and the small amounts of Prestige Cuvées. Any variety is permitted, and current legislation for the time spent on the lees is a minimum of nine months. There is currently a white paper in existence stipulating that the minimum time on the lees should be 12 months; it is anticipated that this law will be in force by the end of 2013.

The CCA organises three festivals a year, as well as an annual base wine tasting workshop by their members, the goal of the workshop being the improvement of the quality of the base wines going into bottles. There is also an annual technical seminar, where international speakers discuss the latest products and technology, and this culminates in a Champagne tasting.

The CCA is also committed to various social upliftment projects. At the Investec Johannesburg Bubbly Festival in 2011, it was decided that all profits made would be donated towards a project dedicated to assist children in the winelands who come from challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds. Likewise, all of the big MCC producers share a common objective of the cultural and educational upliftment of the local communities, particularly in the winelands.

Interesting snippets about Cap Classique:

• In 1994, Graham Beck Brut NV was chosen as the celebratory drink at the presidential inauguration of Nelson Mandela.

• After declaring his intention to run for president, Barack Obama took Michelle Obama to one of their favourite restaurants in Chicago. The sommelier recommended Graham Beck Brut NV, and the Obamas liked it so much that they ordered it for Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration in 2009.

• Frans Malan, the founder of Simonsig, was the first producer of Méthode Champenoise in South Africa when he pioneered Cap Classique in 1971. In 1997, Kaapse Vonkel became the first Cap Classique to use all three of the classic grape varieties used in traditional method sparkling wines, when Pinot Meunier was introduced (the three being Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).

Cap Classique Festivals 2012

• Magic of Bubbles – Franschhoek 30 November, 1 and 2 December 2012
• The 11th Amorim Cork Méthode Cap Classique Challenge. Judging will be conducted on 28 August 2012, and the winners will be announced at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town on 20 September 2012.

I hope that this goes some way towards putting the record straight, and I encourage the British author of the article on sparkling wines to try ours.

Wouldn’t it be nice if one day, the French were to say of their Champagne – “Well, it’s like Cap Classique, but we are not allowed to call it that”!

For more on Cap Classique – visit

Johannesburg Cap Classique and Champagne Festival Presented by MasterCard

Boasting some of the country’s top Cap Classiques from estates such as Colmant, Graham Beck Wines, House of Krone, La Motte, Môreson, Pierre Jourdan, Poncracz, Simonsig, Silverthorne, Steenberg and Villiera, the festival will offer patrons the opportunity to sip and sample the finest of bubblies without having to venture into the Winelands. World-renowned Champagnes will be presented by brands such as Follet-Ramillon, Tribaut and Veuve Clicquot.

Tickets cost R250 per person and are available online at


See you there!!!

Bastile VIP Tasting during Bastille 2012

The following wines have been selected to be shown in the Bastille VIP tent on Saturday 14th July and Sunday 15th July from 12-5pm in Franschhoek.

Farm & Wine & Vintage

Glenwood – Chardonnay Vignerons Select 2010

Backsberg – Family Res White Blend 2009

Chamonix – Chardonnay 2009

Moreson – Chardonnay 2011

La Bri – La Bri Syrah 2009

La Motte – Pierneef Shiraz Viog 2009

Graham Beck Wines – Cuvee Clive 2005

Morena – Morena BrutNV

Dieu Donne – Merlot 2009

Rickety Bridge – Paulina’s Reserve Cab 2009

La Vigne – Naturally dried – Viognier 2011

Boekenhoutskloof – Syrah 2006

Rupert & Rothschild – Baron Edmund 2009

Vrede en Lust – Vrede en Lust Boet Erasmus 2009

Antonij Rupert – Antonij Rupert Merlot 2006


Franschhoek Summer Wines – around the corner

31 March 2012

Celebrate the last few days of summer in style and head off to Leopard’s Leap Vineyards on 31 March, set in the picturesque Franschhoek Wine Valley, for the inaugural Franschhoek Summer Wines.
Known as one of SA’s leading wine destinations, some of the valley’s top wineries will be showcasing their finest summer wines at this exclusive event.

Participating wineries:
include La Bri, Morena, Colmant, Môreson, Anthonij Rupert’s Cape of Good Hope and Terra del Capo, Franschhoek Cellars, Bellingham, Noble Hill, Leopard’s Leap, La Motte, Solms-Delta, Graham Beck, Haut Espoir and more.
Wine lovers will have the opportunity to browse at their leisure or engage with the winemakers, who would have just finished the 2012 harvest.
Relax and unwind, taking in the scenery of the valley as live entertainment ensures an unforgettable experience throughout the day.

Taking full advantage of the glorious summer days the festival will be open from 12pm until 5pm at Leopards Leap Vineyards.
Celebrity chef Liam Tomlin, who has recently launched Liam Tomlin Food at Leopard’s Leap Vineyards, and which has been receiving rave reviews, will ensure you don’t go hungry as he prepares sumptuous food to purchase whilst enjoying the day.

Liam Tomlin Food Demo’s
R110 per person per demonstration
12h00: How to make a perfect Risotto
14h00: How to make the perfect Duck Confit
16h00: How to make the perfect Pork Belly
Guests need to have an admission ticket in order to attend a demonstration

Tickets cost R180 per person which includes a tasting of all the wines on show.
Locals Special: R150 per person- these tickets have to be bought at the Franschhoek Wine Valley Offices.

Booking is essential as tickets are limited to 350 people only.

Those wishing to spend the night will be spoilt for choice with accommodation ranging from the finest bed and breakfasts to luxurious boutique hotels, all nestling in a picturesque and safe environment.
For more information contact Franschhoek Wine Valley events co-ordinator Darielle Robertson on
021 876 2861 or