South Africa – Methode Cap Classique Sparkling Wines

Monday, 28 August, 2017, Atsuko Furuya
Seeing is believing! There I was, in South Africa, to see the vineyards and magnificent mountain ranges including the symbolic Table Mountain. I touched weathered sandstones and shale’s soils and felt the breeze from the False Bay.

South Africa has a diverse environment that enables producing a variety of wines. My overall impression is that South African wine is very pure and honest. They precisely express their own terroir and each producer’s philosophy. I was very impressed with their dedicated, pure passion towards winemaking and friendship amongst the local producers. They help each other and share their information about viticulture and winemaking. They have bonded to improve the quality and recognition of South African wine.

Many producers practice sustainable viticulture and minimal human intervention to protect the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Methode Cap Classique (MCC) is the name used to refer to South African sparkling wines made by the traditional method. The term was adopted in 1992 in response to the ban on the use of the words ‘Champagne’ and ‘Champenoise’ for anything other than the bottle-fermented wine from the Champagne region in France. MCC are considered a premium category in South Africa and the term “Methode Cap Classique” will always be written on the label to represent their classification.

It is quite reasonable to understand that the sales of MCC have been increasing not only in abroad but also in a domestic consumption in South Africa with the Mediterranean climate. The wine section at the local supermarket was dominated by their own MCC and sparkling wine. They usually sell only local wines because of the price value without tax and duty matters.

The Cap Classique Producers Association (CCPA), established by producers who share a passion for bottle fermented sparkling wine is constantly striving to improve the quality standards of all the members’ wines.

Vinification of MCC follow the same strict procedures as those for Champagne, with the exception being that base wines are required to spend a minimum of 9 months on their lees. However, it is going to change to 12 months in two years.

To read more online, click here.

Thomas Davidson

Thomas joined in May 2019 after graduating from Stellenbosch University with a BA in History & Ancient Cultures and completing a certificate in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School in Stellenbosch. He moonlights as a radio presenter at MFM - and has an incredible passion for wine. 
We are delighted to have him on the team.