Ever since Simonsig produced South Africa’s first Méthode Cap Classique way back in 1971, the MCC industry in South Africa has continued to rise like the bubbles it produces.

Today, there are 220 Cap Classique producers responsible for 300 labels. Together, they account for a staggering production of around 7,5 million bottles (in 2016 alone).

Methode Cap Classique, also known as MCC or Cap Classique, is the term used for a sparkling wine made in South Africa according to the Methode Champenoise (the traditional method used in Champagne). As the fastest growing wine category in the country, doubling its production every 5 years, it’s not just South Africans that are reaping the benefits, but the rest of the world too – with just under a third of our MCC bottles popped outside of the country each year.

This year also saw the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge taking place for the 16th consecutive year. Hosted by the MCC Association and cork company Amorim, some 97 entries were received. While Simonsig took home the competition’s Best Producer Award for the fourth time, other winners included Domaine Des Dieux and Graham Beck.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, judging panel convener Heidi Duminy, said the overall standard was excellent, with vintage distinction playing a key role.

“The panel was particularly impressed by 2011 wines that are presenting gorgeous refinement with 2015 also standing out for its character. Across the styles, time on lees was the common thread that set the ordinary apart from the outstanding. The top scoring wines displayed purity of fruit and deft use of varieties, outstanding balance, complexity, freshness and harmony.”

“Thanks to the dedication and passion of the producers, as well as consumer demand and healthy burgeoning competition, Cap Classique offers the best value proposition to wine lovers and is brilliantly poised to continue to rise in all aspects.”

Heidi’s view is one I not only share, but am passionate about spreading.  It’s one of the main reasons why I decided to create homegrown MCC events around the country.

In my opinion, French Champagne has done such a great marketing job as a luxury brand, and in many instances has overshadowed our local bubblies. It’s time our Cap Classique producers were given a worthy platform on which to showcase their quality, which at the top end, is as good as French, at a fraction of the price.

Our inaugural Wade Bales Cap Classique Celebration in Hyde Park was a great success last year, and has led to follow-up events in Joburg and Cape Town coming soon. The next one takes place at the Grand Africa Café & Beach in Granger Bay, Cape Town on Friday 6 October 4-8 PM & Saturday 7 October 3-7 PM.

With over 70 of South Africa’s premium MCC’s awaiting you (all made in the traditional Methode Champenoise style), as well as 25 local craft gins, there’s never been a better time to toast to the good life, and South Africa’s brilliant bubblies. Tickets are available via Quicket and are R290 per person.

Wade Bales is the Founder of The Wine Society:

© Wanted 2020 - If you would like to reproduce this article please email us.