Lively Boschendal Winemaker Talks Bubbles

Words: Jess Spiro

What is your winemaking philosophy?

Respect what nature has given us, capture this and protect it until you have a little piece of art in a glass.

 What is South African Méthode Cap Classique?

Cap Classique is made in the exact same way as a French Champagne. It is a uniquely South African term used to describe the bottle-fermentation process that produces delicious bubbly. Only premium quality juice is used and the second fermentation happens inside the bottle creating the very fine bubbles which are characteristic of quality MCC. This is definitely not ‘sparkling wine’ which refers to wine that has been carbonated artificially.

 Is making MCC science or art?

There is no real fixed formula so it is an art. I am constantly working with the wines and tweaking where necessary to really enhance what nature has provided. You need patience and the ability to conquer the challenges that constantly face you as a winemaker. Sometimes the hours are long during harvest time – but this is all part of the magic. Seeing the transformation of the grape berries into a glass of spectacular wine!

 Where do you start?

The process begins in the vineyards long before the grapes are picked. We identify the best vineyards and take special care of them through nurturing and careful vineyard management. Our viticulturist Stephan Joubert is an expert at selecting only the very best vineyard blocks for Boschendal wines and works relentlessly to ensure that a sustainable approach is taken throughout the process.

 How is a sustainable approach insured at Boschendal?

Boschendal was recently awarded the WWF Conservation Champion status, presented to South African wine farms that are committed to addressing environmental concerns and meet a set of rigorous conservation criteria including a comprehensive eco-friendly management plan with detailed targets to encourage continuous improvement.

 Do you work closely with the winemaking team?

Yes – you definitely need to get dirty before you can truly appreciate the fruit of the vines. One of my beliefs is that the team working with me needs to understand what it is all about and this one only really achieves by working hands on and closely together.

 Is Méthode Cap Classique capturing the younger market?

It is amazing to see how the palates of our younger consumers are maturing and gaining a real appreciation for superior quality MCC’s. Those ‘in the know’ cannot live without their bubbles and believe that opening a bottle of MCC in itself is an occasion. Boschendal Méthode Cap Classique offers elegance, finesse and a memorable tasting experience which can be enjoyed at length. 

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