D4 Sparkling: South Africa Flashcards
What are the two categories of sparkling wine made in South Africa?
Briefly describe the style of each, and in which market each is mostly consumed.
- Inexpensive, carbonated sparkling wine
- usually sweet, acceptable to good quality;
- domestic market, exported mostly to the sub-Saharan territories.
- Cap Classique
- Traditional Method sparkling wine made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc, Pinotage;
- good to very good quality, mid- to premium pricing;
- export market mostly.
Carbonated South African sparkling wine:
- What are the grapes typically used?
- What is its general tasting profile?
- Is production up or down since 2011?
- Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Pinotage, and other grapes;
- Simple, fruity, off-dry to sweet;
- Production down since 2011.
Cap Classique (CC):
- What is it?
- In what year was it founded?
- Give an example of a top producer.
- Cap Classique is an association of growers and producers who make Méthode Cap Classique, which is sparkling wine whose secondary fermentation occurs inside the same bottle in which it will later be sold (Traditional Method).
- Founded in 1992
- J.C. Le Roux
Laws for Méthode Cap Classique (MCC):
- What is the permissible method used to make it?
- What are its minimum bars of pressure post-disgorgement?
- What is its minimum aging time sur lie?
- Traditional Method;
- Minimum 3 bars post-disgorgement;
- 12 months minimum sur lie.
In South Africa, what percent of bottle-fermented sparkling wine is made by members of Cap Classique?
More than 90%
Grapes for South African sparkling wine are principally grown in which regions?
- Robertson (limestone soils);
- Bonnievale (limestone soils);
What is it about Robertson and Bonnievale that make them good places to grow grapes destined for sparkling wine?
- They’re narrow valleys that are slow to warm in morning due to mountain shade (large diurnal shift);
- Cool breezes come up through Breede River from Cape Agulhas;
- Limestone soils.
What are some other soil types grapes are grown on in South Africa (besides limestone in Robertson and Bonnievale)?
- Decomposed granite.
Do most producers in South Africa blend wines from different areas or do they make single vineyard sparkling wines?
Blend wines from different areas.
When do South African producers aim to pick their grapes for Méthode Cap Classique?
~90 days after flowering
South African producers leave lots of canopy on the vine for extra shade.
What happens to grapes when they ripen in full shade?
If grapes ripen in full shade, their acidity is higher
How is South African carbonated sparkling wine made?
Fermentation is usually stopped (so the finish is sweet), then carbonated, then bottled and released.
It’s an inexpensive method which results in inexpensive wine.
Most Cap Classiques:
- Are harvested by hand or machine?
- Whole-bunch pressed or fully destemmed?
Most Cap Classiques are:
- Hand harvested;
- Whole-bunch pressed.
Acidification in Cap Classique is:
What step in the winery will better winegrowers do when making their Cap Classique?
Separate press fractions before blending