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Kenya Joins South Africa in Celebrations for its 50th Anniversary of Cap Classique

A consortium of Kenyan wine importers, promoters and enthusiasts have joined top South African wine producers and WOZA (Wines of South Africa) to celebrate the country’s milestone achievement – 50yrs of Cap Classique. The team, led by Wanjiru Mureithi (popularly known as Winenjiru) with a special virtual tasting that aims to promote this wine category in the Kenyan market. Her event will be held on 1st September 2021 which coincidentally marks Cap Classique day (usually an annual event).

The world of sparkling wines may seem quite daunting for many. We are here to help though.

Sparkling wines from the famous region of Champagne (France) are called Champagne. If we go to Italy, they call their wines Prosecco, Spain dub theirs Cava and for South Africa, they bear the name Méthode Cap Classique, the Cape’s most famous bottle-fermented sparkling wines. It is important to note that they mostly undergo the same winemaking method of a secondary fermentation which really brings out the bubbles and fizzy feel that most like.

Winenjiru at a previous virtual wine tasting event

Lets understand why some bubblies are more expensive than others

Bottled wines simply injected with carbon dioxide are called ‘sparkling ‘and the process is quick and relatively affordable for winemakers to produce.

The sugar reacts with the concentrate to restart the fermentation and continues until all the sugar is converted to alcohol. This process requires a master of the craft and consumers hence will pay a heftier price to get their hands on a bottle.

The Cap Classique’s history dates back decades earlier when legendary Stellenbosch winemaker Frans Malan visited the Champagne region of France in 1968 and became fascinated by the ‘sparkling’ winemaking processes he witnessed in the Champagne cellars. Upon his return to South Africa he procured rudimentary equipment and produced his own single-handed natural bottle-fermented sparkling wine. Malan used Chenin Blanc, the most prolific white variety to be found in the Cape vineyards at the time releasing the first Cap Classique in 1973 under the name Kaapse Vonkel.

An example of a Cap Classique available in Kenya:

Aristea

Approximately ten million bottles of Cap Classique are produced annually and the category has over the years built a strong presence both in the South African wine industry and abroad. These sparkling wines are are an emerging wine category also being sold in Kenya by wine retailers such as Wine Shop Kenya, Oaks n Corks, Wine Gallery among others.

If you liked this article, you may like this one: Champagne – In Success You Deserve It and In Defeat, You need it! – Sir Winston Churchill

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