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Bubbles in Joburg

Bon Courage is one of a host of top South African producers who will be showcasing their bubbly at the upcoming Johannesburg Cap Classique and Champagne Festival – which takes place on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10 from 11:00 to 16:00 (both days) at the Inanda Polo Club in Sandton.

Pop in and try three Bon Courage Vintage Cap Classiques .. the Jacques Bruere Vintage Blanc de Blanc 2012; the Jacques Bruere Vintage Brut Reserve 2013; and the Jacques Bruere Vintage Cuvee Rosé Brut 2013.

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Winemaker Jacques Bruwer says “The Joburg bubbly festival is a good platform to showcase our Cap Classiques which are handmade from beginning to end. They are all vintage and only released after 48-month yeast contact before disgorgement.”

After completing school, Bruwer studied wine-making at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch.

”In those days, the 10 best students of the cellar technology course were allocated a block of Chardonnay grapes to work with and I decided to make a Cap Classique with my block … that is where my passion and love for bubbly started,” he recalls.

”My father always said that the ultimate in wine-making was to produce a ’Champagne’. In 1989 very little Cap Classique was on the market and it was a challenge to make. We were also one of the first Cap Classique’s made in Robertson. The first on the estate was made by another Jacques and is also named after him – Jacques Bruére Cap Classique.”

Bruwer doesn’t believe that Cap Classique styles have changed dramatically over the past 15 years but thinks that consumers now drink drier varietals than they did 10 yars ago.
So how does South African Cap Classiques  shape up against French Champagnes and Italian Proseccos?

“We are on par with the best of the world; the only negative is that we are not allowed to call it Champagne. But we do offer great value for a top-class product.”

What dishes would Bruwer pair with each of his Bon Courage bubblies?

“With the Vintage Blanc de Blanc, I’d go with a plate of shucked oysters, with the Vintage Brut Reserve it would have to be sushi and with the Vintage Cuvee Rosé Brut I think a big bowl of freshly picked strawberries would be the perfect accompaniment.”

Other Cap Classique producers at The Johannesburg Cap Classique and Champagne Festival will be L’Ormarins, Krone, Simonsig, Black Elephant Vintners, Graham Beck, Steenberg, Boschendal, Villiera, La Bri, Kleine Zalze and Siwela Wines. French Champagne will be represented by the likes of Luc Belaire and Champagne Deutz and festival-goers will also get to taste the French sparkling wine Veuve Du Vernay.

The Johannesburg Cap Classique and Champagne Festival  … Saturday and Sunday April 9 and 10 from 11am to 4pm at the Inanda Polo Club, Sandton. Tickets are R395, which includes a souvenir glass and 10 tasting coupons. Booking: www.webtickets.co.za

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