What is Méthode Cap Classique?

The first Cap Classique was produced in 1971, South Africa’s own and unique interpretation of the Champagne-style of winemaking. The name implies a natural sparkling wine, wine bottle-fermented in the age-old European tradition to develop the magical sparkle driven by over 50 million tiny bubbles found in each bottle. Among its producers, Cap Classique also goes by the name of “excellence” as there is a collective commitment crafting sparkling wines of superlative quality capable of standing alongside the best in the world.

Winemaking

Le Lude’s custom-build winery is one of the few cellars in South Africa exclusively used for making Cap Classique.

Grapes from specially selected blocks are hand-picked during cool early-morning temperatures to ensure optimum freshness. The bunches are pressed whole, a critical part of the process of creating a great sparkling wine, with only the first pressing of juice – our cuvee – used in the making of the base wines. These base wines, the building blocks of the final product, are regularly tasted by discerning palates before the components are blended for the process of bottle-fermentation.

Once bottled, the bottles ferment and mature horizontally in cool, dark cellars for a minimum of twelve months. It is here that the wines undergo a mystical process, sugar is converted to alcohol creating the millions of tiny bubbles, while the lees upon which the wine lies gives flavour, complexity and deliciousness.

After riddling and disgorging, Cap Classique wines are left to mature on the cork for some time to ensure integration and balance. This commitment to quality is evident in your glass every time a Cap Classique cork is popped.

What is Agrafe® – Tirage Liège

Le Lude is the first South African winery to use the Agrafe® method in its sparkling wines, implying that that during the time under bottle-fermentation a natural cork was used to seal the bottle instead of the more widely-used steel crown-cap. The word Agrafe® literally means “staple”, and it is this staple that secures the cork to the bottle during the process, as well as after the final process of disgorgement where it gives the wines of Le Lude a distinct feature.

But Agrafe® is not just about originality in aesthetics. By allowing the wine to undergo bottle-fermentation while closed under a natural cork, the resulting product has been proven to show more developed, multi-layered characters making Agrafe® a certification of extraordinary quality.