Le Lude is the pioneer winery of South Africa to produce the artisanal Agrafé bottle fermented Cap Classique. This method involves fermenting wine under cork instead of crown cap. The cork is secured with a metal staple called an Agraffe. Fermentation under cork imparts a unique and integrated aroma profile and texture.
Our grapes are hand harvested in shallow picking crates to prevent berry bruising. Early morning harvests ensure the grapes remain cold when picked. The grapes are transported in refrigerated trucks to the cellar, offloaded and packed in a cold room to reach 5°C before pressing starts. The juice is settled for three days before it is racked off the sediment.
The clean juice is inoculated with yeast and undergoes a cool fermentation. No lees contact is given post fermentation and malolactic fermentation is avoided. Once we have our final still base wines, continuous blending trials and tastings will determine our final blend. Careful consideration is made to produce an elegant wine with structure and length.
The wine is bottled for secondary fermentation, and a cork is inserted. In the underground caves, the Agrafé is aged on the lees and left undisturbed. During ageing, the yeast cells release complex compounds that contribute to the richness and typical brioche-character found in Cap Classique. Limited releases and constant monitoring ensure that the perfect dosage is given before closing it with the final cork and Agrafé.