Reach for the stars at the Cap Classique Academy  

by | Sep 1, 2021 | Article, News

On Cap Classique day in this celebratory 50th anniversary year, the Cap Classique Producers Association is delighted to share the birth of the Cap Classique Academy in collaboration with the Cape Wine Academy.  

This educational initiative is the brainchild of Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira, Chair of the Cap Classique Association, who realised that there was tremendous growing interest and natural curiosity shown in the Cap Classique category. “There is far more to Cap Classique than meets the eye! Trust me. Just stylistically there are so many variables,” says Pieter. “There is so much to learn about the intricacies of tasting Cap Classique and discerning the diverse styles that have emerged since 1971 when the first Cap Classique was produced.”  

Pieter has presented the module on Champagne and Sparkling Wine at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business Wine Judging Academy facilitated by esteemed wine journalist, judge and critic Michael Fridjhon, since its inception in 2007. “This experience made me aware of the gap that exists in understanding wine with bubbles in it. Each year we have managed to improve the understanding of how to evaluate sparkling wine with the emphasis on Cap Classique,” he says, “although the explosion of interest in the category in recent years calls for a well-supported dedicated education platform.”  

The Cap Classique Academy is committed to teaching, training and sharing the love of South Africa’s bottle-fermented bubbly in three levels of learning that will be facilitated by the Cape Wine Academy. “Pieter’s vision for a series of courses that specialises in the art, science and appreciation of Cap Classique has been taking shape over quite some time and aligns perfectly with the Cape Wine Academy’s vision to further the education and training of South African wine. Together with the Cap Classique Association, we have shared ideas and expertise to present an exciting and thorough three-tier journey through a constellation of Cap Classique,” says Heidi Duminy, Principal of the Cape Wine Academy. 

Level 1: The First Star in Cap Classique Course 

A fun and exciting interactive encounter with Cap Classique in a three-hour session. It includes the basics of how South Africa’s finest bubbles are made, practical service rituals, tips to make the most of your appreciation as well as a tasting journey through the various styles and expressions of the category. This course is aimed at anyone who has the slightest curiosity in Cap Classique from complete beginners to enthusiastic lovers of bubbles.  

The inaugural ‘The First Star’ course will be launched in late September and will be offered in all major centres nationally. 

Level 2: The Rising Star in Cap Classique Course 

A much deeper and detailed look into the business side of Cap Classique aimed at more serious enthusiasts and industry professionals who make, market, sell and judge Cap Classique. This series of four three-hour lectures delve into the provenance, production, professional service, cuisine affinity, industry trends and branding of Cap Classique as well as practical tutored tastings to understand the various styles and classes. 

This module is in development and is expected to be launched in the first semester of 2022.  

Level 3: The Cap Classique Supernova Course  

By invitation only for the top graduates of the Rising Star Cap Classique Course, this intense tasting-based programme compares Cap Classique with Sparkling wines from around the world. “As South Africa’s most vibrant leading growth category it is very important to ensure a succession of competent sparkling wine judges across all wine competitions and rating platforms,” says Heidi who is also Convenor of the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge and sparkling wine judge on various panels. “The Cap Classique Supernova course is intended to be the incubator for those who show talent and potential at the second stage. Graduates of this third level will be recognised as Cap Classique specialist tasters.” 

The launch of this module is expected in the second semester of 2022. 

Details and dates of all courses will be posted on the Cape Wine Academy website, as well as on the Cap Classique Producer’s Association website from 6 September 2021. 

“We have come a very long way in fifty years,” reflects Pieter, “but imagine how much we still have to discover, as the proud blaze of Cap Classique progresses. Come and learn more about our past, our present and what is written in the stars!”

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