Bon Courage Winemaker Jacques Bruwer’s Passion for Cap Classique
Bon Courage is one of a host of top South African producers who will be showcasing their bubbly at the upcoming Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival which takes place on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4 from 11:00 to 16:00 at the Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek.
Visitors to the festival will have the opportunity to 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.
Bon Courage winemaker Jacques Bruwer explains what makes his wines stand out and why bubbly is his passion: “The 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.
He recalls: ”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 and that is where my passion and love for bubbly started.
”My father always said that the ultimate in winemaking 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?
“I think 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 the above mentioned 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 Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival – presented by Sanlam Private Wealth – will be Black Elephant Vintners, Boschendal, Domaines Des Dieux, Graham Beck, Krone, L’Ormarins, Laborie, La Motte, Le Lude, Nanola Wines, Paul René, Pongracz, Rickety Bridge, Steenberg and Villiera. Champagne will include Taittinger and Comtesse Alexia and festival-goers will also be able to taste Veuve Du Vernay, a French sparkling wine.
The Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival
- Saturday, December 3 from 11:00 to 16:00
- Sunday, December 4 from 11:00 to 16:00
- Venue: Huguenot Monument, Franschhoek
- Tickets R450pp (includes souvenir glass and 10 tasting coupons)
- Dress theme: Blue & White
- Booking via www.webtickets.co.za