South Africa’s bottle-fermented sparkling wines get repositioned as Cap Classique

Over some glasses of fine Krone Vintage-Only Cap Classique we sat down with marketing manager for the Cap Classique Association, Caroline van Schalkwyk to ask her all about this change in positioning. 

Caroline van Schalkwyk, marketing manager for the Cap Classique Association, 

Why the change from MCC to Cap Classique - what inspired it? 

In a nutshell there are so many names and acronyms for Cap Classique it gets confusing for consumers. We want to have a strong positioning in the market with the name Cap Classique, which consumers can associate with quality.

What does the consumer need to know? 

When a person sees a bottle of sparkling wine with the words ‘Cap Classique’, they know that they are drinking something that has been made in the traditional method that has been ‘perfected by time’. 

‘Perfected by time’, can you elaborate?

The Cap Classique Producers Association has re-positioned its marketing objectives to highlight the importance of time in the making of fine South African bubbly. The change occurs simultaneously to a drive for changes in local legislation governing the production of Cap Classique. In broad terms, the law will ultimately make provision for at least two categories within the definition of Cap Classique that are based on the period the wine spends on the lees. This is a very exciting time for Cap Classique. It’s an important differentiator because it recognises the additional investment producers make in the pursuit of higher quality.

What does this mean?

We are moving from 9 months on the less to 12 months on the lees from the 2021 vintage which has been legislated, so consumers will know that when a bottle carries the Cap Classique name it has indeed been ‘perfected by time’. Of course celebrating 50-years of Cap Classique is also something exciting to keep an eye on. It takes a full year to produce a single bottle of Cap Classique, even longer than to build a custom Rolls Royce!

Quite a large roll out for the industry with changes from packaging to communication with the change of term - how is it going so far? 

We have advised our members that packaging changes do not need to take place immediately, but when a packaging update comes around they should move to Cap Classique on the labels and not MCC or Methode Cap Classique. Hopefully within the next five years almost all packaging will reflect the move to Cap Classique.

Hopes for the Cap Classique harvest 2021?

That we get a good harvest, not too big and not too small, so that we can sell all that we make and ultimately see higher prices and demand on both the local and international markets. A rising tide lifts all ships they say!

And... can you elaborate on the 50-year celebrations, and how people can get involved? 

There are several activations and events happening all through the year – and we have two signature events this year to celebrate, one in Joburg and one at Simonsig [where it all started in 1971]. There is also a calendar of social media activities and giveaways all celebrating this special milestone. We have also been working with stakeholders overseas to bring media and consumer specific events and tastings that are focusing on this special milestone. 

Plus we’re in the mood to celebrate (aren’t we always?) Shop and pop your favourite case this February from our online store- and you will be automatically entered into our draw to win one of five cases of Krone Vintage-Only Cap Classique!

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