Thursday, December 04, 2014

The Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival ‘The ‘Magic of Bubbles’

Held, as usual, at the Huguenot monument in Franschhoek, this was a huge success this year as they were totally full on both days. We love this festival, but don’t love the heat that arrives in some years. We chatted to many of our favourite producers to find out what they were doing with their MCCs and tasted several new releases. Several of our friends were also there, enjoying the day. With your entrance ticket costing R200 you were given a champagne glass and a MasterCard sponsored card, loaded with points. It was ‘tapped’ at the various stalls to pay for tastes, usually one per generous tasting. Food had to be paid for with cash. Sadly, Franschhoek has not embraced Banting, almost all the food was with or on large amounts of bread.

One thing we just don’t understand. WHY can you not taste the French champagnes at the show? This surely is the place and time and more importantly the perfect target market to introduce their wines to? But no, you could only buy an expensive full glass or a bottle with cash, they don’t all take the card which was provided. We think that it looks rather snobbish and puts people off who have not yet experienced these lovely bubbles. Many told us that they wouldn’t mind giving up more points to taste the champagnes.
The queue at the entrance. Black and white theme yet again this year
Every seat and umbrella was taken
What a great place to start with - Rickety Bridge’s Rosé MCC and a chat with marketing manager Andrew Harris
Two Foxes on the Charles Fox stand with their lovely crisp Brut
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne were creating real bubbles
Takuan and Christiane von Arnim on the Cabrière stand
A happy lady
Peter “Bubbles” Ferreira celebrating with some fans
Champagne Jacquart stand
Would Monsieur like a glass or a bottle?
The Simonsig barrel looked good enough to climb into
Lots of elegant well dressed people tasting Champagne
A bottle of Veuve Clicquot on ice in the carrier cost R500
Gold card sir? Lots of takers
Shade in the Pongrácz tent
If you bought a bottle of Piper Heidsieck, it came with a ‘glass’ slipper to drink it from. Demonstrated here by brand manager Tamika Sewnarain
And, as we are media, she gave us a taste of it. Lovely Champagne, dry and elegant
Ross Baker of Wild Peacock and his team spent two days shucking oysters. They sold a boat load
Grand Brut MCC from Plaisir de Merle on ice
And the lovely ladies from Weltevrede in Bonnievale with their three special MCCs
Weltevrede’s Philip Jonker Brut, The Ring, a Blanc de Blanc. It has won so many awards because it is a really good MCC
Happy festival goer and some stilt walkers to entertain us
Ivan Oertle on the Woolworths stand was showcasing the Comtesse Champagne with Chef de cave Alain Pailley and marketing manager Gerard Rafai of Alexandre Bonnet champagne
One of Lynne’s all time favourite Cape MCC’s Silverthorn. So lean, so dry, so sophisticated
Sharon Parnell of Domaine des Dieux with their Claudia MCC
Another busy stall was Genevieve
Leon Engelke, Daisy Verburg and Melissa Nelsen. They always have great branding
Winemaker Anneke du Plessis with the MCC we are drinking most at home this year, the Laborie.
“I am hot and I like eating ice”
She didn’t want any MCC, only ice

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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