What is Methode Cap Classique?

2nd November 2021

what is method cap classique

Did you know that some of the world’s finest sparkling wine is produced in South Africa? Alongside Champagne, South African bubbly is globally known and respected as a traditional method wine. South Africa, in 2020, was ranked as eighth in overall volume production of wine producing 4.0% of the world’s wine.

So what exactly does Methode Cap Classique (MCC) mean?

Methode Cap Classique (MCC) is the name used to refer to South African sparkling wines made by the traditional method. The term was adopted in 1992 in response to the ban on the use of the words ‘Champagne’ and ‘Champenoise’ for anything other than the bottle-fermented wine from the Champagne region in France. MCC are considered a premium category in South Africa and the term ‘Methode Cap Classique’ will always be written on the label to represent their classification.glassofbubbly

Made in the same way that Champagne is, and also Franciacorta / English Sparkling Wine / Cava / Cremant and more, South African sparkling wines offer great depth of flavours thanks to their terroir (influences of Atlantic & Indian oceans) and grape varieties including Chenin Blanc (most commonly grown), Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier. Sparkling wine is also produced according to the Charmat method and, very recently, a few wines have been made in the Méthode Ancestrale.

South Africa has approximately 100,000 hectares of vineyards which is more or less the same as the area of the Bordeaux wine region of France.

Graham Beck Babylonstoren Paul Dene

Graham Beck – Babylonstoren – Paul Dene


What does Methode Cap Classique – South African Sparkling Wine taste like?

Graham Beck – NV Brut: “Creamy green fruits and yellow floral on the nose. Fresh and fruity style. Good balance between acidity and sweetness in the palate – floral, apricot, peach skin, touch of herbaceous and a soft citrus close.

Babylonstoren – Sprankel 2013: “Crisp red apples and pastry on the nose. A dry flavour of yeasty, minerals, bruised green apples.

Paul Rene – Brut: “Zesty cirtus and apple aromas with added white floral and brioche notes. Flavours are young and vibrant with a fresh fruity taste sensation showing yellow stone fruits, lemon zest, flaky pastry, toast, freshly cut grass, white floral. Quite a bit packed into a single glass of bubbly!


Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.