Frans Malan was a man ahead of his time. The first Simonsig wines bottled under the Estate’s own label started appearing in the early 1970s. With Spatz Sperling of Delheim and Neil Joubert of Spier, he started The Stellenbosch Wine Route.
With David van Velden of Overgaauw he imported small previously filled French oak barrels from Chateau Latour to start experimenting with fermentation and maturation in smaller oak. Something that is de rigueur today. In the early 1970s with everything else that was going on in the Estate he made the first Champagne-style wine, using Chenin Blanc, with a second fermentation in the bottle. He named it Kaapse Vonkel, Cape Sparkle, which he later told me he would have liked to have seen all Cape sparkling wines made by the Methode Champenoise so named. Eventually the generic name for this style of wine in the Cape became known a Methode Cap Classique, MCC.
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