Rickety Bridge`s First Venture into Cap Classique Reaps Rewards

Rickety Bridge winemaker, Wynand Grobler, decided to take up the challenge set by the owner, Duncan Spence, in 2008 to beat the French at their own game and produce a world class Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine.

Wynand identified a remarkable Chardonnay vineyard in Franschhoek which he thought would be ideal for making an exceptional Blanc de Blancs and Rickety Bridge’s first ever Méthode Cap Classique, and in January 2009 the first grapes for Cap Classique were harvested by Rickety Bridge. Not wanting to rush this delicate wine, the dégorgement only took place late in 2012. Further ageing on cork has benefitted this delicious wine which was only recently labelled and released.

The results of the Amorim Tsogo Sun Méthode Cap Classique Challenge were announced at a luncheon awards ceremony in September, the judging panel consisting of some of South Africa’s most experienced tasters and best Cap Classique ambassadors. The Rickety Bridge Blanc de Blancs 2009 was awarded the Trophy for Best Blanc de Blancs Vintage as well as a Double Gold medal: a fantastic achievement for Rickety Bridge and Wynand Grobler with the maiden release of this wine and first venture into Cap Classique production.


Tasting notes: A fine, gentle mousse dances on the palate with flavours of green apple, fresh citrus, light caramel and brioche nuances. These delightful favours combine seamlessly with classic richness and finely balanced acidity.

Suggested food pairing: Delightful on its own, for any occasion, or paired with salmon, prawns, sushi, oysters, crayfish and steamed fish.

Retail price: The Rickety Bridge Blanc de Blancs 2009 is currently available from the Rickety Bridge Wine Tasting Centre at R170.00 per bottle.

Viticulture: All the Chardonnay grapes used to make this Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine are grown in Franschhoek on the granite slopes of the Franschhoek Mountain. These vineyards are extremely low yielding at 4.5 tonnes/ha.

Harvest: The grapes were hand harvested on 18 January 2009, at 19°Balling, into small crates and carefully transported to the cellar.

Winemaking: Fermentation of 40% of the blend occurred in older small French oak barrels and the rest in stainless steel tanks, using a noble yeast namely CE 1118. The must was fermented between 14 and 16°C and batonnage and stirring of the lees took place regularly over a 6-month period, before blending and bottling. The wine spent 40 months on the lees in the bottle before dégorgement.

Maturation Potential: Already drinking well now, this wine will age well for up to 5 years from release.

Other recent successes for Rickety Bridge

  • ·        Paulina’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 was awarded a Gran d’Or (Double Gold) medal at the 2013 Michelangelo International Wine Awards.
  • ·        The Foundation Stone 2011 received a Gold medal at the 2013 China Wine and Spirits Awards.