There’s possibly no more iconic imagery of welcoming in a New Year than hearing the pop and fizz of a champagne cork erupt from a bottle while friends and family cheer. With the advent of a new decade – the roaring 2020s – almost upon us, it’s time to amp up the cheer, round up your loved ones and plan a New Year’s Eve celebration that’s off the charts.

With Louisvale Wine’s new flagship Cap Classique ready to give the New Year a greeting you’ll never forget, it’s time to get planning the perfect party- and Louisvale’s MCC should be king of the table.

Knowing your bubbly

If you’re not much of a wine connoisseur (yet), you’re probably guilty of calling any glass that shimmers and bubbles over in your hand a ‘champagne’. No style of wine has dominated human celebration, fun and great memories quite as much as this effervescent, light and refreshing wine so often paired with our life’s milestones. From raising a celebratory toast at midnight on New Year’s Eve to making a speech at your best friend’s wedding, champagne is there to help us mark the moments that life is made of.

Except most of what we call ‘champagne’ isn’t remotely champagne at all. The term can only be used for effervescent wines made in the Champagne region of France, strictly speaking. Yes- the Champagne Valley is actually a real place! Just like the Devon Valley at Stellenbosch, it’s a wine hub. Chalk and limestone soils that bring high acidity and lower alcohol contents make this the perfect home for champagne wines, so there’s little wonder they developed their light, attractive flavour profile here. In modern times the term ‘champagne’ is quite heavily protected by the EU to maintain an air of exclusivity, and if your wine didn’t grow in the valley, it’s not a champagne.

When a Champagne is really a Cap Classique

What on earth is the Louisvale Methode Cap Classique, and other sparkling wines, then? Here’s where things get interesting. Just because a wine can’t use the ‘champagne’ label doesn’t mean it isn’t worth drinking! You’ll often see terms like ‘methode Champenoise’ used on the labels of quality, legitimate effervescent wines matured and crafted the exact way a champagne should be, but originating from other corners of the globe. This separates them from simple ‘sparkling wines’ that are formed by injecting CO2 into the bottle (similarly to sodas) rather than through a legitimate second fermentation.

SA wines using the methode Champenoise are first made like any other wine. Once they’re bottled, a liquer de triage is added, a starter culture which allows for a second fermentation in the bottle. As the gas can’t escape as it did in the vat, those delectable bubbles are formed instead. The bottles then undergo remauge and degorgement, a turning process to remove sediment, and a ‘liquer d’expidition’ is added to finish the wine perfectly.

The result? A light, delicately balanced wine like the Louisvale MCC, or sometimes with a unique flavour profile and daring twist like the Louisvale MCC Pinot Noir. Both come with light hearted bubbles perfect to tickle the palate, and a pleasing, unique flavour profile perfect to make any celebration something special.

Ringing in the New Year with Louisvale MCC

It’s pretty clear why we love champagnes- but why, specifically, is sparkling wine so associated with New Year’s Eve? Champagne-style wines have always been associated with the rich and famous, first European aristocracy and then Hollywood starlets. It’s the iconic thick glass walls and rope-snared cork, however, developed to make it safe to keep a sparkling wine bottled, that earned champagne-style wines their place in our hearts. What could be more exciting, more uplifting, than the ‘pop’ and fizz as the light, sparkling wine slides into a gleaming flute?

Sparkling wines embody exactly what we want from the year. It’s overflowing abundance. It’s joy we can’t contain, celebrated among friends we love. It’s sipping a glass together and knowing we have each other’s backs, no matter what the future brings. It’s a time for optimism and hope, fun and freedom, and that same wild spirit is iconically celebrated in the two stunning Louisvale Cap Classique sparkling wines.

And we say Cheers to that!