Harvest started with a sparkle at Boschendal this year, with the appointment of our new Cap Classique Winemaker Andiswa Mapheleba. Born in Tsolo and schooled in East London, Andiswa was drawn to winemaking from an early age. After completing her Masters degree in Wine Biotechnology at Stellenbosch University, she refined her Cap Classique craft for four years before joining the Boschendal team this January.
As no stranger to working in South Africa’s most exciting wine category, Andiswa has practically dived right into the Boschendal bubbles, as she and the winemaking team worked their way through harvest 2022.
“It’s been an exciting, fast-paced and fulfilling time,” she reflects. “Since the Cap Classique grapes are always first to be harvested, my new role definitely had a running start. I am so grateful to the team who are wonderfully helpful and dedicated.”
According to Andiswa, harvest 2022 had an unusually late start on 25 January – two weeks later than last year. “The final grapes are still coming in from the late-ripening regions,” she adds. Top-quality bubbly requires optimal levels of acidity and ripeness. Due to surges in temperatures around mid-January, the team was kept on their toes, needing to harvest in quick batches to ensure vintage quality was maintained. Thanks to Andiswa’s practiced palate, only the best base wines undergo secondary fermentation in bottle.
“At present, we have received 98% of the Cap Classique grapes, which consist mostly of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a dash of Pinotage for some added South African flair. The happy news is that we have had to increase our harvest yields thanks to the growing demand for our bottle-fermented sparkling wine here and abroad,” shares Andiswa. Indeed, Cap Classique is currently enjoying a massive upswing in popularity, thanks to its inherent quality and value – making it a top contender to the likes of Champagne and Prosecco.
As the cellar team prepare to receive the final batch of grapes in the cellar, Andiswa reveals that there is plenty to look forward to: “The base wines have a great balance of flavour and character but are still upholding that elegance and finesse for which the best Cap Classiques are celebrated.”
Following an action-packed harvest season, we raise a toast to Andiswa and the team’s remarkable efforts! Cheers to a stellar vintage.