Meeting Pieter Ferreira, the bubbly guru in South Africa

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In South Africa, MCC, Méthode Cap Classic, is the fastest growing wine category, says Pieter Ferreira during a zoom conference. Pieter is South Africa’s guru of bubbly wine. He has been chief winemaker for 30 years (almost since the beginning) at Graham Beck, a Breede River Valley-based wine company, 10 kilometres from the town of Robertson.

The grapes, chardonnay and pinot noir, come mainly from here. Robertson is an outstanding region thanks to the large temperature differences during night and day, says Pieter. “We have between 30 and 40 degrees C during the day, but the temperature drops to 15 C at night. Also, we have limestone in the soil. The base wines get a high acidity, perfect for sparkling wines.”

Pieter Ferreira has been working with bubbles for 30 years, but he continually wants to improve:

“Our R & D program is huge. We work with isolating yeast from our own vineyards. We do trials with crown cap instead of the traditional cork and have noted difference both in chemical analyses and in taste. We press pinot noir at very low pressure, 0.8 bar. Removing colour with carbon is standard procedure, but we don’t use it, we rather separate our pressings.”

Read more on Graham Beck here: grahambeck.com.

Maybe you should try an MCC next time when you want a bubbly?

You can read a longer interview with Pieter Ferreira on BKWine Magazine: A bubbly ride in South Africa – meet Pieter Ferreira at Graham Beck.

Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck, South Africa
Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck, South Africa, photo courtesy of Graham Beck

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