In advance of the Johannesburg Bubbly Festival which takes place at Hyde Park from 18-20 May, we caught up with one of the country’s top MCC makers, Jacques Bruwer from Bon Courage Estate, and asked him a few questions about the country’s favourite tipple.
JS: Tell us about your involvement in the Johannesburg Bubbly Festival?
It is a good platform to showcase our MCCs, which are all vintage and handmade from beginning to end.
JS: How did bubbly become your passion?
After completing school I studied winemaking at Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch. In those days, the10 best students of the Cellar Technology course were allocated a bloc of Chardonnay grapes to work with. I decided to make a MCC with my block of Chardonnay and that is where my passion and love for MCC started. It turned out to be a very significant experience. as my father always said that the ultimate in winemaking was to produce a Champagne. In 1989 very little MCC was on the market and it was a challenge to make.
JS: Why do you think there has been this huge surge in the popularity of MCCs recently?
MCC compliments all the good things in life. The bubbles in MCC uplift your spirit. People want to feel good about themselves and will therefore spend money on a good MCC.
JS: Have MCC styles changed dramatically over the past 15 years?
I don’t think in style but I think people are moving more away from sweet to dry.
JS: How do we shape up against French Champagne, Cava and Prosecco?
We are on par with the best of the world. The only negative is that we are not allowed to call it Champagne.
JS: Do SA consumers buy French champagne just for the image?
Yes definitely, but MCC are better value for money.
JS: Give us three of your favourite bubbly and food pairings?
Salmon, strawberries and oysters.
The Bubbly Festival:
Friday, May 18, 2018, from 17h00 to 21h00
Saturday, March 19, 2018, from 11h00 to 15h00 and 17h00 to 21h00
Sunday, May 20, 2018 from 11h00 to 15h00.
Venue: The Park House of Events on 7 at Hyde Park Corner
Cost: R380 per person which includes 10 tasting tickets.