While the first South African bottle fermented sparkling wine dates back to 1971, Graham Beck has become synonymous with the exceptional sparkling wine being produced in the country since their first vintages in the early 1990s. Robertson (home to Graham Beck and their estate vineyards) is located between the Riviersonderend and Langeberg mountain ranges, receiving afternoon maritime breezes, thanks to a break between the ranges, and cooler evenings which offer a respite for the vines. Along with this stark temperature drop, Robertson is the only major South African wine-growing area that is blessed with limestone soils, found on its elevated terraces. Thus, Chardonnay reigns as its signature varietal. The legendary story begins when Graham Beck purchased Madeba, a farm located outside of Robertson in 1983 to pursue his interest in not only creating one of the greatest horse stables in the world, but a world-class winery as well. Fast forward to 1990, Pieter Ferreira, known as “Bubbles”, joined Graham’s vision to create the signature style of Graham Beck Cap Classique and establish the winery as South Africa’s finest Cap Classique producer. The house predominantly works with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 80% of the fruit comes from Graham Beck’s own estate, while the remainder is sourced from seven other geographical areas known for their cool climate and proximity to the oceans. In 2010, Pierre de Klerk joined the Graham Beck team and with the mentorship of Pieter for 12 years, he has taken on the role of Cellar Master. Pieter has now transitioned into the position of Graham Beck’s Chief Operating Officer, after an incredible 32 years shepherding along the house style. The wines are divided into 3 tiers: the Non-Vintage Collection (Brut, Bliss Demi Sec, and Brut Rosé), the Vintage Collection (Blanc de Blancs, Brut Zero, and Brut Rosé), and the Prestige Collection (Cuvée Clive). Under the guidance of Pieter and Pierre, the sparkling wines are linked together through elegance, quality, and consistency. Together, they’ve worked to elevate the category of Cap Classique and it has not only been enjoyed by Presidents Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, but now contends with some of the greatest sparkling wines of the world.