Home Industry News Releases Graham Beck Celebrates Forty Years of Cap Classique Production

Graham Beck Celebrates Forty Years of Cap Classique Production

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Leading Sparkling House in South Africa founded in 1983

(November 20, 2023) Cape Town, SA – Graham Beck is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a sparkling wine producer this year. Founded in 1983, Graham Beck has been firmly established as a leading producer of Cap Classique, South Africa’s premium, Champagne method sparkling wine, and has led the burgeoning industry in quality and sustainability since its inception. 

The globally recognised South Africa sparkling wine producer is known for its quality, excellence and craftsmanship, and commitment to the pursuit of the perfect bubble. Graham Beck has continued to establish a key position in the global market since its establishment, garnering recognition as the leading producer of Cap Classique locally, as well as in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

“In 1983 our founder, Graham Beck, stood under the night sky in Robertson, just outside Cape Town, with a starry-eyed dream to produce South Africa’s finest bottle-fermented sparkling wine,” said Pieter Ferreira, Graham Beck’s Chief Operations Officer and founding winemaker. “We celebrate our growth and the impact we have had on each employee and partner since the inception of the House of Graham Beck forty years ago”. 

In the early 1980s, Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek were known wine-producing regions, but Graham Beck was one of the first to see the premium winemaking potential in the lesser-known Robertson region. Beck believed that sparkling wine varieties would grow well there, due the limestone rich soils and the large diurnal shift in Robertson, which mirrored climatic conditions in Champagne. 

Pieter Ferreira was appointed Cellar Master in 1990, and completed Graham Beck’s first harvest in 1991 literally under the stars, because the cellar roof was not completed in time. Ferreira has led over 30 harvests at Graham Beck. Cellar Master Pierre de Klerk now manages the cellar’s Cap Classique production, after working under the mentorship of Ferreira for over a decade. Only two cellar masters in 40 years testifies to Graham Beck’s dedication to quality, and commitment to their team. 

The consistent passion and dedication to mastery has resulted in an array of awards and accolades over the years. Graham Beck NV Brut was chosen as the celebratory beverage at the election of the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and the sparkling wine that was poured for Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in 2008. The 2009 Blanc de Blancs won the trophy for best sparkling wine in the world at the International Wine & Spirit Competition. 

Most recently, Graham Beck Cuvée Clive was awarded the title of Sparkling Wine of the Year for the fifth time by renowned industry expert Tim Atkin. Graham Beck was also awarded several honors from both the 27th annual Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, and in the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge. Cap Classique has grown to become one of South Africa’s leading wine categories, with more than ten million bottles produced annually. Graham Beck’s success year upon year undoubtedly aided in this growth. 

In addition to being a leader in Cap Classique production, Graham Beck is a leader in  conservation, and was the second winery in South Africa to be awarded Conservation Champion Status from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2004. Graham Beck partnered with neighboring farms to found Rooiberg Breede River Conservancy in 2006, preserving nearly 16,000 hectares (about 39,000 acres) in the Cape Floral Kingdom, a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot. Today, for every 1 acre planted to agriculture or vineyard, 8.25 acres of natural vegetation are conserved. 

About Graham Beck

Founded in 1983, Graham Beck is a family-owned third-generation estate and one of the foremost Cap Classique producers in South Africa. As grape growers and winemakers, the company is lauded for its long-term, multi-generational commitment to local communities, as well as its dedication to environmental restoration, conservation, and regenerative farming. Located in the Robertson Valley, the Graham Beck estate enjoys a terroir reminiscent of France’s Champagne region, ideal for growing sparkling grapes. At the heart of the cellar is Chief Operations Officer and founding winemaker Pieter Ferreira, who has overseen more than 30 harvests at Graham Beck, and Cellar Master Pierre de Klerk. Graham Beck produces four ranges, including the Non-Vintage Collection, the Vintage Collection, the Artisan Collection, and the Icon Collection. The eight variants in the ranges are Graham Beck Cuvée Clive, Graham Beck Ultra Brut, Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs, Graham Beck Pinot Noir Rosé, Graham Beck Brut, Graham Brut Rosé, Graham Beck Bliss Nectar, and Graham Beck Bliss Nectar Rosé.In addition to being a leader in sparkling wine production, Graham Beck is also a leader in wildlife conservation, earning Conservation Champion Status from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2004. Learn more at grahambeckusa.com.  

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