Alcohol Drinks Lifestyle Uncategorized

{sparkling} Timed to perfection: 50 years of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel

June 17, 2021

I feel quite sheepish to admit that I’ve never tasted Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel, the absolute alpha and omega of South African Cap Classique. Having said that, this gap in my internal wine library was recently filled by being invited to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year with two sparkling new releases.


My wine career doesn’t span any more than five years, but I have tried to make up for all the years I’ve missed by submersing myself in the best our country has to offer. For some reason, I’ve just never crossed paths with Simonsig’s Kaapse Vonkel, a bottle that unequivocally forms part of the South African wine canon.  It’s one of those bottles you have to study and become familiar with before you can fully join the conversation on South African wine  and Cap Classique excellence. One I’ve not held in my hands or glass until now.

Lucky for me, I was invited to not only celebrate Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel’s 50th anniversary this year, but also their dashing new bottle sleeves to mark this momentous occasion.


Kaapse Vonkel was conceived at Simonsig in 1971 from the passion and perseverance of Malan Family patriarch, Frans Malan. Since then, Simonsig and the Malans have proudly continued the pioneering tradition and developed Kaapse Vonkel to an international benchmark of quality and standard bearer for South African-made, bottle-fermented sparkling wine, better known as Cap Classique (press release).

A year to celebrate

South Africa’s first Cap Classique ever made – the iconic Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel – celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The milestone also marks the birth of the country’s Cap Classique category, which has become the ambassador for South African wine excellence at home and abroad.

To commemorate this grand occasion, Simonsig makes a dramatic new introduction. This month sees the release of Kaapse Vonkel with updated packaging and a stellar new look for the Kaapse Vonkel Satin Nectar and Satin Nectar Rosé.

Featuring a shrink-wrapped sleeve, brightly decked with unmistakable icons of the Cape’s floral kingdom. It represents a fresh, jovial and vibrant approach that exalts the spirit of Africa Rising and its creative and fearless peoples. A special neck label highlights the 50th anniversary year.

Kaapse Vonkel Satin Nectar 2019

Tasting notes:  Fresh apples and pears are beautifully complimented by an array of ripe summer fruits on the nose. Alluring flavours of apples and sweet apricots coat the palate with subtle hints of nuts and toasted biscuits adding layers of complexity.
In the vineyard:  79% Chardonnay, 21% Pinot Noir
In the cellar:  After bottling the wine is aged on yeast lees for 15 months to add complexity. During disgorgement a larger volume of dosage is added to ensure a perfectly balanced Demi-Sec Cap Classique. 
Cellar door price: approx. R175 per bottle, available for sale from the online store at and at most leading retailers.

Kaapse Vonkel Satin Nectar Rosé 2019

Tasting notes:  An expressive nose of white peach, red berries and cherries capture the imagination. Juicy red apples, plums and raspberry tart flavours add complexity to the subtly sweet palate. A perfectly balanced Demi-Sec with fresh acidity and flair. 
In the vineyard:  45% Pinot Noir | 42% Pinotage | 11% Chardonnay | 2% Pinot Meunier 
In the cellar: This MCC is bottle fermented and aged on the lees for 15 months prior to disgorgement. During disgorgement a larger volume of dosage is added to ensure a perfectly balanced Demi-Sec Cap Classique.

Cellar door price: approx. R175 per bottle, available for sale from the online store at and at most leading retailers.

Pear and custard tart

I personally prefer to drink my Cap Classique unpaired, whether that relates to food or people! I want nothing to detract from the almost exhilarating feeling of the fine mousse playing on your palate, or the overall feeling of contentment as a bouquet of juicy flavours are delicately released to your taste-buds.

A glass of Cap Classique, in my humble opinion, is served best after dark, seated in a favourite spot, with soft music and even softer candle light your only companions. And let it be perfectly chilled and perfectly poured; a moment captured in time, in a glass.

But, in the odd occasion I have to share it with food and people, I then prefer mine paired with dessert, for one loses yourself in a main meal. It’s only during dessert where you allow yourself to sit back and reflect on a meal, and give your glass the attention it needs.

For these two spirited bottles, I chose a pear and custard tart. Incredibly easy to make, but rewardingly delicious and satisfyingly pretty. The gorgeous caramelised tinges of pear, combined with a velvety baked custard form the perfect stage for the intricacies of the Cap Classique to bask in the spotlight.

In conclusion

Unequivocally part of my  personal self-care routine; a glass of Cap Classique is never anything less than a proper affair for me. These two celebratory bottles have left me with a taste for more; a wish to spend some time slowly with the other Simonsig Cap Classiques.

It’s nice to have something to look forward to. Thank you, Simonsig, for including me in this significant milestone and commemoration of excellence, quality and dedication through time.

#Capclassique50 #SparklewithSimonsig #PerfectedbyTime

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.


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