Sommelier's Choice

Jo Wessels' wine tip: 2015 "Filia" Chenin Blanc Cap Classique

The SPIEGELAU Novo series on a white sideboard. Three of eight glasses are filled with red wine, one with white wine, next to them are three stacked bowls. The rest of the glasses are empty.<br/>

Jo Wessels, a passionate sommelier from South Africa, recommends the 2015 "Filia" Chenin Blanc Cap Classique Brut Nature from Huis van Chevallerie, produced in the traditional Cap Classique style. This sparkling wine embodies the authentic winemaking art of South Africa and reflects the terroir and old vines of the Swartland. The wine displays complex aromas of sliced apples, lemon zest and bread crust, accompanied by a lively perlage.

Winemaker Christa von La Chevallerie grew up in the Swartland and brought her passion for German wines and sparkling wine production back to South Africa. Under her own label, Huis van Chevallerie, Christa focuses on the production of sparkling wines, with the "Filia" paying homage to her family roots and farming heritage. For ideal enjoyment, Jo recommends the SPIEGELAU Novo white wine glass, which brings out the fine aromas of the wine to optimum effect.


The sommelier

Jo Wessels found his passion for wine in his native South Africa. His father is an avid collector of fine classic wines from the Cape, and his sister studied winemaking in Stellenbosch. After working in the South African wine industry and taking his first steps in sommeliery, he moved to Germany to study International Wine Business at Hochschule Geisenheim University and to pursue further opportunities in the hospitality industry. Two particular stops along the way were the ENTE restaurant in Wiesbaden and the OPUS V restaurant in Mannheim.

He is now looking forward to the chance to represent South Africa at the "ASI Best Sommelier of the World" competition, which will take place in Paris next year.

The wine recommendation

2015 "Filia" Chenin Blanc Cap Classique Brut Nature, Huis van Chevallerie, Swartland, South Africa

The winemaker

Christa von La Chevallerie is a very likeable personality.

She embodies the South African spirit and true hospitality. Christa grew up in the Swartland and went to Germany for a gap year after leaving school, where she fell in love with German wines. She then studied in Geisenheim, where she discovered her knack for sparkling wine production. After working for various big names in the industry, she started making wine under her own label "Huis van Chevallerie" in 2011, where the focus is on sparkling wines. Christa's philosophy is that her wines are best enjoyed on any veranda (in Afrikaans: stoep) with friends.


The wine

Cap Classique refers to the high-quality sparkling wine produced according to the traditional method in South Africa. Unlike many other protected sparkling wine designations, Cap Classique has an incredible freedom and variety of styles. Sparkling wine production in South Africa began in 1971 and has gone from strength to strength with an ever-growing number of exciting producers. In addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, a variety of other grape varieties are permitted, and the diversity of wine regions and different winemaking styles adds to the dynamism of the category.

The Chenin Blanc grapes for the Filia Cap Classique come from a single vineyard of unirrigated bush vines in the Swartland. These are truly old vines, planted in 1976, and exude a sense of place and strength in the harshness and aridity of the region. 
Much like Christa, which has developed an impressive presence and tenacity in the Swartland.

The base wine was fermented spontaneously, and the Filia Cap Classique was aged on the lees for 30 months. 
Production started in 2011 with a few hundred liters, and although the portfolio is growing, Christa's wines are still only available in small quantities. These are truly authentic and handcrafted wines. The name Filia (Latin for daughter) embodies this respectful relationship of a family passion for the land, the old vines and the farming heritage.

The wine shows golden autumn colors with a lively and animating perlage. Aromas of sliced apples, saltiness, lemon zest and bread crust leap from the glass. This is a Brut Nature that shows absolute clarity and provides a refreshing finish that invites the next sip.

Two empty SPIEGELAU Novo white wine glasses on a sideboard, a row of stools in the background.<br/>

The glass

The SPIEGELAU Novo White Wine Glass is the perfect glass for high-quality sparkling wines. It retains a narrow base, allowing the perlage to persist, and the wider goblet provides enough space for the aromas to unfold in all their glory.

The food

For example, with a tarte flambée with apple slices, cinnamon and crème fraîche - provided it is not made too sweet to match the dry style of Cap Classique. The apples, spices and savory pastry components are perfectly reflected in the glass. Drink it over a stoep with friends if possible, as Christa recommends.