The Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, owned by the international cork producing company Amorim in Portugal, has been recognising the excellence of Cap Classique wines and their producers since 2001.

In 2014 it was decided to include the presentation of the Frans Malan Legacy Award as part of this competition. This is an honorary award bestowed upon an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the Cap Classique category. The award, in the form of a trophy, is named after the late Frans Malan, proprietor of Simonsig Estate who made the first Cap Classique in 1971. Previous recipients include Allan Mullins, Achim von Arnim and wine writer Christine Rudman.

In 2022 it was unanimously decided by the organisers to award this Legacy Award to Jeff Grier. As the personification of Villiera’s pioneering role in helping solidify and promote the Cap Classique category, Jeff is seen as one of the legends of Cap Classique. Not only through the innovation and commitment to excellence in his wines, but also through his influential role in guiding the growth of Cap Classique since Villiera’s wine became a part of the South African wine landscape with the introduction of Villiera’s first Cap Classique in 1984.

Jeff was a founding member of the Cap Classique Producers Association in 1992, an organisation that has been instrumental in guiding a category from a grouping of interested bubbly producers, to a body that has led the way in creating a dynamic force within the Cape wine industry whose wines are critically acclaimed and have shown profound growth and popularity in local and international markets.

His skill as a winemaker, vision and continued striving towards creating the best possible Cap Classique is complemented by his personable approach and willingness to guide and influence newer generations of winemakers. Jeff is also the consummate professional and “nice” guy who proves that personality and respect have played as big a part in the creation of Cap Classique as vineyards and cellar techniques.

[Issued: Emile Joubert, MediaVision Communications]

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