The Man Who Captained Cap Classique | The Story of Graham Beck

Trailblazers don’t come around too often. When they do, they are known for their bold ideas and pioneering streak. Our founder, Graham Beck, is a trailblazer in the truest sense of the word. 

For over three generations, Graham Beck has been the foremost leader in the production of award-winning South African sparkling wines known as Cap Classique. And it all started with the happy coincidence that inspired Graham Beck’s specialization in sparkling wine.

But there’s more to the man behind the bottle than brilliant bubbly.

From Coal to Cap Classique

Throughout his life, Graham Beck was admired by friends and colleagues for his vibrant outlook. Born in Cape Town to a small, close-knit family, he was always close with his father, who encouraged his go-getter attitude from a young age. 

After graduating with a Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town, he forged a highly successful career in the coal mining industry. During these years,  he was at the forefront of coal transportation and played a vital role in the country’s economy. 

His winemaking journey began later in life with the purchase of Madeba farm in Robertson.  As an avid horse racer, he cleverly recognized that the area’s abundance of limestone would be beneficial for both of his passions: horse breeding and sparkling wine. In fact, the calcium-rich soils were revered for enjoying a climate similar to that of the Champagne region in France. 

Beck’s astute business experience laid the foundation for his ambition to establish a world-class winery, and his inherent acumen primed him for success. He gradually invested in distinct pieces of farmland that would be used to erect the state-of-the-art tasting facilities he envisioned. In 1998, the renowned Graham Beck brand was born.

It quickly turned out that simply producing fine wine was not enough for Beck. Never one to shy away from a challenge, he endeavored to produce the very first sparkling wine in South Africa. He was determined to prove that South Africa could produce bubbly worthy of worldwide recognition.  Not only did he succeed with flying colors, but he managed to give the French some stiff competition for the best bubbly!

Sparkling Wine That Won the World Over

As Beck’s global business interests began to blossom, he and his wife Rhona divided their time between South Africa, Britain, and North America. It wasn’t long before Cap Classique found its way across US borders, where it charmed American wine drinkers with its effervescence.

Beck’s son Antony, his wife, and their five children now call the US home. The family’s historic 1,500-acre thoroughbred stud farm is located in the heart of Kentucky’s bluegrass region and enables Antony to further his father’s combined passion for horse racing and winemaking. 

A value-driven alternative to Champagne and a strong competitor to Prosecco, Cap Classique doesn’t compromise on quality or taste. This versatile bubbly can be enjoyed at any gathering, low-key or lavish. It’s a light option that not only refreshes but also pairs beautifully with both sweet and savory dishes.

Whether you’re mixing it into a cocktail for a luxurious twist or toasting to a special moment, there is a focused range of Graham Beck bubbly to suit all tastes and occasions. The best part is that this is a wine that can be enjoyed guilt-free because it’s so cost-effective, yet still elevates every celebration with a touch of sparkle – just like Beck intended. 

The Legacy of a Legend

Described by some as having an uncanny gift for bringing beauty and style into the lives of people he knew, Beck has left a lasting imprint on the world. Even after his passing in 2010, his family and the Graham Beck team are proudly continuing this legacy. 

Throughout the course of their lives, Beck and his wife Rhona were very involved in various philanthropic causes. The Graham and Rhona Beck Development Trust (GRBDT) was established by the family to benefit the employees and wider communities of the Graham Beck estate and its surroundings. It has long been a priority of the Beck family to promote meaningful change in their community.

Another passion of Beck’s was ensuring sustainability. His respect for the land he worked on ran deep. His devotion to preserving natural resources as he worked is embedded into the winemaking practices used in the Graham Beck vineyard and cellar to this day.

Outside of winemaking, Beck also pioneered various ecological initiatives to protect flora and fauna while producing excellent wines. These planet-friendly practices are still in use and are consistently developed by the Graham Beck team to safeguard the health of the natural environment in Robertson and beyond.

The Beck family’s extraordinary ethos of beauty, generosity, and above all, unwavering dedication to exceptional winemaking is infused in every bottle of Graham Beck bubbly.  These values are the cornerstones of Beck’s inimitable legacy: one that lives on with each sip of sparkling wine enjoyed the world over. Every glass of Graham Beck Cap Classique is a testament to the trailblazing wines created by the passionate and pioneering spirit of Graham Beck. Let’s drink to that!

From Zero to Bliss