Wine of the Month


While we talk about New World and Old World wine, we don’t often pay so much attention to wine from South Africa.  Personally I am a fan of Chenin Blanc, which they do exceptionally well and it offers great value when looking for a crisp and refreshing white wine.  South Africa is a country that I have never visited, but it is on my bucket list to check out the wineries there as I have tasted some great South African wines in recent years.  It is one of the most prominent wine-producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere. With more than 300 years of winemaking history, it is often described as bridging the gap between the Old World and New.

The majority of wines are made using New World winemaking techniques but often have more in common stylistically with their Old World counterparts. Since the end of apartheid South African wine has enjoyed international attention and acclaim for its wide variety of styles. Their wine industry is distributed around the lush, rugged landscape of the Western Cape. Here, the abundance of mountains, valleys and plateaus allow winemakers to produce a diverse range of styles. Vineyards are also found in the Northern Cape's Orange River region, where the flat, barren landscape is dominated by the Kalahari Desert. Most of South Africa's wine-producing regions have a Mediterranean climate, significantly influenced by the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The country's signature variety is Pinotage, an indigenous crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsaut that is rarely found in quantity in any other wine-producing country. Shiraz is widely planted also, as are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

I have stayed away from Pinotage and Chenin Blanc and purposely chosen something different and particularly interesting. The first is Thunderchild, a Cabernet Franc-Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon blend. I have also chosen Life From Stone Sauvignon Blanc from Springfield Estate.  If you would like to taste each of these wines, just answer the following question:-  how many years of wine-making history has South Africa experienced? Is it (A) 100, (B) 200 or (C) 300

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