Exotic blue seas, magical sunsets, picturesque mountain ranges, majestic flora, friendly strangers, and divine wine and cuisine are just a few ways that the South African Winelands may tempt you to visit and explore.
Blessed with a rare Mediterranean climate, South Africa is a must-visit place for any wine enthusiast, foodie and globe trotter. With the perfect blend of old and new world influence, and exquisite farm-to-table cuisine and wine tourism, it’s undeniably one of the world’s most memorable places to discover. This wine region is truly one of the most impressive, exotic and magical that I have ever visited.
The Winelands are located in the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of six such plant kingdoms in the world and a World Heritage Site. With both warm and cooler areas, winemakers can be artists and plant grapes that excel in each of these great grape-growing conditions. South Africa is made for everyone who appreciates finely crafted artistic wines at unbelievable prices.
In the South African winelands, you’ll find some of the oldest viticultural soils in the world, traceable back to the first supercontinent some 1000 million years ago. Located at the very southern tip of the African continent South Africa may be considered a new world wine-growing region, but they’ve been making wine for over 350 years.
The Cape’s wine-growing regions are influenced by the Atlantic and Indian oceans which create beneficial maritime conditions like regular coastal fog and cooling sea breezes to balance the hot summer days making it a wine-growing mecca.
South Africa is blooming with artistry, diversity and quality when it comes to winemaking and wine styles. The region maintains a focus on the natural environment and a commitment to fair trade policies and sustainability. Sustainable Wine South Africa (SWSA) and the new Wine and Spirit Board seal on bottles guarantees that the wines have been sustainably produced according to strict guidelines. You are able to verify this online by entering the unique seal numbers on each bottle.
With a perfect blend of new world innovation, such as concrete eggs for winemaking, as well as more traditional old world practices, like basket pressing, natural fermentation, old bush vines and hand-picked grapes, South Africa is blooming with artistry and quality when it comes to winemaking. The region maintains a focus on the natural environment and a commitment to fair trade policies and ensures that everyone on the farm is paid respectively for their work. We should all be buying more South African wine to show our support for this great region!
Chenin Blanc is an old-world grape variety hailing from the Loire region in France, and South Africa has adopted it as their signature white variety. The winemakers here are producing bottles that overperform for their price point and in various different styles. This is a grape you have to get to know and appreciate through tasting it at various wineries. Like Chardonnay, it can be completely unoaked or barrel-fermented so there is a lot of variety in its taste profiles from different wineries and winemakers.
Love Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc or elegant bold red wines? South Africa has a wine that’s perfect for you. If you’re looking for a true wine adventure head to the South African Winelands and try something new and exciting!
If you’re not planning a trip around the world to visit this region in the near future, I highly advise planning a South Africa inspired BBQ (or Braii as they call in South Africa) and ask everyone to bring a bottle of wine from South Africa and taste what the region has to offer. Or if you’re dining out, ask the wine expert/sommelier to take you on an adventure and try a bottle from the South African part of the list, more than likely you’ll come across a tasty bottle you would never have thought about originally.
Here are a few wines for you to try:
- The Pavillion Chenin Blanc $12.00
- Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc $10.00
- The Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanc $12.00 (1.5L for $20.05)
- Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc $13.95
- Fleur Du Cap Chardonnay $12.95
- Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay $16.95
- Big Bill Shiraz $13.95
The Wolftrap Syrah Mourvèdre Viognier $14.00
Follow Angela Aiello @SuperWineGirl for more!