Wine Education and the Wines of South Africa
South Africa is known for its beautiful and varied landscapes and climate. It has seen its share of political turmoil and social changes. The wine industry in South Africa mirrors the spirit of discovery, oppression, and new found growth and freedom. South Africa now produces some of the most interesting, if not the best wines in the world.
History of Wine Production:
Hundreds of years ago the South African port city of Cape Town was a significant stop-off and pick-up point for spices.
Then in 1659, the Dutch East Indian company planted the first Muscat grapevine. In 1685, Governor Simon van der Stel imported grapes such as Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Palomino and others to build an impressive vineyard and winery empire.
With the death of van der Stel, the vineyards and wineries quickly started to disappear, but there was a resurgence from Hendrick Cloete in 1778. Between the years of 1900 and 1918 over 80,000 vines were planted, setting the stage for the vibrant wine industry South Africa boasts today.
Wine Regions of South Africa:
South Africa is a country of different climates and terrains. Though vineyards exist across the nation, the terroir of the Gold Coast produces the most wine.
The sheep inhabited mountains offer an eroded granite landscape low in phosphorus. These mountainous areas often need phosphorus added to the soil, while vineyards planted inland require more irrigation due to lack of rainfall.
South Africa, like the rest of the planet, requires adjustments to its wine industry as a result of climate change. Their booming production indicates success in adapting to the shifting temperatures and precipitation.
Wines of South Africa:
The unique qualities of the climate and the soil result in a variety of earthy, well-balanced wines. Try some of our offerings today:
Closilio Pinotage is a very affordable young wine featuring raspberry and cherry notes and a slightly oaky finish. It complements a gourmet pizza or pasta dish with red sauce perfectly. Also, try it with a lamb curry dish.
Eikendal Cuvee Rose' brings out the best in your fruit-based desserts and creamy cheeses. With its perfect acidity, it is refreshing enough to drink on its own.
If you have some celebrating to do this Graham Beck Sparkling Brut gives you a lime-like fresh start and a delicious creamy finish. This unique flavor is the result of the blending of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Climate shifts and positive changes in the political climate continue to open up the world of wine in South Africa. Make sure you don't miss out! For more information on South African wines contact us.
- Adam Linet