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South Africa

An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance...

An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

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  • Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose 2015
    Rosé Sparkling Wine from Stellenbosch, South Africa
    • WW90
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Graham Beck Brut Rose
    Rosé Sparkling Wine from South Africa
    • D90
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    16 99
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  • Graham Beck Methode Cap Classique Brut Rose 2011
    Rosé Sparkling Wine from South Africa
    • RP90
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    19 99
    19 99
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    1
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