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South African Wine

Learn about South African wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...

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With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” 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, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing 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 brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones 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 red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy 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 close behind.

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  • Paul Cluver Riesling 2012 Front Label
    Paul Cluver Riesling 2012
    Riesling from Elgin, South Africa
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      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      16 99
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    • Jordan Wines The Real McCoy Riesling 2012 Front Label
      Jordan Wines The Real McCoy Riesling 2012
      Riesling from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        12 99
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      • Paul Cluver Late Harvest Weisser Riesling 2012 Front Label
        Paul Cluver Late Harvest Weisser Riesling 2012
        Riesling from Elgin, South Africa
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          Currently Unavailable $48.00
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          48
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        • Lothian Vineyards Vineyard Selection Limited Release Riesling 2012 Front Label
          Lothian Vineyards Vineyard Selection Limited Release Riesling 2012
          Riesling from Elgin, South Africa
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            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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            13 99
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          • Groote Post Riesling 2012 Front Label
            Groote Post Riesling 2012
            Riesling from South Africa
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              Currently Unavailable $20.99
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              20 99
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            • Klein Constantia Riesling 2012 Front Label
              Klein Constantia Riesling 2012
              Riesling from Constantia, South Africa
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                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                13 99
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