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South African WinesToday, South Africa has a forward-looking and vibrant wine industry that’s making up for lost tine, fast! Despite the fact that wine has been made in South Africa since 1659, it’s only over the past decade or so that its strengths and potential have been discovered. South Africa’s best-known vine and wine is Pinotage, bred by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsault. On paper, South Africa has everything to create great wines: a favourable climate, soil and an energetic band of talented winemakers. It’s easy to find youg winemakers who have travelled and worked in other wine-producing countries throughout the world, gaining valuable experience along the way. The Cape and surrounding areas are cooled by the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Benguela current from Antartica.

New Zealand WinesWith new wineries coming on stream at an amazing rate, New Zealand seems to raise the standard year on year.  Dramatic improvments have been made with red wines, with Pinot Noir all the rage. The total area under vine in New Zealand has more than doubled since 1990, and its wine industry is one of the most forward-thinking in the world.

New Zealand wine is exciting because of the number of wines being produced from slightly less predictable grape varieties. Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling perform well while beyond Pinot Noir, it may be suprising to find Syrah, Zinfandek and even Pinotage producing the goods and joining Cabernet Saugvinon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

 New Zealand’s wine-producing regions strech from Auckland on the North Island to Central Otago, the country’s most southerly wine region on South Island. The country benefits from a temperate, maritime climate and a wide range of wine style are produced. On the North Island some of New Zealand’s top Cabernet-based reds are made in the Auchlakd/Henderson area. Waiheke Island, a short ferry journey from Auckland, enjoys a warm microclimate, which helps it ot produce rich Bordeaux blends. In Northland, a number of boutiqui wineries are making hight-class Cabernet-based reds and Chardonnay. Gisborne is Chardonnay country but also produces some promising Gewürztraminer.

New Zealand Wine Map Hawke’s Bay is a region with a range of soils, including the Gimblett gravels, a 2,000- acre area of deep, stony soil. Full, rich Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot blends are made in good vitanges. The Chardonnay are some of New Zealand’s most powerful and Sauvignon Blanc tends to be more rounded than the Marlborough style, from South Island. On the southeastern tip of North Island, the tiny region of Martinborough, also known as Wairarapa, excels in fine Pinot Noir.

 On the South Island, Marlborough, the largest region in the New Zealand, has seen extensive expasion since the mid 1970s. The maritime climate and stony soils are perfect for Sauvignon Blanc, which has become synonymous with Marlborough. Distinctive Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines are also made in this hugely fashionable region.

  Very slighty cooler than Marlborough, Nelson has been successful with aromatic whites while Canterbury, in the Waipara sub-region, is particularly promising. In the small, cool, scenic, mountainous region of Central Otago, Pinot Noir is the star, rivalling the best of Martinborough. Riesling and Pinot Gris also perform well here.

Comming soon

   When it comes to technical know-how, the Australians are streets ahead of the pack. Wine was being commercially produced here as long ago as 1850 but in modern times Australia has become one of the most successful wine-producing countries in the world.

 At the top end of the market, an emphasis is being placed like Orange and Wrattonbully. Mny of the new sites are in cooler areas, where the grapes provide better levels of natural acidity and aromatics. Australia built its reputation on wines showing ripe fruit flavours, often accompanied by noticeable use of oak, and in today’s commercial middle ground, there’s an enormous amount of wine being made to a standardised recipe, all backed up by full-throttle maketing.

The main wine-producing regions are hear the cities of Perth in Western Australia, Adelaide in South Australia, Melborne in Victoria, and Sydney in New South Wales. The climate rends to be hot, so irrigation is often necessary. The vast size of the country means that the states provide different growing conditions. Some of Australia’s most elegant wines are made in the relatively cool climate of Western Australia. White wines from the Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling, and Verdelho grapes have been successsuful, along ‘Bordeaux Blends’ from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

South Australia includes the premium regions of the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, and Adelaide Hills. Barossa Shiraz is world-famous for its inky, concentrated style, whilst Coonawarra, with its coole climate and Terra Rossa soil, provides ideal conditions for some af Australia’s outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The Adelaide Hills vineyards, situated at 450 metres above sea level, are proving to be a prome area for Riesling, Pinot Noir and bottle-fermented sparkling wines.

A great range of wines is produced in Victoria, including the unique liqueur Muscats. The Yarra Valley benefits from one the coolest climates in Australia, resulting in fine Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Chardonnays, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Australia’s ultimate cool climate location however, is Tasmania. The island is home to some of the very best Pinot Noirs.

 

Hunter Valley

In New South Wales, the lower and upper Hunter Valley, locared norh of Sydnay, has established itself as an area of ‘classic’ wines such as Semillon and Shiraz. Both of these can develop with bottle age.

The area of Orange is rapidly becoming known for its excellent cool climate wines while the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, which produces mostly commercial blends but with a smattering of extremly good botrytised wines, makes ten per cent of all Australian wine.

Chilian WinesChile produces much less wine than Argentina, but has had greater success on the export markets. Known of its fruits and appealing wines, made from a wide range of grape varieties, Chile has the knack of producing wine style that consumers are very happy to drink.

 The foundations of today’s Chilian wine industry were laid down in the 1850s. Many South Americans were great travellers and wealthy landowners made the long journey to visit the vineyards of Europe.

They retured with healty vines from regions like Bordeaux, which explains the presence of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménere, a grape variety that was, eventually, to give Chilian winemakers a real point of difference. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Carménere eas identified by the French ampelographer Jean Michel Bourisiquot. Up until this time Carménere had been commonly mistaken for Merlot. Chilian Carménere has abundant blackbarry-like fruit, chocolate, and coffee flavours.

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