Wine Searcher

  • African wine

    South African Wine

    South Africa has undergone drastic political, social, and ethnological changes in the past ten to twenty years. Present day South Africa, in which the development ofthe economy is problematical could be given a big impulse by its wine industry. Ten years ago the wine was boycotted throughout most of the world but now South African wine seems set to conquer Europe, having made good starts in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands because ofthe historical links of both these countries with South Africa.

    Proud wine-growers will tell you that South Africa is the oldest of the 'New World' wine countries. The reality is that vines were not introduced into South Africa until 1655 while the first vines were planted in

    Mexico and Japan in 1530 and in Argentina and Peru around 1560. South Africa certainly started cultivating vines before California (1697) and New Zealand (1813).

    South African Wine

  • Australia Wines

       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.

    {jcomments on}

  • Austrian Wine Regions

    Austria VineyardsAustrian wines have re-established themselves after the great disaster of the anti-freeze scandal of fifteen years ago. Austria can satisfy the true wine lover like no other country with its countless different types and tastes of wine. Austrian wines are convivial, informal, and inviting, reflecting the culture and picturesque landscape of the country.

     

     

     

    Wine regions from Austria

    The Austrian wine industry is concentrated in the east and south-east of the country. The Alps in the west make wine-growing virtually impossible. The country has borders with Germany in the west, Italy to the south, but the vineyards are along the borders with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia.

  • Californian Wine

    Californian WinesCalifornia is the best-known wine region of America. The region is subdivided into six main areas. From north to south these are the North Coast (north of San Francisco, home of Napa Valley, Sonama, Carneros wines),Humboldt (on the banks of the Sacrmamento River), Sierra Foothills (at the foot of the Sierra Mountains east of Sacramento), Central Coast (south of San Francisco to slighty north of Los Angeles), Central Valley (a huge area on the banks of the San Joaquin River), and South Coast (between Los Angeles and San Diego).

    Franciscan monks from Bordeaux with the rather appropriate name of Jean Louis saw th possibilities here in 1830 and he improted countless European varieties of grapes.

    Things really took off though after the Gold Rush. The growers left the south alone and concentrated their efforts in the central and northern area where there was a ready market with the lager city of San Francisco. The quality of those wines was from modest to poor. In those days California made ponderous syrupy wines of little character and freshness. This was the start of the huge American bulk wine industry. Prohibition from 1919 to 1933, which banned the production of alcoholic drink on a commercial scale, was a major blow for the Californian wine trade.

    It seemed for a long time as though the growers would not survive this crisis. It was not until the 1970s that changes started to take place. Wine-making became a recongnised profession and people form California went to study at first hand in Europe with the best wine-makers. The result is nothing les than spectacular.

    There are still many ‘wimpy wines’ (plonk) in California, but quality is becoming more important than quantity with both the big business and small wineries.

    California wineYet many still regard California as a massive industrialised wine region with its enornous vineyards, wineries like palaces, batteries of high towering stainless steel storage tanks etc. Despite this the numbers of smaller producers is growing in places like the Sonoma Valley, and Carneros. These growers and makers not only know what they are talking about, they also bring much verve and passion to their wine-making.

    Hence the massive rows of readily saleable Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are becoming smaller in scale and some even dare to replace them with specialist varieties such as Viognier for white wines and Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Granche for reds.

    {jcomments on}

  • Chilean Wine and History

    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.

  • German wine-growing and regions

    German Wine-growing

    German WinesAlthough a few wine-makers succeed in making excellent red wines, German is white wine country, because of its climate. Although the quality of red German wines has improved, the price charged for the level of quality available is somewhat on the high side. Slightly more than 85% of the area cultivated by vines in Germany is planted with white grape varieties. Before the reunification of Germany the proportion of red wine grapes had risen sharply from 13% in 1984 to almost 19% in 1994. Because the winegrowing areas of the former East Germany mainly grew white varieties, the proportion has now decreased slightly. The choice of grapes grown has also shifted in favour of better quality. Hence the very productive MüllerThurgau is losing ground in favour of Riesling.

  • Italian Wine Regions

    Piemonte wine region

    Lazio Wine The name describes the position of the area: “at the foot of the mountains”, which is the Alps and bounds Italy with France and Switzerland. Countless rivers flow from these mountains to create beautiful valleys in the lower area. The city of Piedmont is Turin (Torino), famous for its large industry. The rest of the region is traditional agricultural and wine region.

    Piemonte has great tradition, which has had many successful generations of farmers. The local food is known for its strong herbs and spices. The Italian red wine is very powerful, especially those made with the Nebbiolo grape. Italian wine has been made in this wine regon for a long time, referenced both in Greek and Roman literature. Today Piedmont, with Tuscany, is a temple to the art of Italian wine making.

  • Klein Karoo Wine Region - South Africa

       Finally the largest wine region of South Africa is Klein Karoo, which is also the most easterly area. It is very hot in summer here and irrigation is essential. Klein Karoo is famous for its sweet fortified wine but also for the surprisingly fresh and fruity Steen (Chenin Blanc).

    CAPE RIESLlNG/KAAPSE RIESLING

    In spite of the name this is not Riesling as we know it in Europe but a different grape, the Crouchen Blanc, of which the origins are unclear. It is often used to make very acceptable table wines but also produces some good firm wines with interesting vegetal aromas such as straw and grass. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    COLOMBARDAfrican Chardonnay

    This grape variety hails originally from the French south-west, origins of most of the Huguenots. Its yields fresh and fruity wines that are excellent as an aperitif or to served with grilled fish. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    STEEN (CHENIN BLANC)

    These grapes originate from the Loire. The grape is particularly used for its fine acidity. In South Africa though it delivers surprisingly mellow wines that are almost sweet as well as dry as chalk examples that are fresh and fruity. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    SAUVIGNON BLANC

    Also known on occasion as Pume Blanc as in the United States. South African Sauvignon Blanc wines are very herbal with definite notes of grass, with peppery undertones. The taste is fresh, dry, aromatic, and beautifully rounded. Drinking temperature is 46.4-50°F (8-10°C).

    CHARDONNAY

    This Burgundian grape also thrives in South Africa. The special cuvees in particular, that are aged in oak barrels, are extremely exciting. Chardonnay is fruity, rich, and rounded with a robust taste. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10- 12°C).

    PINOTAGE

    This grape is the true South African speciality. It was formed from a cross based on old root stock with Pinot Noir, and Cinsault (known locally as Hermitage) about which little is known. The variety was created by Prof. Abraham Perold in 1925 and it combines the reliability of Cinsault in terms of volume and quality, even in poor years, with the finesse of Pinot Noir.

    Most of the wines are drunk still too young but there are certain top quality Pinotage wines such as Kanonskop which aged well (five to ten years).

     Pinotage smells and tastes of dark ripe fruit with hints of spices. Some of the best Pinotage wines contain quite substantial tannin when they are young. A local speciality is 'Beesvleis Pinotage', which is a beef stew cooked in Pinotage. Drinking temperature is 60.8°F (16°C).

    {jcomments on}

  • Nodoz and Pauillac Bordeaux Wines

    Nodoz (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine Region

    Chateau Nodoz Bordeaux WineThis property goes back a long way: Count de Nodoz sold it in 1791 to the family of J.J. Bordes, a well-known merchant-shipowner in Bordeaux. This family improved the vineyard and established its reputation. During the winegrowing crisis of 1930, the Magdeleine family bought the property from the wine merchants Posso and Rosenfeld. Beautifully located on a gravelly hillside, the vineyard covers forty hectares in the communes of Tauriac and Lansac. It benefits from maximum sunshine thanks to its east-south-east and south-west exposure.

    After a traditional vinification, Chateau Nodoz wines are matured in Bordeaux oak casks for twelve to eighteen months, depending on the vintage. The Cotes de Bourg AOC wine has been rewarded with several medals in wine competitions and high praise in specialist magazines., A robust and generous wine, it can be enjoyed young but also offers surprises to those who are willing to wait.

     

  • Portugal Wine

      Portugal's climate is generally moderate without extremes of temperature. The winters are mild and the summers are warm but definitely not too hot.

     The north of the country is warmed by the gulf stream of the North Atlantic and the ocean ensures ample moisture.The centre of the country is hotter and drier, especially in summer. The winters there are mild and short. The south has the hottest and driest weather with a moderate Mediterranean climate. Countless wines of distinction originate from this idyllic land, which have been popular with European consumers for a long time. There are other wines that are waiting to be discovered that are of no less quality.

    We will deal with the various wine areas of Portugal from north to south and then continue onwards to Madeira and the Azores. The enormous technical backwardness of the Portuguese wine industry has been almost totally done away with in recent decades.

     
    There are small places still to be found where wine is still made as it was 100 years ago but that is in stark contract with the high-tech adegas or independent quintas where everything is computer­ controlled . The best quintas (independent wine companies) choose a perfect middle road with respect for tradition with the hygienic methodology and certainty of the latest technology.

    {jcomments on}

  • South African Wines

    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.

  • South and Middle-East for American Wine

      The south west of the United States is not really suited to wine-growing with the exception of certain parts of Texas. But American derermination can overcome much and the odd place has been found here and there to grown vines after a long search.KN85T8SFFEJC

     The South and Middle-East region is enormous and the vineyards are spread widely. They lie between Denver in the centr of the United States, Columbia on the eastern seaboard, south to a line formed by Austin, New Orleans, and Orlando, and finally Florida.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    The first pioneers, but more particularly the first monks, planted the first vineyards in New Mexico. The territory now known as New Mexico and Texas was then part of the Spanish Empire. German immigrants introduced wine-growing to Missouri, Georgia, and Carolina in the nineteenth century. Other immigrants did the same in Arkansas. These vineyards, which combined European Vitis vinferawith many native and hybrid varieties, have never become well-known and their wines were all intended for local consumption.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    When wine-growing and making started to catch on in America in the 1960s and 1970s, the growers of South Carolina saw their opportunity. The area of vines in cultivation in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida has also been substantially extended and the cultivation and varieties improved during the past twenty years.

    The climate is not really favourable, for the summers are extremly hot and the winters severe. It is too dry in the north of the region but irrigation can work wonders. In the south on th other hand it is too wet but here growers seek out places that are sighted at higher levels, where it is more windy and drier. The extensive area has a number of official palces of origin or AVAs. These include Texas Hill Contry, Bell Mountain, Frederichsburg, and Escondido in Texas; New Mexico, Missouri, and Virginia. Although there are still many native and hybrid varieties grown in these area the houses that are really serios about wine are increasingly switching to Vitis vineferavarieties.

    AMERICAN WINE *** WINE SHOP

    There is on native grape thougt that springs a surprise: the Scuppernong, which makes a pleasing and very aromatic Muscat-like sweet wine in some of the southern states. All the other native and hybrid varieties are really only intended for local cosumption.

     
     The most widly used varieties of grape now are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Trebbiano, Chenin Blanc, and Colombard for white wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Zinfandel for wine reds. Although you will rarelly encounter these wines in Europe, the wines from Texas are worht discovering.

    {jcomments on}

  • Sparkling wines

    South Africa makes a number of very good sparkling wines. The best are made by the methode traditionnelle which is known here as methode cap classique.

    Only a few of these wines, such as the Pongnicz, could compete with top quality Champagnes The other sparkling wines that are not made by the traditional method are also known as sparkling wine, and they can also be very tasty. Drinking temperature is 42.5-46.4°F (6-8°C).

    Fortified wines

    The sweet South African wines such as Muscadel and Hanenpoot (Muscat of Alexandria) can be readily recommended.

    The heavy and sultry wines that used to be have become somewhat fresher and more interesting.

     The port and sherry type wines of South Africa can withstand judgement alongside the top European originals. They miss some of the finer freshness of the true ports and sherries but compensate for this with their sunny character.

    {jcomments on}

  • The Italian wine industry

     Italy is a long and narrow peninsula in the form of a thigh-high wading boot. The island of Sicily that is shaped like a bunch of grapes lies off the toe of the boot with the larger island of Sardinia above it.

     Italian wine-growing has clearly defined areas in the same way as France and Spain. Wine-growing takes place throughout the peninsula except in the highest mountains. In the north of the country the Alps run from west to east. while the Apennines run down the country from the centre to the south from north to south. The mountains, which form the back bone of the country, do account though for about 40% of the area cultivated by vines. Vineyards can be found in every sheltered valley. Between the two areas of mountains is the fertile Po valley. Although there are countless micro climates throughout Italian vineyards, in general terms the north has a continental climate while the south enjoys a Mediterranean climate. The vineyards are never far from the sea so that extremes of temperature are moderated. In broad terms, the geology of the north is chalk bearing while the south and Sicily is of volcanic origin.

    Grape varieties and types of wine Italy is a veritable labyrinth of vineyards from which the enthusiastic wine connoisseur can discover more than 2,000 different types of grape. Most of these grapes have been growing in the peninsula for almost 3,000 years. There are ancient native grapes but also vines that were introduced by the Greeks and then more modern varieties, which mainly originate from France. Italy has a total of about 14 DOCG wine denominations, 270 DOC denominations, and 115 IGT wines. When you consider that most production areas make white, rose, and red wines and that some denominated areas may use 20 different varieties of grapes it becomes obvious that it is impossible to give a complete survey of all Italian wines. This book will concentrate on the most popular wines and where possible mention the others.

    Virtually every type of wine that exists is to be found in Italy from superb dry sparkling wines (spumante), made in the same traditional way as in Champagne, or by the charmatlcuve-close (sealed tank) method; or seductive sweet sparkling Moscato wine; dry white wine that is fresh, light and fruity or fullbodied white wine that is cask aged in small French barriques;

     semi-sweet (abbocato) or sweet (dolce) white wine and rose; light and fruity or full-bodied and powerful red wines; and finally a number of different late harvested grape wines (passito), such as the sweet Recioto and Vin Santo or the dry Recioto Amarone. Whatever you want, Italy has it.

    {jcomments on}

  • Uruguayan Wines

      While Chile and Argentina have been known as wine producers for some time, Uruguay has been busy in recent years in a spectacular effort to overtake them.

    Uruguay is relatively small as a country in comparison with its two giant neighbours Brazil and Argentina. Despite this the country has a rich history of wine production. Vines were introduced by the Conquistadors in the sixteenth century and wine-making was in the hands of the Monks for a considerable period of time.

    Uruguay wine production got a major boost when thousands of immigrants settled from France, Algeria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. These brought the noble grapevine Vitis vinifera with them. A leading role was played by the French Basque Pascal Harriague who introduced Tannat and Folie Noire to Uruguay in 1870. Tannat is wellknown from South-West France, especially in Madiran where it makes superb wines for laying down from people like Alain Brumon. Meanwhile Tannat has become the flagship of the Uruguayan wine industry.

    Other Vitis vinifera varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Gamay, Spanish varieties such as Bobal, and Garnacha and Italian vines like Barbera and Nebbiolo were planted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. None of these grapes though managed to achieve the popularity or quality of Tannat.

    There are nine producing zones in Uruguay: Norte, Litoral Norte, Noreste, Literal Sur, Centro, Centro Oriental, Suroeste, Sur, and Sureste but most wine is produced in the south of the country around the capital Montevideo.

    The climate is moderate with sufficient rain to make irrigation unnecessary. The difference between day and night time temperatures is considerable in the north of the country. The soil varies between loose clay in the south through loose and fertile sediments in the south-east, sand and gravel in the centre, firm clay in the north-east, and gravel in the north.

    White wines are overwhelmingly in the majority in Uruguay and they are not of the best quality. The best of them come from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Gewilrtztraminer, and Viognier and are fresh, powerful, and very aromatic.

    The red wine from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Nebbiolo, and Barbara are carefully made and concentrated with bouquets of ripe fruit. Despite this Tannat is the more convincing wine. It is full-bodied and deep, very concentrated with firm but not harsh tannin and possesses heady aromas of ripe fruit and spices with a rich, powerful, and rounded masculine taste. It is certainly a wine that can be kept and is ideal with roasted and grilled meat. Drinking temperature is 60-64°F (16-18°C).

    Bear in mind that good Uruguayan wine is not cheap and avoid doubtful cheap examples in supermarkets, seeking out instead better wines such as Tannat RPF of Bodega Pisano, Castel Pujol Tannat of Juan Carrau, Tannat Viejo of Bodega Stagnari, or Don Pascual Tannat Barrels.

    {jcomments on}

  • Wine areas

       Wine-growing is possible along almost half the length of the Andes (between the 25th and 40th parallels). The vineyards arise like cooling oases in otherwise desert-like terrain.

    It is possible to grow a wide range of varieties of grape here because of the big difference in day and night time temperatures. Argentina has five large wine areas.

     From north to south, these are:

    - SaJta/Cafayate that lies just below latitude 25 degrees south, along the banks of the Rio Sali, between the towns of these names. Wines such as Cafayate and those of the renowned Etchart Bodega come from here.

    - La Rioja/Chilecito which lies just below 30 degrees south. This area is known for its Bodega La Riojana wines.

    - Mendoza is undoubtedly the best-known wine area of Argentina. It lies above the latitude 35 degrees south, on the banks of the Rio Mendoza and Rio Tunuyan, and is known for numerous good bodegas such as Etchart, Nieto y Senetiner, Trapiche, Norton, and Flichman.

    An area within Mendoza is regarded by insiders as the area with the greatest potential for the twentyfirst century. This is Lujan de Cuyo to the south-west of the town of Mendoza, which produces outstanding Malbec wines with its own denomination of Lujan de Cuyo. Given the significant levels of investment by the major wine producers and distillers it is apparent that something important in terms of quality is happening here.

    - San Rafael, lies along a latitude of 35 degrees south, between the Rio Diamante and Rio Atue!. Only the wines of Bodega Goyenechea are known to some extent outside of Argentina.

    - Rio Negro, the most southerly area, lies just north 40 degrees south on the banks of the Rio Negro.

    Wines from this area are hardly known outside Argentina.{jcomments on}

  • Wine regions - Africa

      South Africa has had a clear system of naming the places of origin of its wines since 1973, based on the geographical and climatological properties of the wine.

    Most of the wine-growing areas are in the south west of the country, between Cape Town and the coast. Wine is also made in the north and east of the country at Olifantsrivier, Orange River, and Klein Karoo.

    Wines can originate from a specific local area such as these or from larger regions such as Coastal Region (Swartland, Tulbagh, Paarl, and Stellenbosch). and Breede River Region (Worcester and Robertson) . Excellent examples of this type of wine are the successful Fleur du Cap range and Stellenrijck from the Coastal Region.

    In our visit to these wine regions we start in the north, travel via the west to the south and then east.

    wine regions from Africa 

    Orange River

    This is a relatively unknown area alongside the border with Namibia. The wine is acceptable at a reasonable price but little is exported.

     

    Olifantsrivier

    This area is slightly south of Orange River, running more or less parallel to the coast. The climate here between Koekenaap and Citrusdal is somewhat drier with less rain and higher temperatures than near Cape Town. Extremely pleasant wine at very acceptable prices originates from here but virtually only for the domestic market.

     

    Piketberg

    The area around Piketberg has extremely hot summers making irrigation essential, particularly as there is so little rainfall throughout the year. The wine is first class and quite reasonably priced.

     

    Swartland

    This area is further south, between Piketberg, Darling, Malmesbury, and Tulbagh. The quality of the wines start to improve now. The area used to be renowned for its sweet port-type wines. Nowadays two types of wine are produced here: light, tasty, convivial, and inexpensive modern wines such as Swartland, but also top quality wines from noble grapes such as Alles Verloren.

     

    Tulbagh

    This is a very small place of origin in the south east of Swartland.

     Reasonable to good cooperative wines are made alongside excellent classic wines here depending on the microclimate. We know the area in Europe chiefly from Drostdy-Hof and Twee Jonge Gezellen. {jcomments on}

  • Wine-growing conditions from South Africa

       South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere within the latitudes that are most favoured for cultivating vines and making wine. The South African climate can be likened to that of the Mediterranean.

     The best wine-growing areas are at the foot of the mountains and in the valleys. The grapes have no shortage of sunshine here. The temperature in winter drops to no lower than 0- 10°C (32- 500 P). Cooling sea breezes bring the necessary moisture to the vineyards. Most rain falls between May to August.

    African wineThe geology underfoot varies from granite in the foothills of the mountains to sandstone at Table Mountain, soft slate at Malmesbury, and slate and loess along the rivers. There are great differences from one vineyard to another. This makes the estate wines from the smaller domains additionally interesting. The production of wine is mainly in the hands of cooperative wineries (85% of the total) of which the most important is the KWV.

    South Africa is at present the eighth largest wine-producing country with 3 % of the world production compared with France at 22%, Italy with 20 %, and Spain with almost 14%.

    All wine that is exported is provided with a quality seal. Samples are taken of these wines and the wine must meet organoleptic standards, or put in other words must fulfil certain

       criteria in terms of our senses: colour, scent, taste, character, etc., but also in terms of the veracity of the declared place of origin, grape varieties, and year of the vintage. The wine also undergoes extensive chemical analysis.

    {jcomments on}