The latest in wine news and events

The South African wine industry is known for its dynamic and innovative approach as well as its top notch wines and young, creative winemakers.

The industry is progressing and changing at speed, as South Africa is increasingly recognised for premium wines and world-class wine tourism. Read all the latest news from Wines of South Africa...

Read Jamie's latest feature on South African wine

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Is it time to invest in South African wine?

By Jamie Goode | 6 December 2018

There's been a lot of talk of late about the potential of buying South Africa's fine wines as investments. This is a completely new development, and it's not without its sceptics. But many think the fact that it is being talked about suggests that South Africa's top wines have come of age.

 

Wine investment is nothing new. The classic well-to-do English wine connoisseur would typically buy more Bordeaux en primeur (the process by which the top wines are offered in the spring following the vintage as futures, before they are even bottled) than he or she needed. Typically, between buying the wines and drinking them, the value of the wines would have increased, so they would sell off some of their wine and, if they were lucky, drink for free.

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Cinsault

By Jamie Goode | 5 November 2018

Whether you call it Cinsault or prefer the variant spelling Cinsaut (both are OK, but I like the former best), there's no doubt that this once-neglected red variety is flavour of the month in South Africa. Back in the 1920s this grape variety made 75% of South Africa's red wines, but until recently it had been gradually diminishing in importance. From the 1970s onwards, winegrowers' heads were tilted by the Bordeaux varieties Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and these grapes were increasingly planted while Cinsault became unfashionable. Although not fantastically suited to the warm Mediterranean-style climate of the western Cape, these Bordeaux varieties produced dark-coloured, sweetly fruited wines that met the expectations of consumers, as the wine world became seduced by big red wines. 30 years of decline in Cinsault followed.

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Jamie Goode on Italian grape varieties in South Africa

By Jamie Goode | 2 October 2018

It's hard to travel to Italy and not to fall in love with it. There's something unique about the country, and this extends to its wine regions. One of the appealing factors, I guess, is that Italian wines aren't all that easy to 'get'. They are an acquired taste, and these often end up being the most enduring tastes. The first time you try a Barolo, made from the Nebbiolo grape, you wonder what the appeal is: these wines are often pale in colour, with fierce tannins, and a beguiling mix of savoury flavours as well as some fruit character. And Sangiovese, the grape of Chianti, can be angular and firm in its youth, sometimes verging on rustic. Yet these tastes, initially challenging, can be quite addictive. Italy also has a fabulous range of unique varieties, and from top to toe of this long thin country there's an almost bewildering array of wine regions, each with its own personality. I've mentioned Tuscany and its Sangiovese, and Piedmont and its Nebbiolo. But Piedmont also has Dolcetto, Freisa and Barbera, and then there's the Veneto with Corvina and Rondinella, and Campania with Fiano and Aglianico, Sicily with Nerello Mascalese, Nero d'Avolo and Frappato, and Puglia with its Primitivo (aka Zinfandel). This is just scratching at the surface.

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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

There's been a lot of talk of late about the potential of buying South Africa's fine wines as investments. This is a completely new development, and it's not without its sceptics. But many think the fact that it is being talked about suggests that South Africa's top wines have come of age.   Wine investment is nothing new. The classic well-to-do English wine connoisseur would typically buy more Bordeaux en primeur (the process by which the top wines are offered in the spring following the vintage as futures, before they are even bottled) than he or she needed. Typically, between buying the wines and drinking them, the value of the wines would have increased, so they would sell off some of their wine and, if they were lucky, drink for free.

Read More

In Susan's glass

I fell in love with South Africa and the wines a few years ago. The recent MasterChef UK final took me right back to a holiday I had there. They went to the same Game Reserve that we stayed at and we also went to Reuben Riffel's restaurant in Franschhoek the night before my friends wedding - it was great to see Reuben as a guest judge too! Watching that episode seemed like the perfect excuse to open this beautiful bottle of Semillon from Boekenhoutskloof. What a delicious wine! 

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