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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Pinotage

By Jamie Goode | 11 June 2018

It's every wine producing country's marketing dream: to have your own unique grape variety. These days the wine world is very competitive, and it's all very well making great Chardonnay, or Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot, or Sauvignon Blanc. Lots of countries make good examples of these wines, and you are just one of a crowd. What everyone wants is their own unique offering, and South Africa has just such a grape variety, and quite a bit of it. There is a problem, though. How do I put it kindly? This grape variety is not, to use a nice British phrase, everyone's cup of tea. It is Pinotage, until recently the marmite of red grape varieties.

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Attending the Old Vine Project's heritage seal launch

By Jamie Goode | 10 May 2018

Don't you just love coincidences? Well, how's this for one. During my last trip to South Africa in February, I took a break from vintage to head over to the Swartland, for a tasting of old wines from Piedmont – mostly Barolos and Barbarescos from the 1960s. This was on Friday night, and it was amazing. I stayed over with my friends Ryan Mostert and Samantha Suddons, who make wine under the Silwervis, Smiley and Terracura labels. The next day they took me for a drive to see some of the vineyards that they work with. We headed out along the backroads of the Swartland, travelling from one farm to another, on a gorgeously bright, sunny Saturday morning, riding in Samantha's Range Rover. Now a Range Rover is a four-wheel drive car for fancy people, and this one was a bit pimped up with low profile tyres on after-market alloy wheels. You can guess what happened next.

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Making white wine

By Jamie Goode | 23 March 2018

In the last WOSA newsletter I wrote about my experiences working vintage at Gabrielskloof, a winery in the Bot River region where three winemakers, Peter-Allan Finlayson, Marelise Niemann and John Seccombe share the same space. In that article, I talked about the red winemaking process; here I'll share a bit about some of the white winemaking choices and techniques.

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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

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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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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