South Africa: All South African Wines
What About South Africa?
Though thought of as distinctly New World, South Africas wine industry is actually over 300 years old. With recent governmental changes, South Africa has left its long period of international isolation, and wine drinkers in the US are beginning to see more and more of the fabled "Cape" wines on the domestic market. These wines actually share more in common with Old World styles, than do their New World counterparts. Being a cooler climate, with a distinct maritime influence, South African wines are generally a couple of degrees lower in alcohol than Australian or Californian wines, and have higher levels of acidity with relatively firm structures. All in all the national style shares much in common with that of France. Balance and moderation are the buzzwords, making these wines exceptionally friendly at the table. South African wines do have some unique signatures however. Fans of these wines note a distinctive minerally flavor present particularly in the reds which is usually described as iron-like. This nuance can often be found in a wine unique to the area known as Pinotage. A cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, an obscure grape from the south of France, Pinotage is a lighter to mid weight red with lots of character. It is one of the few wines in the world that when fully ripe smells like blueberries! Blueberries, iron, or not, South Africa produces a range of distinctive wines to tempt the adventurous wine drinker.
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