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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Tasting History

By Jamie Goode | 13 June 2017

One of the compelling things about wine is that fine wines have the ability to age, which means that you can, if you are lucky, taste a bottle that even pre-dates you, or which was produced from the harvest of a significant year. Some of these wines are remarkable merely because they have survived and are still drinkable; for others, this age has imparted extra dimensions and complexity. This is why we cellar wine: in the hope that it will be transformed during its gently slumber into something special.

But there are three South African bottles that I've been lucky enough to drink, which really have involved tasting a bit of history.

 

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Creation

Jamie in Hermanus

By Jamie Goode | 9 May 2017

If you are going to drive to Hermanus from Cape Town International Airport, you have two choices. The first is the most direct route: you hit the N2 and just keep driving, over the pass into Elgin and then over the pass out of Elgin, and you'll be there is about 80 minutes. The second route takes a bit longer: head to the coast at Somerset West and then follow the gently winding coast road. I reckon this is one of the world's great drives, with stunning sea views. There's something very special in this landscape, and the real challenge is keeping your eyes on the road. If it's the weekend you'll be sharing the road with a lot of cycles and motorbikes.

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Experiencing harvest

By Jamie Goode | 4 April 2017

The interesting thing about wine is that you only get one chance a year to make it. So for the average winemaker, retiring at a normal age, you might get to make 40 or so vintages in your lifetime, unless of course you switch hemispheres in your winter and go to work somewhere else.

 

Wine is an expression of place; it's also an expression of a particular year. For the winegrower who also tends their own vines, there's a special significance to vintage time. From the time the vine buds, to the point where the flowering occurs, to the point where grapes begin developing, to the point of veraison when the skins soften and red grapes chance colour, to the point of deciding when to pick, the winegrower tracks the progress of vintage. That year is then something they try to capture in the wine, as the grapes enter the cellar. It's only after several months that they will really know the personality of the vintage they have just lived through, when the baby wines begin to show what they are about. Along the way, there are many things that can go wrong: frost, disease, pests, microbial disasters in the wine. It's a complicated business, but when it does well, it’s worth all the anxiety and toil.

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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

One of the compelling things about wine is that fine wines have the ability to age, which means that you can, if you are lucky, taste a bottle that even pre-dates you, or which was produced from the harvest of a significant year. Some of these wines are remarkable merely because they have survived and are still drinkable; for others, this age has imparted extra dimensions and complexity. This is why we cellar wine: in the hope that it will be transformed during its gently slumber into something special. But there are three South African bottles that I've been lucky enough to drink, which really have involved tasting a bit of history.  

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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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