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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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Some wines that inspired me last year - by Jamie Goode

By Jamie Goode | 6 January 2017

I’m in the lucky position of trying a lot of wines each year, both on my travels and also in London, at organized tastings and at home. I recently looked back on all my notes from the year and pulled out the very top wines. This is quite a tricky exercise, because there are a lot of very good wines out there. As a result, the list I compiled was a very strict selection of just the very best. I use a 100 point scoring system for wine: not because I think it’s necessarily the best, but because it’s the industry standard. The major wine critics from the USA established it, and it’s the default system that’s understood by the wine industry. Its weakness? It’s very congested from 90 points onwards. So a very good wine might get 90 points, and an exceptional wine 93 od 94 points, and then something great will get 95 points or above. The cut-off I used was 95 points for this list. There’s no real science here. I just use points as a way of saying how much I like a wine, and my scores probably tell you as much about me as they do about the wine. So these are some of my very top-rated South African wines.

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Four regions, four winemakers

By Jamie Goode | 5 December 2016

This month, I’m writing about Chenin Blanc again, and I’m making no apologies for this. It’s such an important and interesting variety for South Africa, it’s only natural that it’s going to get plenty of coverage. But this time I’m getting more specific, and speaking with four key figures who each make very distinctive, and delicious, expressions of the variety.

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Exploring Elgin

By Jamie Goode | 3 November 2016

I was visiting the Elgin wine region, where I was due to be taking part in the Chardonnay Symposium. My hosts, Brian and Marion Smith of biodynamic winery Elgin Ridge, had arranged a treat for me: a flight across the valley in a light aircraft. But there turned out to be a problem. The pilot had sold his plane, and thus was planeless. But Brian had another plan. One of the growers in the valley, Ian Corder of Corder Wines, had a gyrocopter. Ian, Brian and I just happened to be tasting together at Almenkerk, and Brian asked Ian, ‘could you take Jamie up?’ So it turned out that the next morning I headed over to small landing strip on Oak Valley’s farm, where Ian was preparing his gyrocopter for the flight.

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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

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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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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