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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Why is Cape Town such a great tourist destination?

By Jamie Goode | 7 February 2017

Why is Cape Town such a great tourist destination? Oh, there are so many reasons. I first took my family there back in 2003, when our boys were still young. I remember that before we travelled, most of the people we spoke to were surprised: isn’t it risky to take your family on holiday there? What about the crime? This planted little seeds of doubt in my mind, so for the first day of that trip I was scared and overly cautious. But I quickly realised that the concerned friends were completely wrong. While crime certainly exists, and I’m not making light of it, I’ve been multiple times and never felt threatened any more than I would in London or Paris.

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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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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

Recently I took part as one of the three judges in a tasting of Chenin Blanc wines from around the world for The World of Fine Wine. This is a high-end wine magazine that's aiming to cover the world's best wines, and in each issue they have reports on a number of focused tastings, and this was one of them.   The good thing about these tastings is that rather than simply produce a group average score (they do this too), they give the scores of each of the three judges. This is interesting because it lets you see where the experienced judges disagree. For me, one of the most interesting things about fine wine is that even experts come to different conclusions, sometimes. In some cases this could be because even the best tasters have off-moments. Tasting blind is tricky and sometimes you just get a wine wrong. But in other cases, experts genuinely disagree. Wine is complex, and even if we try hard, our personal tastes can get in the way when we try to reach a consensus.

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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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