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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wine, South African wine, old wines, Texsom

An amazing tasting of older South African wines, in Texas

By Jamie Goode | 31 August 2016

A huge thunderstorm hit, just as our plane was about to land in Dallas. It was quite dramatic, and we had to divert to Houston, and land there instead. After an hour on the ground without deplaning, the captain told us that there’d been a break in the weather, and we could try to head back to Dallas and land there. After what seemed like an age in the sky, circling the storm and waiting for the OK, we finally made it onto the Dallas tarmac, some 5 hours late. It was my first time in Texas, and I hadn’t a clue about what to expect. Cowboys? Rodeos? Republicans?

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Leuu, wine, sparkling wine, champagne, South Africa, MCC, Method Cap Classique, Colmant, Le Lude, Black Elephant Vintners, Moreson, L'Ormarins

Method Cap Classique and Leeu

By Jamie Goode | 3 August 2016

I was back in South Africa again. It was winter, but it didn’t feel like it as I arrived in Franschhoek on a gorgeously sunny day, with a sky that seemed bluer than it ever gets in summer. There’s a quality to winter light that’s quite special. Everything seems laser sharp and vivid.

 

One of the advantages of travelling to South Africa from the UK is the lack of any jet lag. Yes, an 11 hour flight is an 11 hour flight, and it’s a long time to be on a plane. But as long as you get more than just an hour or two of sleep, you can land and hit the road running, without conking out mid-evening as so often happens with jet lag.

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wine, South Africa, Jamie Goode, Cape Town

Judging wine

By Jamie Goode | 5 July 2016

As I write, I’m about to embark on another South African venture. I’m catching a plane today to Cape Town, to judge the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc competition. While I’m there, I’ll also have a chance to nip down to the beautiful Franschhoek region, to focus on MCC (Methode Cap Classique, South Africa’s traditional method sparkling wine category). I’m looking forward to both immensely, and although it’s winter in the Cape, you never know – if you are lucky with the weather, you can get some pleasant winter sunshine. But you have to be prepared to be rained on. Mind you, I don’t begrudge the rain. Winegrowers here rely on decent rainfall in the winter to replenish ground reserves and fill up dams. If you want decent wine in reasonable quantities, then don’t complain about getting rained on in winter.

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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

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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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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