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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Exciting producers emerging in the post-Swartland era

By Jamie Goode | 3 December 2015

So, the last Swartland Revolution has been held. Since 2010 there have been six of these amazing events, held in November in Riebeek Kasteel, celebrating the remarkable revolution in winemaking that has taken place in the Swartland. It was only just over a decade ago that the Swartland wasn’t very highly regarded as a wine region. But along came Eben Sadie, and then Mullineux, and then Badenhorst Family Wines, and a whole group of dynamic, risk-taking, exciting new wineries emerged. The quality of the wines made everyone sit up and notice, and the Revolution, as a sort of focal point for all this attention, has really helped shake up the South African wine scene. Wisely, though, the organizers have decided that this event – brilliant as it has been – has now run its course, and it’s time to stop at the top, rather than see it decline or grow stale.

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BEE and wine

By Jamie Goode | 4 November 2015

Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is an official government strategy that applies to all businesses in South Africa. It’s not just an attempt to redress the wrongs of the past, but instead sets out to be a strategy for encouraging economic growth by widening the economic base. Before the dismantling of apartheid in 1994, African, Coloured and Indian populations had very little participation in the economy, and these groups, known as PDIs in the official jargon (for ‘previously disadvantaged individuals’), are referred to collectively as ‘Black’ in BEE.

21 years on from the switch to democracy, there’s still a massive gap between rich and poor in South Africa, and large segments of the population are still excluded from meaningful participation in the economy. BEE isn’t just about affirmative action; nor is it about land redistribution. It’s a strategy to empower more black people to own and manage businesses and enterprises, to achieve a change in the racial composition of ownership and management structures, to encourage more skilled black workers, to provide finance for black economic empowerment and to benefit black-owned enterprises through preferential procurement policies.

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Old vineyards

By Jamie Goode | 8 September 2015

It was a beautiful early Autumn day when I visited Basil Landau's La Brie farm in the Franschhoek Valley. Basil is an interesting person. He was a prominent businessman and friend of presidents in a previous era in South Africa. In 1986, at the age of 56, he decided on a change of pace, and bought a beautifully situated farm in scenic Franschhoek where he moved with his considerably younger wife, Jane. The farm was originally given to a Hugenot (Jacques de Villiers) in 1689, and was built up from nothing. Basil's home was built in 1787, so it is properly old.

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From Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

Back in October, Eben Sadie - one of South Africa's most well known winemakers - came to London to present a vertical of his wines, and talk about his journey, since he started out on his own 17 years ago. It's always interesting listening to Eben talk, because he's very thoughtful, and also quite humorous.   One of the main changes he's made to his winemaking over the years is a move to picking the grapes earlier. The decision about when to pick is one of the most significant that a winegrower has to make, and this is why ripeness is such an interesting topic. It's also a controversial topic in some circles.

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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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