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The Atawere Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand

The harvest 2020 in New Zealand is saved and looks very promising, in spite of challenges, and South Africa

In New Zealand, wine producers were in the middle of the harvest when the message came on March 25 about a total lock-down of the country. The relief was great when they were told that the harvest, despite everything, could be continued and completed. “Farming and viticulture have been defined as essential industries, so we […]

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Danie Steytler Jr at Kaapzicht in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Harvest 2020 in South Africa looks promising

All producers we met on our wine tour in mid-February were, so far, happy with the quality and most of them also with the quantity. After the drought the quantities are now again back to more or less normal. The drought the past three years is over but water is still a scarce resource and […]

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Vineyards, a winery and mountains in Franschhoek, South Africa

Platter’s 2020 South African Wine Guide launched

The 2020 edition of the excellent wine guide “Platter’s South African Wine Guide” was launched in November. A total of 125 wines and one brandy received the coveted 5 stars. “Editor’s Award Winery of the Year” went to the well-known Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek. “Best newcomer of the year” was Pieter Ferreira Cap Classique. Pieter Ferreira […]

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Vineyards, a winery and mountains in Franschhoek, South Africa

The giant Distell in South Africa is investing in premium wines

Distell is South Africa’s largest wine producer. With brands such as Alto, Nederburg, Durbanville Hills, Plaisir de Merle, Pongrácz, Fleur du Cap, Allesverloren, Zonnebloem, Two Oceans, Drostdy-Hof and others, the company accounts for a not insignificant part of the entire South African wine production. Now all the premium wines of Distell will be managed separately. […]

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A barrel that has been treated with sulphur

Tea instead of sulphur to protect the wine

A few years ago, we wrote in the Brief about the South African wine producer KWV who had made a wine called Earth’s Essence without added sulphur. Instead, they had used the rooibos plant, known for its antioxidant properties. Continued research in South Africa has now shown that the South African tea plant honeybush also […]

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Old grenache vine

Old vines in South Africa, rediscovered and rescued

Older vines give more character to the wine, says Rosa Kruger, a well-known South African viticulturist. She is behind a project called South Africa’s Old Vines Project, which aims at finding old vineyards, vineyards that have often been abandoned. The idea with the project is to give a new life to these old vines. A […]

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A glass of sparkling wine

Choose MCC for high-quality bubbly from South Africa

Method Cap Classique (MCC) is the name given to South African sparkling wine produced according to the traditional method, ie with a second fermentation in the bottle. The Cap Classique Producers Association (CCPA) was founded in 1992. The idea was to find a suitable name that would facilitate the marketing of the wines. To call […]

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A rainy day in Lisbon

Finally, it rains in South Africa

It’s winter in South Africa and it’s raining, at last. A relief, but more rain is needed, says DP Burger, winemaker at Glenwood in Franschhoek, and others we have heard from. The draught in Western Cape, where the wine regions are, have long been a serious problem, but the situation is now improving. The water […]

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Ripe grapes

The most popular grapes in South Africa

In South Africa, around 100 different grape varieties are grown on an area of approximately 117,000 hectares (table grapes not included). This is quite impressive, although of course many of the varieties are grown in very small quantities. The most planted variety in South Africa is still Chenin Blanc with 19,000 hectares. This is still […]

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Forest fire damage in Stellenbosch, South Africa

South Africa’s harvest hit by the drought

There is a severe water shortage at the moment in South Africa’s wine regions. The harvest 2018 will probably be the smallest in ten years. The South Africans begin picking their grapes in February. The irrigation dams in Western Cape, where most of the wine regions are located, are just 30 % full compared to […]

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Chenin Blanc

Buy chenin blanc to drink or to age

We were recently doing wine tour with wine lovers in the Loire Valley we tasted some really delicious chenin blanc wines, many of them. Chenin blanc has never really caught on as a trendy grape, not at all like riesling, with which it shares several characteristics. We have never understood why since it is a […]

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Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck, South Africa

Tasting two Graham Beck sparkling wines from South Africa

A key figure behind establishing South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) sparkling wine is Pieter “Bubbles” Ferreira, cellar master at Graham Beck Wines in Robertson. Champagne-trained, South African inspired, Ferreira favors an elegant, crisp ‘house style’ that compliments the region’s diverse cuisine. Read the interview with Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck here on BKWine Magazine. […]

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Pieter Ferreira of Graham Beck, South Africa

A bubbly ride in South Africa – meet Pieter Ferreira at Graham Beck

South Africa’s magnificent sparkling wine, Methode Cap Classique If Champagne has a sibling, it may be méthode cap classique. Specific to South Africa, cap classique employs the same “traditional method” used to make champagne, whereby the second fermentation occurs in bottle. And if South Africa’s méthode cap classique sparkling wine has a ‘godfather’, it’s Pieter […]

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