South Africa celebrates its success with Sauvignon Blanc
A global consumer lauds Sauvignon Blanc, and South Africa excels without regional constraints. The myriad styles produced here attest to its potential and exceptional ageability as passionate producers embrace the contrasting landscapes to make mystifying to boastfully aromatic wines with a burgeoning following from both ends. Hence, Sauvignon Blanc remains the country's top-selling and most exported cultivar.
South African Chenin Blanc at full gallop
South Africa has by far the most Chenin Blanc plantings in the world, constituting 50% of all global plantings. As a variety in South Africa, Chenin has unleashed a wine culture bereft of profanities, pretence, and the fear of imperfection. Instead, through the lucid exploration of Chenin over decades, authentic stories surfaced, many rooted in old vines discovered throughout the Cape Winelands. As a wine, it steers creatives and empowers people. And as a phenomenon, its character, quality, and success in diverse styles stir the interest of the global wine community.
Mourvèdre, the variety with the sun under its skin
Provence, particularly Bandol, have made it their king of grape varieties, but Mourvèdre also sits on the throne of many prestigious southern wine regions like the Rhone Valley, Languedoc and Roussillon. We shed some light on a challenging, late-ripening variety which is difficult to harness and yet so unique when it reaches peak ripeness.
Heading off for Portugal and its native red grape varieties
With 250 native grape varieties, Portugal is enough to make other producer countries go green with envy. Comparing them with international standards is like comparing apples and oranges and just-burgeoning awareness means that they remain largely under the public’s radar. Heading off to explore Portugal’s vine heritage is like stepping into the shoes of a treasure hunter, away from the well-trodden vinous paths.
Nebbiolo, the prince of grape varieties in north-west Italy
Nebbiolo is widely considered to be the prince of Northern Italian grape varieties due to its elegance and undisputed longevity. This historic variety is widespread across North-West Italy, in Piedmont, Lombardy and Valle d'Aosta. We drill down on one of Italy’s most iconic grapes.
Savoy : Jacquère and Altesse vie for A-lister status
Savoy is France’s smallest wine region and has made a name for itself as a fount of zippy white wines, whose light, fresh characters have made them undeniable crowd-pleasers. Altesse and Jacquère are the star performers in the region’s mountain vineyards, and here’s what to expect from them.
Soil-searching for fine Pinotage
Like all inspiring wine countries globally, indigenous grape varieties are part of a quintessential blend of things to see, taste and experience. For South Africans, Table Mountain is their beacon of ancient soils, its "tablecloth" of cloud the introduction to the Cape's whimsical weather. And while the smell of Boerewors and Karoo lamb chops on a traditional open fire "braai" sets the scene for local fare, it is not fulfilled until Pinotage anoints the occasion.