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Wines of South Africa
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SOUTH AFRICAN WINES ONLINE
Most of South Africa's vineyards are located at the bottom within the Western and Northern Cape regions of the country and being influenced by both the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The popular white grapes grown depending on whether its high and cool or low and hot are Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The favoured reds would be Cinsaut, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz and its own claim to fame the Pinotage.
Alexander Hadleigh Wine Merchants, Southampton, Hampshire, UK hold stocks of South African red, white and rose wines, especially wines produced in the following top eight defined wine regions:
STELLENBOSCH……….is the second oldest South African wine region after Constantia. The near-by ocean keeps the summer temperatures just above that of Bordeaux and the soils are perfect for growing the red wine grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Pinotage. There are three white wine grapes that do well in this area, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
PAARL……….some say Paarl is the only wine region in South Africa that can successfully grow every grape variety grown in the whole of South Africa. A big boast, but the mix of fertile mineral rich soils, low lying plains, high valleys, variable temperatures all support this probability. Certainly no one grape is King and no one wine producer is leader of the pack. The sheer diversity of wine styles champion crispy whites similar to the Loire right through to big luscious dessert wines, the reds follow a similar pattern from the light fruity Beaujolais styles right through to big deep Rhone style wines.
DURBANVILLE………..has an excellent reputation for producing top quality red wines and classic style Sancerre type white wines. The grapes are grown on granite based soils principally on the slopes of the Tygerberg Hills, combined with cooling breezes in the summer all helping to produce premium quality wines.
OLIFANTS RIVER VALLEY…………a hot scorching river valley landscape surrounded by the Gifberg mountain range produced enormous quantities of wine, most for blending and every day drinking and a little from small parcels of land closer to the hills will match the best of South Africa.
FRANSCHHOKE…………is an area with higher elevation vineyards which favour white wines such as Chardonnay and Semillon, the wines produced are fruity, well balanced with good acidity. More recently some areas have given way to red wine production, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and on the cooler slopes much success is being experienced with Pinot Noir.
ROBERTSTON…………is located in the picturesque Breede River Valley greater wine region, close to the river itself. The best white wines come from the Chardonnay grape and for the reds, Shiraz is tops by a long way. Also, the area over many years has built up a reputation for good quality dessert wines and fortified wines.
SWARTLAND……….a well established wine growing area ideally located close to the Atlantic west coast, historically known for bulk wine production, but now has a reputation for big full bodied red wines and fine quality fortified wines. Also worth noting are white wines from Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, which thrive in the Kasteelberg and Perdeberg mountain region where cooler temperatures are a key factor.
WALKER BAY………..is located in the cooler climate region east of Cape Town along the Indian Ocean coast. A region that has witnessed great expansion over the last thirty years, with many growers copying the cool climate varietals and styles of Europe.