Out of Africa: Grape explorations of South Africa
6th January, 2017 by Lauren Eads
It wasn’t too long ago that South Africa was considered a wine region out of touch with its winemaking talent, which goes to show just how far the country has come.
Since embracing democracy and re-joining the global wine trade some two decades ago, South Africa’s wine industry, much like the country itself, has undergone a tumultuous yet explorative journey to rediscover its potential. Much of that exploration is only now starting to bear fruit, with old vines being rediscovered, winemakers’ reliance on co-operatives ever lessening, and new plantings bringing a new level of diversity to its offer. While there is still work to be done, gone are the once all-too common complaints of quality control, ill-ripened fruit and burnt rubber, the latter with regard to Pinotage. Instead, exclamations of the country’s rapid advancement, improving quality and boundless potential are more commonly bandied about the trade. This shift in perception has been swift, shifting up a gear following 2012’s Cape Wine, and it is now almost impossible to ignore the vast leaps and bounds in terms of quality that this Old-meets-New World producer has made in the past decade.