An administrator of the East India Dutch Company planted South Africa’s first vineyards in 1652.
Ever since , the country has been producing wine, and significant quantities of brandy.
Today, South Africa has approximately 100 000 hectares of vineyards that supply 600 wineries.
As the per capita wine consumption is low (8 litres), wineries must export, and generally under price their products in an attempt to gain market share, which they lost before Nelson Mandela was released from jail and later elected president.
During the 18th century, Constantia’s muscat based wines were the preferred tipples of the European elite.
South African premium wines used to compete on price and many still do, but for two decades now many small quality oriented wineries have concentrated their efforts on quality.
Ten of them have now formed an association PIWOSA (Premium Independent Wineries Of South Africa) to promote their wines.
Recently, the principals or winemakers have visited Toronto to conduct seminars, and stage tastings for the trade and media.
It must be stated that L C B O’s general list offerings of South African wines fail to represent an adequate selection, but one hopes that this will soon change for the better,
I was impressed with the quality if the ten wines tasted.
Here are my preferred brands
Original Chenin Blanc, 2016, Raats
Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc, 2016, Ken Forrester
Estate Reserve Chardonnay, 2014, Glenelly
Destination Chardonnay, 2015, Jardin
Riesling Dry Encotunter,2015, Paul cCuver
Single Vineyard Gift Horse Barbera, 2015, The Drift Farm
Vin de Constance, 2013, Klein Constantia