Where are most of South Africa's wine regions found?
On the coast
Why can South Africa produce a broad range of styles?
Proximity to the coast and the mountainous backdrop
What is the latitude range within which South Africa lies?
27° - 34˚ south of the equator
What should be the result of the latitude range of South Africa? Why does this not necessarily apply?
It should be hot Vineyards here are subject to cooling influences
Where does South Africa's most important cooling influence come from?
The Southern Ocean
Describe the Benguela Current and its effects
It is cold It flows up from the Antarctic, past the tip and up the west coast of Africa, cooling coastal areas
How is the cooling effect of the Benguela Current magnified?
By the Cape Doctor
Describe the Cape Doctor
A regular, strong, south-easterly summer wind Brings air cooled b the ocean further inland and can reduce temperatures by an additional couple of degrees in some areas
What is South Africa's second cooling influence?
The mountain ranges that run through the wine regions
What do the mountain ranges of South Africa offer producers?
A dramatic range of different altitudes and aspects
A multitude of different soils
What is the influence of altitude on winemaking in South Africa?
It has a marked impact on vineyard climate
Higher altitudes are cooler
Lower altitudes are warmer
What kind of aspect may be seen as preferable in South Africa? Why?
Southern aspects To benefit from cooler temperatures
Other than aspect and altitude, how else may mountains affect cooling in South Africa?
They may cast shadows over vineyards at certain times of the day
What secondary effect may mountain ranges have on cooling in South Africa nearer the coast?
They can help channel the winds through the vineyards
What is the most widely planted black variety in South Africa?
How may Cabernet Sauvignon be used in wines in South Africa?
Either as a varietal wine or in a blend with Merlot and Cabernet Franc for Bordeaux-style blends
What style of wine can Merlot produce in South Africa?
Full-bodied, plummy wines
What are the main black varieties of South Africa?
Beside the Bordeaux varieties, what is the next most planted black variety in South Africa?
Describe Syrah wines from hot climates in South Africa
Rich and full-bodied High alcohol Ripe black fruit flavours Sometimes earthy or meaty character
How does Syrah from cooler areas of South Africa differ from those of the warmer climes?
Less full-bodied Peppery
Describe Pinot Noir's role in South Africa
Less tolerant of the hot South African climate Planted in small amounts in the coolest coastal areas
What is the role of oak in the vinification of South African reds?
The vast majority of premium reds are matured in oak At least a proportion of new barrels used for toasty aromas
Which varieties were crossed to make Pinotage?
Pinot Noir x Cinsault
Where was Pinotage developed?
What is notable about the role of Pinotage in South Africa?
It's hardly grown anywhere else in the world
What style is Pinotage made into?
It's made in a range of styles
What is a 'Cape blend'?
Where Pinotage is blended with international varieties
What are the three most popular styles of Pinotage, single-varietal wine?
Light, fruity style with red berry flavours
Full-bodied from old bush vines, with rich, spiced berry fruit
Intense coffee and chocolate aromas when fermented and/or stored with heavily toasted oak staves
How is Pinotage often marketed?
Often to highlight its unique style (dependent on what style its been vinified to)
What is the most widely planted variety in South Africa?
Describe the importance of Chenin Blanc as a variety in South Africa
It's the most widely planted grape, but in decline
What style is Chenin Blanc made into in South Africa
Dry and sweet styles
Describe basic wines from Chenin Blanc in South Africa
Easy drinking with simple stone-fruit flavours
What is the increasing trend when making Chenin Blanc wine in South Africa?
An increasing number of producers are using Chenin from old bush vines
What can be the effect on wine of making Chenin Blanc from old bush vines?
It can offer more concentrated and complex flavours and a fuller texture
What may barrel fermentation and barrel ageing contribute to a Chenin Blanc in South Africa?
Extra body and toasty oak flavours
What is the second most widely planted white variety in South Africa? What is it used for?
A significant portion is used in the production of brandy
What is a consistent feature between wines made from Sauvignon Blanc in South Africa?
They often have a herbaceous character
Where in South Africa do the best examples of Sauvignon Blanc come from?
The coolest sites
What kind of flavours/aromas might the best examples of Sauvignon Blanc display?
Very pure flavours of citrus and green fruit
How is the necessary acidity and flavours achieved in Sauvignon Blanc's warmer sites in South Africa achieved?
By picking earlier
Describe Chardonnay quality in South Africa
It can be exceptional
Which sites in South Africa produce the best examples of Chardonnay?
The cooler sites
Describe big contributing factors in the character of South Africa's best Chardonnays
The use of Burgundian techniques such as lees-stirring and barrel fermentation
What is Muscat of Alexandria called in South Africa?
What is Hanepoot used for in South Africa?
Late-harvest dessert wines
Besides late-harvesting, how may South African dessert wines be sweetened?
Noble rot can have an influence
Plantings of which white grape have increased dramatically in South Africa over the last couple of decades?
What is the usual style of Viognier wines from South Africa?
Rich, perfumed whites with a hint of toasty oak
Which style of wine has recently emerged in South Africa, particularly in Swartland?
High quality blends, often made from Chenin Blanc with Rhône varieties such as Marsanne, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier
Where does well over 90% of wine made in South Africa come from?
The Western Cape
What are the most important regions of the Western Cape?
Coastal Region Breede River Valley Cape South Coast
Where does the majority of wine NOT from the Western Cape come from in South Africa?
Orange River in the Northern Cape
Briefly describe conditions in Orange River
Very hot and irrigated
What is wine from Orange River mostly known for?
Mostly inexpensive whites the are rarely seen on export markets
In South Africa, some wineries located in certain districts or wards may source their fruit from... How may these wines be labelled?
A wider area than the GI in which they're located With a region or a geographical unit e.g. Coastal Region or Western Cape
Where is the Stellenbosch region?
From just inland of the coast at Somerset West right up into the mountains that surround the town of Stellenbosch itself
What is the long-time hub of fine wine in South Africa?
Describe the climate of Stellenbosch
Moderate to warm depending on location
Sufficient rain in winter
Summers rarely too hot
Why are summers rarely too hot in Stellenbosch?
Thanks to cool winds from False Bay that are funnelled by the mountains into the valleys
What is largely credited for the success of Stellenbosch as a wine growing district?
The variety of altitude, aspect and soil that's available in such a relatively small area
What has Stellenbosch built a reputation for in recent years?
Top class reds
What reds in particular has Stellenbosch built a reputation for?
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (often made into Bordeaux-style blends)
Cape red blends
What can the cooler sites in Stellenbosch produce?
High quality Sauvignon Blanc
Describe the Paarl district
A large district to the north of Stellenbosch
Describe the climate in Paarl
Less exposed to the cooling influences of the sea, being further inland
Temperatures hotter in summer
Cooler night-time temperatures
Describe the vineyards of Paarl
Variety of altitudes, aspects and soils offered by mountainous terrain
What are the most important reds of Paarl?
Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinotage
What are the most planted whites of Paarl?
Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay
What is noteworthy about the Constantia ward?
It has some of the oldest vineyards in the Cape
Where is the Constantia ward?
In the Cape Peninsula
How are the vineyards of Constantia Ward located?
On the eastern flanks of Table Mountain
How is temperature moderated in the vineyards of Constantia?
By the Cape Doctor
What do the producers of Cape Doctor have a particular reputation for?
What is the name of the sweet wine produced from late-harvested Muscat in Constantia?
Vin de Constance
Describe the vineyards south of Table Mountain and the grapes they're famous for
Closer to Cape Point
Well exposed to the cooling influence of the ocean
Made a speciality of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
What is planted in the warmer sites south of Table Mountain in Constantia?
Some Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon
Which district lies to the north of Cape Town?
What is Swartland's formative reputation?
As a source of inexpensive grapes and wine
What is the new reputation of Swartland?
As a centre of innovation and premium wine production
Swartland is recognised particularly as a source of ...and...
Old-vine Chenin Blanc
What does 'dry-farming' mean?
Growing without irrigation
What is the effect of dry-farming Chenin Blanc and Syrah (as in Swartland)?
It lowers yields but enhances fruit concentration
Besides Chenin and Syrah, what else also comes from Swartland district?
A number of premium Cape blends (red and white)
What is to the south-west of Swartland?
The Darling district
Describe the climate in the Darling district
Its position near the coast means it receives cooling sea breezes
For what does the Darling district have its reputation?
What is Darling's similarity with Swartland?
It is a source of old vines
What/where is Durbanville?
A ward in the Tygerberg district
What are sites like in Durbanville?
Offers hillside sites north of Cape Town
Cooled by sea breezes that also blow through the Cape Point
Durbanville has built a reputation for...
What are the most important districts of Breede River Valley?
Where in Breede River Valley is Worcester district?
At the western end of Breede River Valley
Describe the climate in the Worcester district
Hot and dry
What is the result of the climate in the Worcester district?
Irrigation from the river is essential
What are the soils like in Breede River Valley?
What is the role of the Worcester district in South Africa's wine production?
It can produce a significant proportion of South Africa's annual production
What is the majority of Worcester district wine made from?
Chenin Blanc and Colombard
Much of wine from Worcester district is used for...
Other than wine for distillation, what else is Worcester district reputable for?
Red and white, high-volume, branded wines
Where is the Robertson district?
To the east of Worcester
What is the climate of Robertson district?
Similar but slightly cooler climate than Worcester district
Why is it cooler in Robertson district than Worcester district?
Thanks to south-easterly winds that are drawn into the valley
Of what is Robertson district a reliable source?
Well-made wines for high-volume brands
Besides high-volume wines, what else can be made in Robertson district?
Excellent Syrahs and full-bodied Chardonnays
What is the most southerly region of South Africa?
Cape South Coast
What is the reputation of the Cape South Coast area?
It is a regular source of some of the best fruit and wines in South Africa
What is the best-established vineyard area of Cape South Coast area?
Walker Bay district
What is contained within Walker Bay district?
The various wards of Hemel-en-Aarde
What is home to some of South Africa's best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs?
What is also grown in Hemel-en-Aarde with great success (besides Pinot Noir and Chardonnay)?
What is to the north-west of Walker Bay?
The Elgin district
What is the important cooling influence in Elgin district?
For what does Elgin district have a particular reputation?
Intense, fresh Sauvignon Blancs
Besides SB, which varieties are showing promise in Elgin district?
What is to the south-east of Walker Bay?
The Elim ward (in the Cape Agulhas district)
For what does the Elim ward have a particular reputation?
Pungent, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc
Syrah is also showing promise
What is the name of South Africa's GI system?
The Wine of Origin Scheme (W.O.)
What will wines stating Wine of Origin (W.O.) also carry?
A certification seal
How many different sizes of production area does South African law recognise? What are they?
What is the only geographical unit in South Africa of any importance to wine?
What is the advantage of the Western Cape appellation?
It allows producers to blend the best parcels of fruit from different areas
What is the tendency as to how regions are defined in South Africa?
They follow dominant geological features
What are the most important regions for wine grape-growing in South Africa?
Breede River Valley
Cape South Coast
What are the rules behind labelling wines as Estate Wines in South Africa?
Must come from a single estate
All grapes must come from estate vineyards that cover a single geographical area
Estate must have facilities on their land allowing them to process the grapes and the wine up to and including bottling
What does Estate Wine law allow in South Africa?
It allows top producers to release Estate Wines AND other W.O. wines under their brand name
What does IPW stand for in South Africa and what does it mean?
Integrated Production of Wine (IPW)
It's a voluntary sustainable agriculture scheme