South African wines benefit from one of the world’s most interesting climates for viticulture. Two currents, two bodies of water, altitude, coastal breezes and fertile land make South Africa a winemaking perfect storm. Despite the proximity of the country’s main growing regions, the different macro- and micro-climates means there is great variety of wines coming out of Africa’s southern gem. South African wines are refreshingly easy to understand thanks to their tradition of varietally labelling bottles and there is a healthy mix of grapes, from international favourites to grapes that South Africa has really made its own.

Much of the winemaking occurs in and around the country’s southern coastline, where regions such as Stellenbosch, Paarl, Constantia and Walker Bay can be found. Wine Tourism may have played a part in the international success of South African wines. Beautiful weather, breath-taking scenery and easy to navigate wine routes have made this area one of the world’s most attractive wine regions for travellers.

Pinotage and Chenin Blanc have become South Africa’s two greatest ambassadors in the international market, the former offering concentrated, fruit driven reds and the latter providing tropical fruit notes in a round and rich style. Look out also for South African Shiraz, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which have found great homes here.

Since the end of the Apartheid in 1990, there has been a resurgence of small, family run wineries of which we are huge fans. One of these such producers is the Scali Winery, based in Northern Paarl. Paarl is warmer than the rest of the Cape’s wine regions, but the heat is tempered by cooling influences from the Paarl rock and Simonsberg mountain. From the prime vineyards and in the hands of great winemakers, Paarl produces some of South Africa’s most accomplished wines. Scali are 5th generation, husband and wife team, they make wines of precision using organically farmed grapes and with the utmost respect for the land they work on.

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