Category: Wine 101

New Zealand South Island

Welcome to New Zealand‘s South Island. If you haven’t yet read the New Zealand overview, or made a stop in the North Island yet, please do before moving on.

New Zealand South Island wine regions; Google Earth image
New Zealand South Island wine regions; Google Earth image

The South Island has significantly more terroir to cover, so strap in and enjoy the ride.

A note about the maps: I realize they are quite small, but good news—they’re active links. Click on a map and it will take you to the Google Earth page for a zoomed-in experience. Enjoy!

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New Zealand Overview

We’re starting our tour of New Zealand with this FUN FACT: New Zealand is both the most isolated and smallest (by volume) wine producing country in our world. It is 1,000 miles away from its nearest neighbor, Australia, and produces just 1% of the world’s wine.

Remote and low-volume it may be, but its impact and place in our industry is certainly one to be examined.

New Zealand Overview; Fernando Beteta
New Zealand Overview; Fernando Beteta

On a personal note, I choose to travel next to New Zealand in order to decipher a distinction in the wines produced—as compared to the grown varieties’ Old World origins and to its New World neighbors (specifically the U.S., Australia, and South Africa).

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Taste and Learn: Wines of South Africa

This page is dedicated to my South African wine tasting notes. I was so fascinated by the diversity of wines produced in SA, according to my reading, that I want a whole page I can refer back to and add additional tasting experiences as I go along. As I first mentioned, I was intrigued to study South Africa next because of my recent fascination with Chenin Blanc and was eager to compare the country’s expression from that of the classics from Loire. But during a tasting class, there was an overtly herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc that the majority of my classmates swore up and down weas from New Zealand—nope: South Africa. Listening to a recent podcast, I learned that sommeliers are particularly excited about Cab Francs out of SA. And then when I got to my reading about Elgin and how Burgundian the Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs are…

Table Mountain sunset; credit De Grendel
Table Mountain sunset; credit De Grendel

Anyway, as you can see there’s a long list of SA wines I’m dying to try. This list (as of October 6, 2020) is what I have tasted thus far. I am hoping through the course of my studies to continue to add to this list.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my tasting notes and assessments…

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South Africa Cape South Coast Region

Our last stop in our tour of South African wine regions takes us to the Cape South Coast Region and its associated districts and wards as well as a quick look at the Klein Karoo Region. If you haven’t read through the South Africa Overview yet, definitely do so before diving in here, as there are a lot of key terms defined that will be integral to your understanding of the specific regions. Also make sure to check out information on South Africa‘s Coastal Region, Breede River Valley and Olifant River Regions as well.

 

Cooler climates beckon winemakers around the world. It is hardly surprising that Africa’s southern tip, with its cool Antarctic influence has been colonized by the vine.” (The World Atlas of Wine, 8th edition)

Note: For a simplified look at South African wine information, please see Wine Region Overview: South Africa. (More appropriate for those studying for their Level 3 exams.)

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