Tag: South Africa

Lubanzi 2016 Chenin Blanc

About the Wine: The Lubanzi 2016 Chenin Blanc is made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes harvested from the Swartland W.O. in South Africa.

Swartland, located just 40 miles north of Cape Town in the Western Cape WO, was originally a wheat-production region. Today, it is one of the WO’s main grape-growing regions, the most important grapes being Shiraz and Chenin Blanc. Topography here includes varying degrees of elevation, as it sits between the Paardeberg mountain in the south, the Piketberg plains in the north, and the Kasteelberg Moutnain to the east. The dominant soil type here is Malmesbury shale (named after Swartland’s central town of Malmesbury) — a good soil for natural drainage improved even further by the area’s elevation. Because it is somewhat separated from the Atlantic Ocean, Swartland’s climate is actually a hot and dry one, which is a benefit to Chenin Blanc, a tightly clustered grape variety susceptible to mildew and fungal disease when exposed to wet environments.

And, so it is here that Lubanzi sources their Chenin Blanc grapes.

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Wine Region: South Africa

According to Kevin Zraley’s Windows on the World, South Africa has the world’s oldest wine-growing geology, dating back to 1652 when the Dutch settlers planted their first vineyards. But until the mid 1990s, South African wines didn’t travel much — certainly not to America. This was largely due to the massive amount of boycotts around the world on South African products in conjunction with the country’s apartheid system. Once apartheid ended, South Africa’s export trade opened up and wine production received somewhat of a renaissance. Today, the country has just over 600 wineries.

Most of South Africa’s wine regions are located near the coasts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The climate is traditionally Mediterranean with sunny, dry summers, and cold, wet winters that often include snowfall at the higher elevations.

South Africa Regional Map courtesy of wikitravel

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