Although South Africa is currently the ninth biggest producer of wines worldwide, it occupies fifth position in UK retail, currently the world’s biggest wine market in value terms.
The UK is expected to remain the single biggest export destination in the immediate future. WOSA (Wines of South Africa) aims to take South Africa from fifth to fourth position in terms of its value share of the retail sector, with value exceeding volume share. We can therefore expect to see more South African wines here and greater marketing of them.
There are a wide variety of wines from which to choose. For those South Africans amongst you, they will need no introduction. To those in the UK, new to South African wines, here is a brief inroduction to the wines from the stunningly beautiful Cape winelands.
White wines include the cool climate Sauvignon Blanc to the ripe, tropical Chardonnay or the delightful Chenin Blanc – the Cape’s most widely planted white grape.
South Africa has it’s very own red grape, Pinotage which creates a wine with richness and layers of flavour. Cabernet Sauvignon from the Cape is elegant and rounded, while Shiraz packs a punch and is the perfect partner to a summer BBQ.
Whether you like your wines full and punchy or soft and fruity, there is a South African wine to suit all tastes. I will elaborate on these varieties in future updates as well as highlight a few of my favourites.
Rank of varieties
1 Chenin Blanc
2 Cabernet Sauvignon
7 Sauvignon Blanc