South Africa (White Wine)

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      South Africa is a country that is really going places in both terms of its politicals and its viticultural. It has quite beautiful scenery with many kind and genuine people who are anything but introspective and, in the context of this list, it is a country that is genuinely challenging the likes of Australia and Chile when it comes to quality wines, although it may take a few more years to achieve this goal.

      Where South Africa is still lagging behind is in the cheaper range of wines, where many large-scale producers and co-operatives are unable to achieve clearly defined fruit flavours because of over-production and the motivation to control quality at the basic end of things is just not there. However, in the past year or so, we have noticed a considerable change from some of these larger producers who realise that the only way to develop markets is through quality consciousness and through the re-planting of suitable varieties and clones along with improved wine-making techniques. Although some old-fashioned wineries and co-operatives are not willing to change, the thing about South Africa that so enthrals us is how the majority of local wine-makers have spent time abroad, learning new techniques and attitudes and just how much they are prepared to experiment with new blends, old plantings and different methods of vinification.

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