South Africa - Winemaking

4 important questions on South Africa - Winemaking

Winemaking in South Africa, as in other countries, can be divided in two various styles, which are these?

  1. high-volume winemaking for inexpensive wines
  2. small batch winemaking for mid-price to premium wines.

What are the differences in yield in the viticulture of Chenin Blanc in South Africa between inexpensive and premium wines

Inexpensive Chenin Blanc
  • Grown at high yields
  • Regular spraying to avoid Botrytis
  • minimal or no sorting of harvested fruit

Premium Chenin Blanc
  • Low yields
  • Old, dryland vines
  • small amount of Botrytis allowed
  • careful sorting

Describe the style and pricing of Chenin Blanc for both high volume and premium wines, as made in South Africa. Name two producers.

The style in general
  • Medium to pronounced intensity
  • ripe yellow apple or peach fruit with tropical fruit notes
  • High acidity
  • Medium alcohol and body

  • Inexpensive: acceptable to good
  • mid priced/premium: very good to outstanding

  • Ken Forrester
  • De MorgenZon

In South Africa, which are the three main blends?

  • White Cape Blend
    • Chenin dominant + Rhône varieties, Chardonnay, Semillon and Sauvignon blanc
  • Red Bordeaux Blend
  • Red Cape Blend
    • Pinotage and/or black Rhône varieties

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