Friday, March 27th, 2015

South African Wines growing in popularity with Irish wine drinkers

South African Wines fell out of favour in recent years due to brand weariness and a lack of quality above a certain price point but they’re set to make a comeback with quality producers stepping up to the plate with prices to suit the current markets.

With their proximity to the equator, South Africa’s warm climate and abundant sunshine provide excellent grape-growing conditions. The sea breeze from the Atlantic helps cool the fruit during the hot growing season, creating a steady ripening process that produces high quality grapes.

South Africa has been producing wine for hundreds of years and growers in the region have cultivated a wide range of grape varieties, majoring in Shiraz and the indigenous Pinotage. It’s white grape varieties are led by Chenin Blanc followed by Sauvignon Blanc.

Bellingham Wine Estate

Bellingham is one of the oldest grape growing estates and has over 300 years of heritage and experience, making them one of the most successful wine producers in the region. Modern wine making methods and state of the art equipment give them the edge on their competitors. Niƫl Groenewald has been head wine maker since 2004, combining traditional practices with modern methodologies. The Tree Series offers great value premium blends that combine the best natural aspects of popular grape varieties to create wines that are greater than their individual components.

Bellingham Pear Tree White

This white blend sees Chenin Blanc, originally from the Louvre valley, blended with Viognier, originating from Northern Rhone. This blend is made better by the strong sunshine hours on the Western Cape.

This wine is medium-dry with crisp acidity. There are notes of tropical passion fruits and melon from the Chenin Blanc, fused with perfumed peach from the Viognier. The wine has great balance and length, making it an ideal winter warming white. Enjoy with seafood or chicken, or by simply by itself.

Bellingham Big Oak Red

This Shiraz/Cabernet blend celebrates the big oak tree on the original vineyard in Franschhoek Valley, where shade was sought while bottling the original vintages. Later on it became the setting for many social occasions and it adorns the bottle of this red blend to encourage such sentiments. The sunshine ripening rows of summertime in South Africa is the key to the ripeness and complexity of this blend.

Delicious and inviting aromatics lead to a medium dry style with ample acidity and tannins which continue to a fulfilling mouthfeel with great body. Powerful spices with blackberries from the Shiraz lead to impressive hints of blackcurrant cassis with an accompaniment of black pepper. Integrated alcohol leads to a long lingering finish which can be enjoyed with or without food.

Search our online store for some of the best South Africa has to offer.

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