Wines of South Africa
Episode 29: The Helderberg
For many visitors it’s the first part of the wine district they see. If you’re coming from the airport it’s on your right as you turn and head toward town. But it's also one of Stellenbosch's most dynamic areas, home to award-winning Cabernets and other Bordeaux varieties, top-notch Chardonnay on the mountain's cooler, higher slopes, and many other exciting wines.
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4. Episode 28: Wellington49:00Wellington is nestled up against the mountains north of Paarl, and has long been known within the industry as a source of grapes and of vines as well – its home to the great majority of South Africa’s wine nurseries. But more and more it’s becoming a name that savvy winedrinkers are looking out for. Warm conditions and plenty of sunlight makes the area perfect for ripe and fruit-driven reds, generous Chenin Blancs, and more.
3. The Simonsberg36:25Whether you're in Stellenbosch or Paarl, it's hard to miss the Simonsberg. The mountain divides the two wine districts, so vineyards dot the slopes on every side. While that makes for a lot of different aspects and varied growing conditions, there's still something that Simonsberg wines share in common.
2. Wine Tourism55:48Wine tourism has always played an important role in the South African wine scene, and post-Covid wine fans are pouring back into the the country to explore what it has to offer. In this episode we look at both the varied and exciting possibilities that South Africa's winelands offer visitors and explore what tourism means to the wine industry as a whole.
1. Episode 25: Cape Winemakers Guild51:05The Cape Winemakers Guild has become a leading force in raising the bar of South African wine, bringing together top winemakers from across the Western Cape to discuss and share ideas. It has also created a set of programs that engender new opportunities for wine industry members from Black and other previously-disadvantaged communities, most notably their Protege Programme. Their annual auction, which helps fund these activities, has become a highlight of the calendar in the South African winelands.
12. Franschhoek52:10In this episode we’ll be looking at one of the historic districts of the Winelands, Franschhoek. Its long history is reflected in its name, which means” French corner” and reflects the large number of French Huguenots who settled there in the 17th century. Today Franschhoek is one of the most visited spots in the Western Cape, home to a diverse array of wines including many great Chardonnays, Syrahs, Cap Classiques, and more.
11. November 2021: Robertson48:55Robertson came to wine a bit later than some of the areas closer to Cape Town, but that's only because the mountains separating it from those more coastal spots made it hard for the valley's products to get to market. Vineyard planting got serious in the second half of the 1800s, and Robertson has definitely made up for lost time. With mountains on either side, the Breede River running through the middle, and some of South Africa's only limestone soils, it's a great place to make wine.
10. October 2021: Shiraz57:15South Africa's first varietal Shiraz only appeared in 1957, but the grape's popularity grew tremendously in the 1990s and today it's the second most planted red grape in South Africa, beaten only by Cabernet Sauvignon. and while Cabernet is largely focused on Stellenbosch and a few other areas, Shiraz - or Syrah - can be found the length and breadth of the Cape, producing a wide range of premium wines.
9. Episode 21: Cinsault56:02For much of the twentieth century Cinsault was the most planted wine grape in South Africa. Starting in the 1960s its plantings began to decline, but today's new generation of winemakers are taking another look and discovering it's well-suited for the fresher, lighter-bodied styles of red wine so popular today.