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South Africa, part 3: Sauvignon blanc

>> Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chenin blanc is not the only white grape that gives good results in South Africa. A short drive south from Cape Town you arrive in the Constantia district. Here it is sauvignon blanc (pronounced [blanK] with a hard at the end) that is the big white grape variety. “We’re just five kilometres from the sea”, says John Loubser, winemaker at Steenberg, a vineyard that has attracted quite a lot of attention for architecture. “At Constantia we constantly have the sea breeze and since sauvignon blanc doesn’t like too much heat it like it here in this slightly cooler climate.” John harvests the sauvignon blanc and makes for example the excellent Magna Carta where he blends it with a bit of sémillon.

But also other regions in South Africa have been successful with sauvignon blanc. Dalla Cia in Stellenbosch (more about them later) makes a very good and complex sauvignon blanc with aromas of gooseberry and pineapple. “We want to make a French style sauvignon blanc, like Sancerre”, George Dalla Cia says.


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