The winelands of South Africa really have to be the grandest and most spectacular in the world. Of all the southern hemisphere wine producers, South Africa claims the longest, continuous history of fine wine production stretching back to the 18th century. In those days the country was famed for its dessert muscats but in the modern era its reputation rests on top value for money wines, with fresh, expressive fruit flavours. Chenin Blanc (borrowed from the Loire and here originally called Steen) thrives and flourishes and the best wines made from it are exceptionally fine. The USP of the region though has to be a love or hate grape called pinotage (a crossing of pinot noir and cinsault), which makes wines with a dense, dark fruit profile, framed by earthy, burnt rubber notes on the nose and pallet.
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