South Africa’s disconnect

Its wines are winning rave reviews, but its growers are giving up. Michael Fridjhon explains the paradox.

Photo by Nadine Hondebrink on Unsplash
Photo by Nadine Hondebrink on Unsplash

For many of the world’s leading wine writers, South Africa has become one of the most exciting sources of fine wine. Neal Martin, Tim Atkin and Jancis Robinson have been unstinting in their praise of what the Cape delivers – from hand-crafted, innovative interpretations of Chenin Blanc to some of the most striking Bordeaux blends and Chardonnays made outside the major French appellations. It would seem a safe assumption that with South Africa front of mind wherever trade buyers are looking for stand-out and original bottlings, the wine industry itself must be in rude good health. 

Little could be further from the truth.

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