The Chenin Blanc is South Africa’s most widely planted grape in the country. It has a fresh, bright, fruity taste and aroma. Its flavour notes are characterised by Granny Smith apple, green plum and lime to more robust notes of ripe stone, tropical fruit, melon and clementine. This wine can also convey a lively herbal or floral character. The fresh crisp Chenin Blanc is lovely to pair with all kinds of fresh seafood including crab, prawns, smoked salmon or trout and light seafood pasta dishes.
Good choices to try: Vondeling Wines Petit Blanc Chenin Blanc 2016, Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015, Uitkyk Chenin Blanc 2015
The South African Pinot Grigios are lighter bodied wines with a crisp, zingy refreshing taste of subtropical and stone fruit containing some spicy notes. It has less acidity than heavier sauvignon blancs with a hint of sweetness. These wines often have a light citrus undertone with pear and dried apricot flavours. Pinot Grigio is the wine to reach for when serving lean white fish such as sole, monkfish, swordfish, trout or tuna.
Good choices to try: Balance Pinot Grigio 2016, Nederburg 56 Hundred Pinot Grigio 2016, De Grendel Pinot Gris 2016
The Chardonnay grape has been popular in South African vineyards since the 1980’s. It flourishes in the dry climate of South Africa. This wine is characterised by flavours of fruit, notably peach and citrus. It has spicy and woody notes, due to the barrels Chardonnay wines are fermented in. It’s an easy drinking wine with many consumers specifically enjoying the oak flavours. The mineral balance of the wine ensures the correct levels of salinity and acidity. Chardonnay is great to pair with salmon, trout, hake, haddock and monkfish.
Good choices to try: Rustenberg Unwooded Chardonnay 2016, Bon Courage Chardonnay Prestige Cuvée 2015, Cape Point Chardonnay 2015.
A Sauvignon Blanc wine has green and herbaceous flavours, producing a crisp, dry and refreshing white varietal wine. Depending on the climate, the flavour can range from aggressively grassy to sweetly tropical. Where the climate is cooler, the grape has a tendency to produce wines with noticeable acidity and “green flavours” of grass, green bell peppers and nettles with some tropical fruit and floral notes. Sauvignon Blanc is great to pair with a delicate fish like sole, lightly cooked shellfish like oysters and prawns, fresh crab, sushi and sashimi.
Good choices to try: Leopards Leap Sauvignon Blanc, Vrede en Lust Casey’s Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc