We’ve Come a Long Way Baby – Past, Present, and Future – The Wines of South Africa

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The first seminar from the 2010 Hospice du Rhône, was an introduction to all that has been happening lately with Syrah in South Africa. Appropriately titled, “We’ve Come a Long Way Baby”, the seminar did indeed give us a glimpse of how things used to be, and what they have become.

Photo above – (Andrea Mullineux, James Molesworth, Davis Trafford, Marc Kent, Eben Sadie, and Chris Mullineux)

Moderated by Wine Spectator Senior Editor James Molesworth, panelists described South Africa’s long history with wine, beginning with the Dutch settlers in the 19 Century. Unfortunately, the more recent history of South African wine is irrevocably tied to the period know as apartheid, a system of legal racial segration that lasted nearly a half-century, drawing the world’s ire, and saddling the country with sanctions and trade embargoes from other nations. When apartheid finally ended in 1994, South African wineries had hoped to make up for lost time. However, the quality was spotty and its wines were not well received. Yet, it was this same public dislike that ultimately pushed the wineries to improve quality. The most surprising discovery from this seminar was that Syrah is merely 10% of the country’s wine production!

Join us, as we hear from some of South Africa’s brightest winemakers, and hear about the current crop of wines coming ‘Out of Africa.’

For More Info: Hospice du Rhone (HdR): www.hospicedurhone.org

Sponsor: Porter Family Vineyards – Napa Valley: www.porterfamilyvineyards.com

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Show #277
(59:51 min 39MB)

3 Responses to “We’ve Come a Long Way Baby – Past, Present, and Future – The Wines of South Africa”


  1. 1 Charles Sep 10th, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I must admit, as a lifelong wine lover, I had never even considered wines from South Africa. It’s nice to know that there is a blossoming industry there. I look forward to trying out some of these wines. Thank you for sharing about them.

  2. 2 Ryan Oct 28th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    The wines from South Africa need someone to do some internet marketing consulting for them. People just don’t know how good their wine is. A lot of the reason good wine is associated with certain locations is because of marketing. South Africa needs to get in on that!

  3. 3 Vi da Nov 25th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    The Wine & Spirits board also operates the South African Wine Industry Trust (SAWIT) and provides funding for the marketing and development of SAWIT. Established in 1999 by a joint agreement between the South African government and the KWV, which put forth 369 million rand ($46 million USD), SAWIT works to promote the export market of South African wines abroad and the development of new technologies and education. Additionally SAWIT works with the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) program to promote the black community’s involvement in the South African wine industry-including ownership opportunities for vineyards and wineries.

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