As a millennial, I’m always looking for the next cool thing.
And lately, I’ve been obsessed with Chenin Blancs, which predominately come from South Africa. Oh, wait, what? You’ve never heard of South African Wines? Lucky for you, Chel Loves Wine is here to fill you in on these awesome wines starting to hit the US markets.
As one would assume, South Africa is located in the southern part of Africa. I’ve personally have never been, but it’s on my list of places to go because this country has everything. There are beaches, mountains, penguins and sharks, but most importantly there is amazing wine.
As you can see, there are a lot of wine regions in South Africa, with most of the wine grown near the coast. Everything from Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to Pinotage (another personal favorite of mine with is exclusive to South Africa) and Chardonnay.
Like I said before, I have been on a Chenin Blanc kick lately. I’m not a big white wine drinker in general, but I would drink a Chenin Blanc forever. Chenin is such a versatile grape and its the most widely planted varietal in South Africa (Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted red!). It is also called Steen and most of this grape is made into Brandy.
Quick recap of the three wines you see above.
Longridge Chenin Blanc: Limes, melons and green fruits with a little nuttiness. Super refreshing. If you like Pinot Gris, try this one.
Kalk Bay Chenin Blanc: Citrusy and warm, vanilla and honey notes. If you prefer a Chardonnay you’ll love this one.
Stonedance Sauvignon Blanc: Bright acidity, floral notes, nice minerally finish. If you like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, try this!
WHERE TO BUY
My wine store only has a small selection of South African wines so I like to do a lot of my ordering online. My favorite place to pick out new South African wines is from New Dawn Wine. Not only do they have great wines, they also provide tons of info on the region and the wines. There is also special meaning behind their name.
As I’m sure you are aware, South Africa was in the Apartheid until 1994. When Nelson Mandella won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 he proclaimed that this would be a new dawn for South Africa and he was right. Now, it’s a new dawn for South African Wines.