WWBG: South African Wines

Editor’s Note: This weekly column is sponsored by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road). This week’s post was written by store employee Michael Grabowski. 

There’s something to be said about a coastline and a warm breeze in creating good wine. But California isn’t the only coast with vineyards worth a sip of your time. Although South Africa has been a major player in the global wine market for only the past 20 years, the region has been producing wines for over three centuries. South African wine regions are able to cultivate a wonderful variety of grapes in a climate similar to Napa Valley and Burgundy, France.

The focus of this week’s article is wine from the town of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Situated along the coast and in proximity of the South African capital of Cape Town, the town has a rich winemaking tradition that is supported by mountainous terrain, deep, rich soils, and consistent rainfall. The wineries in Stellenbosch — and across the wine regions of South Africa — also provide visitors breathtaking views that can enhance the taste of any wine sipped on a beautiful day.

De Morgenzon DMZ Chardonnay 2012

When I first tasted this wine, I literally said “goodness me” out loud. You’ll be able to taste a perfect blend of pear and apple, followed by a vanilla and honeysuckle finish. This is an excellent wine to enjoy on a warm spring day or on a cold winter night paired with a nice smooth cheese and fruit chutney. You will always want to keep a bottle of this wine nearby.


Thelma Mountain Red 2009

42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, 14% Grenache and 14% Petit Verdot – talk about a smooth red wine. Aged in oak barrels (I’ll take two barrels please), this wine has hints of cherry and plum flavors. A kick of spice hits about a second after the first sip. Open it about two hours before drinking and your taste buds will be thanking you, glass by glass.


Kanonkop Kadette 2009

44% Pinotage, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc – This is another wine to let breathe for about two hours before drinking. Its aroma is hard to resist, but patience is rewarded. This wine does not disappoint. Once the wine opens, you’ll taste a flavor burst of cherry, banana, and berries, with a spicy finish. Delicious.

All three wines tasted for this article should be on any wine lovers “must try” list. Enjoy!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.

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