You may not think so, but South Africa happens to be home to some of the best wine grape growing regions in the world!
The Value of Vino
Remember? In the first installment of the series, we explained the friend who stumbled upon a red Bordeaux that he liked and bought for 80 euros per bottle, that he then sold for 26,000 pounds? Now, according to international news, an English-speaking couple walked into the cellar of an exclusive restaurant for the very well heeled and swank, in Spain, and helped themselves to around seven bottles of rare wine. The total value of the haul has not been disclosed but one of the bottles was a Chateau d’Yquem from the 19th century, made by a celebrated wine maker. The monetary worth of this bottle alone was estimated at 350,000 euros. The couple still hasn’t been caught.
So, those of you who might have become interested in investing in wines may want to first acquire the expertise on the many vintages and recognize that a good investor does not earmark more than 5 percent towards any particular asset.
South African Wines and Locations
In this concluding article, we’ll explore South Africa, which produces over 4 percent of the world’s wines. Some of them are just excellent, and the country should be an even more important tourist destination than it is, given the beaches, mountains and the savannas.
Just an hour from Cape Town takes you down to a beautiful town ringed by mountains on three sides. The area has around 40 wineries, mostly family owned. Many of them have French names. The meaning of the town itself is the “French Corner,” and it was property of original settlers from France and Holland who brought the wine grapes to the region. The mountain slopes, sunshine and the gentle breeze all contribute to creating ideal conditions for growing wine grapes. The region produces all three varieties – red, white and rose. The reds are mostly full-bodied. You’ll find everything from Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Noir to Merlot. For the white wines, theres a wonderfully good choice of wines made from Chardonnay grapes. The average cost is a little over 12 dollars for the lower-end wines and the good vintages will set you back around 55 dollars.
The valley is not only famous for its wines, but also luxurious cuisine which is greatly influenced by the French, flowers, wildlife and most especially the Rochelle Nature Reserve.
Once you go to enjoy tasting and buying, find a couple of days to tour the area.
A quick drive of just about 40 minutes from Cape Town takes you to this exquisite region of Stellenbosch, which is not just a university town, but is surrounded by vineyards and mountainous nature reserves. Famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, the area is also quite well known for Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, and Chenin Blanc. This is the region where they invented Pinotage! Good wines from this town all range from 20 to 60 dollars equivalent. Just a walk in the town is wonderful. Famous for its oak shaded streets, cafes, boutiques and art galleries. The atmosphere here is such that it takes you back to the colonial times of the Dutch inhabitants there.
Known for its great granite rock, Paarl attracts wine buffs from many parts of the world. The name of the area was originally “The diamond and pearl mountain,” and “Paarl,” is a derivation from that. The area has about 70 wineries in total. Some of the wineries are pretty large cooperatives and others are family owned. While in the area, it’s entirely worth your while to take a wine tasting tour and visit around a dozen wineries including the traditional small ones. You might pick up a gem or two! The region also prides itself on the cheese they produce and many of the wineries will offer you pairings with local cheese. Merlot, Grenache Blanc and Chenin Blanc score particularly high in this region. The price for a fairly decent wine would be equivalent to 18 dollars, while the vintage varieties will cost a traveler much more.
Tip for Travel
For the young investors who don’t wish to shell out too much, some wines of 2018 vintage from South Africa, in particular Pinotage, would be very worth ageing.
Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 1748154500
Check out more articles from this wine series, written by Martina.
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