Our third and final piece on the wines of the southern hemisphere feature our favourite 10 wineries in South Africa that are available here in Hong Kong. South African wines are a tough sell here in the city mainly due to the lack of a large South African population and also because of competition from other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Chile. However, the country makes some stunning wines in both white and red and, although the native Pinotage grape may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there are plenty of varietals grown in the country to choose from. So take a look at our Top 10 and be inspired to buy some South African wine for the next time you are having a nice meal at home.
I have had the pleasure of both having dinner with and interviewing Klein Constantia Managing Director Hans Astrom as he visited Hong Kong last year and if there is one wine that sets this old and very historic winery apart from the others is their world-class wine, Vin de Constance. The wine somewhat died out of production for around 100 years towards the end of the 19th century but was revived by the winery and now makes arguably some of the best sweet wines on the planet. The wine is still made from a very small plot of Muscat Blanc and, even though the wines may be in short supply, they are extremely affordable and come highly recommended by all who have tasted it. Klein Constantia wines are available in Hong Kong from ASC Fine Wines (www.asc-wines.com)
Meerlust winery has long been recognized for making world-class wines and has been doing so since 1756 in the Stellenbosch area of South Africa. They make both red and white wines from international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir (for the reds) and Chardonnay for the whites. Their stand out wine and one that is highly regarded on the world wine stage is the Meerlust Rubicon, a wine that is their flagship wine and one that is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The first vintage was in 1980 and these wines have great cellaring potential and will develop and get better over time. Certainly one of the best reds coming from South Africa these days. Meerlust wines are available in Hong Kong from Wine N Things (www.winenthingshk.com)
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