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Jefford: South Africa – Shocks, surprises and inspiration

Andrew Jefford reports on a season of drama....

I returned to the windy, peak-scattered, crystal-lit Cape for the first time in almost five years in late February. Harvest was in full swing for some, and had finished for others.

Astonishingly enough, will our children come to regard February in the southern hemisphere, and August in the north, as the harvest month? If you believe that phenolic maturity is the key to flavour development and that there is an optimum period (neither too long nor too short) over which it might be acquired, such early harvest dates cannot be welcomed.

‘No country outside Europe has made more progress on complex wine blends than South Africa.’

Andrew’s top picks from South Africa:


See also:

Cape Town: Top restaurants and wine bars

Ten top South African wines worth seeking out