Sought after by European aristocrats and a favorite of Napoleon Bonaparte, the sweet wines of Constantia in the Cape Colony were considered to be among the world's best during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During the first democratic elections in 1994, South Africa began to re-emerge onto the international wine scene. Tim James, an expert on South African wines, takes the reader on an information-packed tour of the region, showing us how and why the unique combination of terroir and climate, together with dramatic improvements in winemaking techniques, result in wines that are once again winning accolades. James describes important grape varieties and wine styles - from delicate sparkling, to rich fortified, and everything in between - including the varietal blends that produce some of the finest Cape wines. Anchoring his narrative in a rich historical context, James discusses all the major wine regions, from Cederberg to Walker Bay, complete with profiles of more than 150 of the country's finest producers.
Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Wine and the New South Africa 2. A Brief History of South African Wine to 1994 3. Grape Varieties and Wine Styles 4. Wine of Origin: Legislation, Labels, and Terroir 5. Constantia and the Cape Peninsula 6. Stellenbosch 7. Paarl and Wellington 8. Franschhoek 9. Durbanville to Darling 10. The Swartland 11. Breede River Valley 12. Walker Bay and Cape Agulhas 13. Elgin and Overberg 14. Tulbagh and Ceres 15. Olifants River, West Coast, and Cederberg 16. Klein Karoo and Adjacent Wards Appendix Bibliographic Notes Index of Wineries General Index