​Easy drinking wines from sunny South Africa

Easy drinking from South AfricaEasy drinking from South Africa
Easy drinking from South Africa
​Winter is starting to draw to a close, perhaps with one last icy blast to come. Spring though is definitely around the corner with crocuses and daffodils shining forth in the flowerbeds and blackbirds and thrushes singing from the treetops.

What we all crave at this time is sunshine to brighten the mood after months of rain and grey skies. Whilst waiting for the true Spring sunshine to arrive, the wines of South Africa can give a taste of sunny weather, captured in a bottle.

Here are four wines from this country, all available at under £10 per bottle, not only singing of sunny climes, but also ticking the all-important sustainability box.

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Journey’s End, run by the Gabb family, is one of the top wineries in South Africa, cradled in the foothills of the Hottentot Mountains, with views across False Bay to the Cape of Good Hope. A winery with great environmental credentials, producing top quality wines whilst working hard to protect the abundant bird, animal and plant life.

Winds from the Atlantic Ocean cool the coastal vineyards, extending the ripening period which allows greater development of aromas and flavours in the grapes and ultimately, the wines. Journey’s End ‘End of the Road’ Chardonnay 2023 is a young, juicy, vibrant white, with elegant fruit and creamy, rounded structure. Very lightly oaked to give complexity.

From the same producer comes ‘Eagle Owl’ Sauvignon Blanc 2023, another coastal wine which is crisp, fresh and elegant. Modern winemaking with skin contact maceration, low temperature fermentation and ageing on the lees all result in increased aromatics and flavours. A combination of herby and tropical aromas and flavours, with white peach, gooseberry and mango on the palate, with a refreshing finish.

The Gabb family purchased the land and vineyards in 1995, and the current winemaker worked with Majestic wines to produce these two easy-drinking whites as part of their range. Both available from Majestic at £9.99 mix six price.

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Another South African producer with very worthy environmental and social credentials is Kleine Zalze in the top Stellenbosch region in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The estate’s origins date back to 1683 when it was founded by a German immigrant, Nicolaas Cleef. The vineyards were bought in 1996, from when the modern wines of today were born. Proudly displaying the Fairtrade badge, the company supports sustainable development, fair trading conditions, social change and environmental protection.

Kleine Zalze Chenin Blanc Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc 2023 is an interesting and unusual blend of different grape varieties, more often found singly. A variety of different flavours and aromas result from the blend, including green apple, passion fruit, pineapple and lemon zest. Fruity but not overpoweringly so, it is a versatile, succulent, anytime white. £8.50 from Tesco.

A ‘matching’ red is Kleine Zalze Shiraz Carignan 2022, a deliciously juicy wine with fresh blackberry and dark plum flavours and aromas, with good underlying structure and a touch of black pepper spice. Also £8.50 from Tesco.