White’s Wines: For Value, Look To South Africa
Value-conscious wine consumers know to avoid marquee regions like Napa Valley and Burgundy.
Those who are comfortable with the obscure find value in places like Spain, northern Italy, and France’s Loire Valley. Those who are more comfortable with easy-to-pronounce locales stick to places like Argentina, New Zealand, and California’s Central Coast.
All value seekers should add South Africa to their lists.
South Africa’s wine industry can trace its roots to 1650s, when the Dutch East India Company established an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope to provide its merchants, who were constantly voyaging from Europe to East Asia, with fresh food and supplies. The settlers were urged to plant vineyards, as wine could defend against scurvy.
Over the next 300 years, South Africa’s wine industry experienced all manner of ups and downs. But by and large, local vintners were more interested in quantity than quality, primarily producing cheap wine for local consumption.
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