The history of Champagne has seen the wine evolve from being a pale, pinkish still wine to the sparkling wine now associated with the region. The Romans were the first to plant vineyards in this area of northeast France, with the region being cultivated by at least the 5th century, possibly earlier.
Méthode Cap Classique
Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand.
Chenin blanc is a White wine grape variety from the Loire Valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines, although it can produce very bland, neutral wines if the vine’s natural vigour is not controlled.
A varietal wine is a wine made primarily from a single named grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label.
The aim of blending is to make a whole wine that is greater than the sum of its parts. Some grape varieties share a great synergy
A rosé is a type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as a red wine. It may be the oldest known type of wine, as it is the most straightforward to make with the skin contact method.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.
Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird.
Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a dark-skinned grape variety grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce red wine. In 1999, Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche.
Pinotage is a red wine grape that is South Africa’s signature variety. It was cultivated in 1925 as a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut.
Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.
Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire’s Chinon.
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. Bordeaux is centered on the city of Bordeaux, on the Garonne River.
A varietal wine is a wine made primarily from a single named grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label. Examples of grape varieties commonly used in varietal wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.
The southern French region of Rhone is warm and sunny – just like South Africa. This means that Rhone blends are popular here, and can include any of Shiraz, Carignan, Cinsaut, Mourvedre, Grenache Noir, as well as some of the white grapes Viognier, Roussanne or Marsanne.
Pinotage could be a unifying element; at the moment Cape Blends include Bordeaux-style blends (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc,Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot), Rhone-style blends (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault…), and “Aussie” blends like Cab-Shiraz.
DESSERT AND FORTIFIED WINES
Defining Dessert and Fortified Wines.… When fortified with alcohol after fermentation (after all the grape sugar has been converted to alcohol), the wines are dry (unless they’re subsequently sweetened). Sherry is the classic example of this process.