South Africa in a Glass… of Wine

Written by  //  March 19, 2013  //  FAMILY & LEISURE  // 


By Courtney D. Ward
Oct 2011

South Africa, known for its gold, wildlife, and even its cuisine, has piqued American interest. Along its coastline, wine making has become a rising-stellar industry that is a force to be reckoned with.

Soil, Weather & Environment Create Distinct Flavors
With its diverse, sweet-distinct flavors, South African wines are in a class of their own. Because the grapes are produced in such rich soil, South African wines have their own unique taste. Also, the various weather cycles and periods of inundation by the sea create very distinctive flavors. Each region has its specialty. South Africa’s wine regions consist of nine areas, which include Cape Town, Constantia, Elgin, Franschoek, Paarl, Robertson, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Walker Bay, and Worcester.

You may wonder why such an industry is just becoming. During the apartheid, South African wines were not permitted in the United States until the mid-90′s. Even then, buzz was still under the radar. Fast forward to 2011, and South African wines can be found throughout the country. They can even be found here, in the peach state!

George Gore, an Atlanta-based sommelier (a wine steward with expert knowledge about a variety of wines), has over 45 years of wine expertise. In the early 60′s, Gore became the third African-American sommelier in the U.S. He is currently a host at the Sweet Georgia Juke Joint. “I try to encourage and inform people about South African wines because their prices are better than most American wines, and the quality is wonderful,” said Gore. Gore highlighted two South African wineries that are Black African owned: Indaba, and Seven Sisters Wines.

Indaba: “A Meeting of the Minds”
Indaba, a Zulu word meaning “a meeting of the minds”, is a perfect word to describe the brand. Besides making the usual wine favorites, Indaba Wines are committed to educating South Africans about wine making. They have a scholarship in place to attend a 6-year program school to study wine and the scholarship is awarded to South Africans only.

Seven Sisters: Self-describable
Seven Sisters Wine brand is self-describable. The winery has seven wines that are named after each sister; Bukettraube- Odelia, Sauvignon Blanc-Vivian, Chenin Blanc-Yolanda, Pinotage/Shiraz- Dawn, Merlot-June, Pinotage Rose-Twena, and Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc-Carol. According to the Seven Sisters website, the wines [were] carefully selected to match the styles and personalities of each sister and celebrate their bond and devotion to one another. Each bottle has a festive picture of all the sisters.

So the next time you visit a winery, ask for a South African produced wine and experience South Africa in a glass.


Courtney_Ward-NewCourtney D. Ward
“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” -Maya AngelouAs an up and coming journalist, Courtney D. Ward is determined to be an accomplished writer. A native of Atlanta, GA, Courtney attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in News Editorial. In 2009, she received the Journalist of the Year Award at the Bethune-Cookman University Massey Awards Ceremony. She is currently a Feature Writer for Esteem Magazine.Visit her in “Twitter-land” @ writedayz.

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