When it comes to majesty, South Africa's awe inspiring landscape has it in spades. The flora and fauna boldly imprint their beauty on the brain while the rocky mountains rising out of the earth and along the coastline take the breath away.
This country may have lived under the dark shadow of formal apartheid for most of last century, but it is now rising in stature when it comes to wine and, this August, we are championing South Africa as our winery of the month.
Chenin Blanc is the queen of the country's vineyard area and it accounts for 18% of the country's total vineyard area of approximately 89,000 hectares. The statistics come from Wines of South Africa (WOSA), which is the industry's not for profit official body. Its mission is to promote the brand of South Africa and it has done an impressive job with this vast and diverse country now growing in both quality and quantity.
South Africa is the eighth biggest wine producing country in the world with 3.9% of the world's total wine output.
South Africa has had democracy since 1994 and since then its wines have benefited from closer relationships with the wine world, both internally with shared knowledge and resources and externally with the travel of its winemakers.
This August we will highlight a snapshot of this fascinating country's wines, focussing especially on Chenin Blanc, Syrah and red blends, with a special tasting hosted by South African winemaker Chris Mullineux.
Read our weekly newsletter for updates and pop in store every week for our tastings in store - details in our newsletter.
French winemakers Vincent and Tania Careme are also being highlighted with two great South African wines this month. This couple met in South Africa in 1997 and then returned to France's Loire Valley where they set up their own vineyard of five hectares. Today they make in both countries.
Here is a taste of South Africa
2022 Mullineux Old Vine Chenin Kloof Street RRP $34.99 / Special $31.99
Mullineux was established in 2007, when Chris and Andrea Mullineux settled in the Swartland wine region, 60 kms north of Cape Town. This Chenin Blanc is a wine of vibrant acidity balanced by a smooth, rounded texture with citrus character and fresh finish.
2019 Careme Terre de Brulee RRP $42.99 / Special $39.99
Dry, flinty and next level in quality - a South African Chenin Blanc made by a French couple from the Loire Valley - the classic home of this great white grape.
This wine is made from grapes that were all hand picked, whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeasts. It comes from Swartland, one of the most beautiful regions in a drop dead gorgeously beautiful country.
2018 Careme Terre Brulee Rouge RRP $42.99 / Special $39.99
If you love a cheeky little Cotes du Rhone, try this sensational South African lookalike, made from Syrah and Cinsault in a 60% / 40% blend here, which is a nod to the French classics.