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Book cover of Jim Clark's guide, The Wines of South Africa, with vineyards and mountains behind. Published by Academie du Vin.

The Wines of South Africa

By (author) Jim Clarke


Publishing 27th Mar 2024
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  • Most up-to-date analysis of South African wine
  • Author is an industry insider and acknowledged expert on the wines of South Africa
  • Author was named Domaines Ott* International Feature Writer Of The Year 2020 at the Louis Roederer Awards
Full Description

South Africa is the eighth largest wine-producer in the world and its wine industry is among the oldest of the New World. Today it is one of the globe’s most dynamic industries, compact but diverse. In the past decade a new generation of winemakers has breathed life into centuries-old estates and new, boutique brands alike. The Wines of South Africa begins by introducing readers to the history of South African wine, starting with the arrival of the Dutch and the establishment of what would become Cape Town. Clarke then analyses South Africa’s industry today including the geological, geographical, and climatic conditions that create the parameters and potential of South African wine. He describes the major grape varieties and wine styles and outlines the broad range of wines being produced. The book the current infrastructure of the industry paying particular attention to the role of Black and coloured people in the wine industry since the end of apartheid. Key challenges facing the industry are explored, including profitability and the loss of vineyards as farmers switch to higher-margin orchards; environmental concerns, the effects of climate change, and water conservation; and the legacy of apartheid and continued imbalances in the socioeconomic structure of the Western Cape. The major growing areas of South Africa are described in turn, including an explanation of the Wine of Origin scheme, and the most important producers operating in each one.

About the Author

Jim Clarke has commented on wine for more than twelve years in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, World of Fine Wine, and national public radio. He was a sommelier and wine director in New York City for several years. He specializes in the wines of South Africa, and since 2013 has been the U.S. Marketing Manager for Wines of South Africa.

Academie du Vin Library
Publish date
27th Mar 2024
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
6.14 in x 9.21 in
322 Pages
15 color, 33 b&w
Name of series
The Classic Wine Library
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