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A new grape varietal for SA - and you should probably know about it if you drink wine

Start making space in your cellar for a new wine!

by: Tessa Purdon | 26 Feb 2019
wine grapes

News in the local wine industry is that Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch is about to add another grape variety to South Africa's already long list of 93. 

According to -  the country's most revered online wine magazine, the new varietal is called Assyrtiko. If you're wondering how to pronounce it, so did we! A quick Google search revealed that this is how you say it: "ah-seer-tee-koh".  And if you thought that the name was Greek, you would be right. The grape hails from the eye-wateringly beautiful island of Santorini. What does it taste like? Decanter wine experts say, "it has floral and citrus notes, and minerality." 

Gary Jordan, winemaker and owner of Jordan Wine Estate says, "we’re taking global warming seriously. Assyrtiko is a white grape variety that should thrive in these dry, mineral-y soils while cooled by the strong winds blowing from False Bay only 14km away."

ALSO READ: SA wine farms are abuzz: Scenes from the 2019 harvest

While Pinotage is the only grape varietal that originates from South Africa, it's actually Chenin Blanc that is the most widely planted grape. You're probably familiar with other grapes that grow here like Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre but we've got some fairly interesting and unusual wine varieties that deserve some time in your glass.

Check these out the next time you're feeling adventurous! 

Diemersdal Gruner Veltliner ( a white wine grape variety grown mainly in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic). 

diemersdal gruner veltliner

Springfield Albarino (a white grape from Spain and Portugal).

springfield aborino

Bosman Nero d’Avola ( an indigenous Italian red variety).

wine bottle

Mount Sutherland Nebbiolo ( another Italian red wine grape variety associated with the region of Piedmont). 

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Read more on: wine  |  drinks


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