Focus/Fokus

Wine producers, winemakers, wines, etc./Wynprodusente, wynmakers, wyne, ens.

Chenin blanc: complex, perplexing but also accomplished and versatile

Chenin blanc, from workhorse to thoroughbred!

Rich, complex whites are well suited to cooler weather, particularly when they have the body, texture and character to enjoy at “cellar temperature” of 10-12C, writes Treve Ring, writer, editor, judge, consultant, educator and certified sommelier based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

When it comes to complex, and possibly perplexing whites, I think of chenin blanc. Chenin blanc is one of the world’s most versatile grapes. Wines from this early-budding, late ripening grape arc from searingly bone dry to sweet nobility and from serious fizz to potent fortified pours.

Pinotage takes centre stage!

The aromas of the "Brady Bunch" grape in a bottle!

Pinotage is a “Brady Bunch” grape. It was created by enmeshing two previously unrelated grapes to create a brand new entity which possesses its own compelling characteristics. In viticultural language this is called a crossing. If you really want to get technical, a crossing results when two grapes, both grown from vitis vinifera parent seed, are melded into a single being. (This differs from a hybrid. A hybrid combines two separate species, one of which may or may not be vitis vinifera.) When pinot noir meets cinsault (also known as hermitage), together they create pinotage.

Ditch your rosé, orange wine is burning hot

Yep, it's orange wine!

Orange wine is something I feel I have read about more often than I have seen it in the past few years, writes Sandra Crittenden. It is definitely not on every wine list I encounter nor is it taking up a lot of shelf space in the places where I buy wine. When the opportunity for a taste has arisen usually as a temporary novelty on a wine bar list, I am always eager to try it; sometimes I’ve loved it and other times I’ve been more neutral. Whether the orange wine trend will continue to grow is still under discussion but, as a style, it seems to be here to stay. Recently, I made a point to seek out as many orange wines as I could find in my own market and collect my thoughts on the wines that are available now.

Women in Wine: Rhône Valley Ladies Unite

Women and wine, an exceptional combination.

How many female winemakers and vineyard owners do you know? asks Louise Hurren. A few months ago, Christy Canterbury introduced some ladies of the Langhe. Female winemakers in Piedmont have changed the conservative winemaking landscape to one that is inclusive of women.

’n Dag van ‘la dolce vita’ op Lanzerac!

Die ikoniese Lanzerac-wynlandgoed buite Stellenbosch.

Die Italianers noem dit la dolce vita, oftewel die lekker of goeie lewe. Maar waaruit bestaan la dolce vita nou eintlik? In een woord, bederf! En lekker bederf kom in verskillende vorms en is verskillende goed vir verskillende mense.

As lekker kos en lekker wyn, weelderige verblyf en ’n goeie dosis bederf vir jou la dolce vita verteenwoordig, is Lanzerac net die plek vir jou.

Catch the Corsican rosé wave

Food and rosé wine, Corsican style!

Corsica may fall under French jurisdiction, but its spirit is clearly distinct from that on “the continent”, as they say. Read the street signs in French or in Corsican; if you know some Italian, you’ll grasp the latter easily. After all, Corsica was Italian for a solid seven hundred years before the island raised the French tricolore flag in 1769, writes Christy Canterbury MW.

Go new oak or go home: The life cycle of an oak barrel

Wine maturing in oak barrels.

Few things better represent the art of winemaking more than the image of oak wine barrel racks inside a picturesque château, as they lovingly age the sweet juices that will one day be poured into our glasses, writes Kevin Chandler. It’s an Old World image that reminds us to respect the timeless task of winemaking. While there are many types of wood barrels in which wine is aged, this piece will focus on oak -- from American to Slavonian and everywhere in between. Here, I will explore the life cycle of an oak barrel from its cool forest origins, to its glory days as a vessel for aging wine, to its retirement.

Werkwinkel van Zonnebloem Lauréat bied puik insig in die kuns van versnyding

Die werkswinkel!

Enigeen wat meen die versnyding van wyn is kinderspeletjies, dink weer! Dit is genotvol, maar terselfdertyd ook harde werk.

North Carolina, USA: An underrated wine region

North Carolina, USA.

Let’s take a trip back in time, suggests Kevin Chandler. Close your eyes and imagine yourself an English explorer, a shipmate of Sir Walter Raleigh’s. You've just braved the Atlantic crossing and are rowing to shore towards a strange island on a forbidding coast. Yet, immediately on landing, you see a very familiar site: grapes. Lots of them.

Considering the wines of Serbia

Tasting Serbian wine!

I first encountered Serbian wines two years ago at the Balkans International Wine Competition, writes Christy Canterbury MW. My discovery was about more than some new, exciting wines; it was also about a renaissance of vineyards, varieties and heritage. Over the last fifteen years, as Serbia began gathering its wits after Yugoslavia’s crack-up, winemakers have been ratcheting up wine quality. They have invested in their vineyards and their wineries. It’s enough activity for the wine world to start paying attention.

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