South Africa

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

South Africa, prolific southern hemisphere wine producer with a lustrous past and now in the midst of a significant renaissance. The famous Muscat-based dessert wines of constantia seduced 18th and 19th-century Europe at a time when names such as lafite and Romanée-Conti (see domaine de la romanée-conti) were still in the making. The two centuries which followed were, by comparison, a disappointment, with the ordinary being too plentiful and the individual too rare. Only since the early 1990s has the Cape begun to shake off its political notoriety and vinous obscurity.