"The real story of Champagne is based on the quality of the nonvintage. "
Never one to mince words, W. Blake Gray visited South Africa this year and in this and a companion piece on his own site, explored the effect of wind on terroir and wondered how much progress has been made in South African wine post-apartheid.
There's really only one county in the U.S. where most Americans care about appellations: Napa. And to Napa Valley's credit, its appellations actually make more sense than almost anywhere else.
Like all the best fine-wine regions, South Africa can give you some things you can't get anywhere else.
"The estates are very big, but the vineyards here are very small."
Roditis wins no wine ratings or competitions, but it consistently wins the empty-bottle test.