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East vs West: Cool Climate Palates and California Chardonnay

One very interesting aspect of the wine tasting profession is the notion of a regional palate. The difference is clear to those who judge at competitions that use tasters from all over the world, or even just from different parts of North America, from east to west coast. There is a definite propensity for those who taste mainly wines from the west coast, whether it is the Okanagan Valley in BC, Washington, or California, to prefer lower acid, “bigger,” more fruit forward wines. West Coast palates also tend to be far more tolerant of higher alcohol wines.
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Riana van der Merwe: Young Winemaker in a Young Region

Overberg is one of the regions in South Africa to show the most promise for pinot noir cultivation. And even though the finicky, yet highly-sought-after variety generates the most excitement throughout the area, other cool climate grapes such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and syrah have displayed world class abilities. Riana van der Merwe intends to share these grapes’ qualities with the rest of the world.