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Monday, October 21, 2013


WINES OF THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA; tradition and revolution (University
of California Press, 2013, 324 pages, ISBN 978-0-520-26023-8, $39.95 US
hard covers) is by Tim James, a free lance South African wine
journalist and associate editor of the renowned Platter Guide to South
African Wine. This is both a wine history and a political history,
covering the sweet wines of Constantia (18th and 19th centuries) and the
emerging wine industry, the devastation of the industry by apartheid
policy, and the re-emergence of the South African wine industry after
the 1994 democratic elections. He examines the terroir and climate in
the making of wines, using a regional approach through the Cape,
Stellenbosch, Paarl, Swartland, Tulbagh, and other places. Throughout
there are profiles on about 150 producers and material on wine styles
and blends, and of course grape varieties. The section on KWV is most
interesting to read. There is both a general index and a wine producer
index, as well as bibliographic notes, a statistical table, and sketch
Audience and level of use: wine lovers, wine reference libraries.
Some interesting or unusual facts: much of the South African wine
industry is still based on brandies and fortified wines.
The downside to this book: I would have liked more statistics.
The upside to this book: well-written and expressed.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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