South Africa has made itself one of the go-to countries for consumers looking for a deep red wine with all the traditional flavour of a French Bordeaux, and has become a specialist at producing award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon which are prized by wine connoisseurs all over the world. As more and more wine growers turn to red grapes, it is likely that drinkers will see an explosion in the availability of South African Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is perhaps one of the most well-known red wines in the world, and is found in virtually every country which attempts to produce wine, ranging from Canada to New Zealand, and all the places in between.
One of the reasons for the popularity of the Cabernet Sauvignon wines is their resistance to frost, cold and other hardships. This is partially because the vine is a hybrid, being related to Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Thick, dark skins and hardy vines make the Cabernet Sauvignon very easy to cultivate, but it is also a very consistent fruit, with vines from all over the world producing the same taste and flavour. This makes it the perfect tool with which to produce good red wines, as well as red wine mixes.
South African wine farmers have become very keen on growing Cabernet Sauvignon, and many districts have large number of vineyards growing the grape, and it is one of the most widely planted red grapes in the country. Many of the growers prefer to use the grapes in order to create blended wines, since the taste can be modified by using other wines. However, more and more growers are also producing pleasant-tasting single varietal wines from their Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and the products have an enormous amount of appeal on the domestic market, where red wine can be purchased relatively cheaply.
The early attempts to grow Cabernet Sauvignon in South Africa did not always have very satisfactory results. Part of the reason for this was that the vines had been planted in areas that were too cool, leading to very bushy vines which had a rather peppery taste. This meant that the wine itself was not always the distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon colour or flavour. Growers attempted to solve the problem by growing the grapes for longer, and producing a sweeter, more alcoholic wine. These vines have now started to age, allowing them to produce larger quantities of intensely-flavoured fruit, and both Stellenbosch and Constantia have successfully produced good-quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
There are several blended wines which can be made using South African Cabernet Sauvignon. The most familiar is the Bordeaux blend, which combines Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other wines. Some wine producers also try to mix their Sauvignon with another wine such as Syrah, in the Australian style. Wine blenders are also increasing their use of the grapes in other blends, producing unique and expensive wines which have a distinctly South African flavour. Boutique wines made by blending Cabernet Sauvignon are becoming more popular as the cost of a single bottle is reduced.