South Africa?s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country?s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region.?Pinotage, a cross between?Pinot Noir?and?Cinsault, is the country?s ?signature? grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like?Cabernet Sauvignon,?Merlot,?Syrah?or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a ?Cape Blend.??Chenin Blanc?(locally known as ?Steen?) dominates white wine production, with?Chardonnay?and?Sauvignon Blanc?following close behind.
VINEYARDS: Vincent Car?me of Domaine Vincent Car?me in the Loire Valley, brings his expertise and techniques from France to Swartland in his Terre Br?l?e bottlings. Vincent?s wife Tania is South African and he feels as though he has found his spiritual home in South Africa. The grapes for Le Rouge stem from two blocks of dry farmed, unirrigated vines in the Swartland. The Syrah is trellised while the Cinsault are bush vines. Situated on a gentle north facing slope, vines are 20 years old and set in soils of shale and granite.