Have you ever been to South Africa or tasted their wines? Going to South Africa is on my bucket list and although I have tasted South African wines sporadically I was excited to learn more about their wines and sample different varieties at this wine tasting. If you are new to this series be sure to stop by Wine section for many more informative wine tasting posts!
About Perrine’s Wine Shop: First of all, there is so much to love about this wine shop located in the Westside Provisions District in Atlanta on Howell Mill Road. Let us start with the owner Perrine. Perrine Prieur moved to America from Burgundy, France in 2006. Knowing this there is no surprise she pursued a career as a sommelier. After working at the 3 star Michelin restaurant “Le Gavroche” in London she arrived in America only speaking French! While in the US she received her sommelier certification from the Master of Sommelier Institute. What first drew me to Perrine and her shop was reading about her travels and hand picking wine from around the world that is available in her store. The store stocks and sells wines in a cozy French inspired atmosphere. Besides the wine I was drawn to all the wine accessories including cards, unique and colorful wine stoppers and soy candles in wine bottles! I was delighted to finally meet Perrine (and her cute rescued puppy) who was warm and charming and funny!
About South African Wines: So as I have mentioned I have never been to South Africa but I am determined to get there soon! One of the reasons is to visit all the wineries that I have heard so much about. Wine making in South Africa dates back to 1659! There are approximately 60 appellations in the area. Do you remember my discussion about appellations in my recent Napa valley post? If not, click here. The majority of South African wines are produced near Cape Town in areas such as the historic Constantia estate which is the oldest in South Africa. The second oldest “Stellenbosch” is known for red wine production including my favorite Shiraz as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The “Paarl” region is known for their fortified wines such as port and sherry wines. I love a good port! I found out quite a few interesting things about South African wine during my research. 1) Most wine regions are located near the coast of the Atlantic and Indian oceans and with the sunlight and dry heat they mimic a Mediterranean climate. 2) Their harvest months are February and March compared to August thru October in Napa Valley based on the different times of seasons around the world. Good to know when planning a trip there! 3) South Africa is among the top 10 wine producing countries in the World 4) South African wines are a combination of Old and New World techniques. Old World refers to wine made in Europe, Western Asia and North Africa with traditional winemaking philosophies with an emphasis on “terroir”. Terroir refers to how the climate, geography, geology and plant genetics of an area affects agricultural products such as wine, coffee and yummy chocolates. New Word wine is produced in countries such as the US, South America, Australia and South Africa with an emphasis on wine making techniques. 5) Grape varieties in South Africa include reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinotage (which is crossing of Pinot noir and Cinsaut), with white varieties of Chenin Blanc (aka Steen), Riesling and Chardonnay.
About the Wine Tasting: There were 10 wines to sample including champagne! Yes 10-the most I have ever had offered at a wine tasting. Not only were there 10 wines but we were able to sample more than once! I enjoyed this since at times it is hard for me to distinguish which wine I like best. To accompany all the wine there was a table full of crackers, cheeses and cured meats which were all delicious! As we sampled wine we were educated on the wine itself, the region and the wine maker. I love to learn :-).
After tasting the Champagne (did you know it is only really Champagne is it is from the Champagne region in France otherwise it is sparkling wine?) we moved on to “Amica” a 2013 Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blanc, a 2013 Chardonnay from Hamilton Russell Vineyards then on to my absolute favorite- a library of Pinot Noir from Hamilton Russell Vineyards. This particular collection was from 2005-2009 from the Hemel-En-Aarde Valley. Year after year, glass after glass, I wanted more! Every year had distinct characteristics based solely on the weather and soil of that time. So, there were all so delicious that I bought the entire library. It is wintertime in Atlanta and I can not wait to cozy up to my fire place with a glass of Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir! As we continued along the line, my friend Portia was very fond of and purchased the 2012 Neil Ellis “Aenigma”-a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz- and the 2009 Neil Ellis “Rodanos”-a combination of Shiraz and Grenache. Prices of these wines ranged from $26.99 for the Neil Ellis “Aenigma” to $274.99 for the Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir library. They were all available for immediate purchase at Perinne’s which is another plus!
Perrine’s Wine Shop holds weekly wine tastings and I highly recommend attending. Sign up for their mailing list to be alerted of events and specials. Drop in anytime for their large selection of wine, Artisanal foods, wine accessories and handmade candles!
I would like to thank Perrine for this wonderful opportunity. Although I received a complimentary wine tasting all opinions are my own.
Have you had South African wines or been to South Africa? If so share your thoughts with us!
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Never been to South Africa but I’m definitely planning a trip at some point, is visiting family a good excuse? Just discovered their wines, there are some interesting ones for sure!
Caroline if you have family there-hope on a plane! lol I look forwarding to going there! I am just getting familiar with South African wines myself and they are yummy!
I have had South African wine one time, but I would definitely like to try more of it in the future 😀 I am so happy that I have all of these suggestions of places to try on my trip back down to ATL in the summer!
Atlanta is such a great place to visit! Great restaurants and wine shops! I hope you get to try some more South African wines soon!
Perrine’s sounds like a very special wine shop, and it’s obvious that the owner is quite passionate about her craft. I’ll have to check this place out the next time I’m in Atlanta. Although I did know that Champagne comes from that particular region in France, I don’t know too much else about wine. We recently took a little getaway to Santa Ynez Valley to do some wine tasting. If you haven’t been to SYV, I suggest you go. It was fascinating to learn how much creativity and discretion winemakers have when curating the wines’ flavors, and I also didn’t realize that different wines are made with particular grapes – that just shows you how much I don’t know about wine. But what I do know is a good glass of red when I taste it! 😉
Dana-I agree wine making is so fascinating! I look California and look forward to visiting more wine areas there. San Diego also has great ones! Of course Napa Valley is amazing and I have a guide to Napa Valley on the blog. I definitely recommend first learning about the different grapes then different wine regions in the world and my wine tasting series is a great place to start :-). Thank you for reading and commenting!
I love wine!! 🙂 . I have had a few South African wine, and love the reisling. There is always something new to discover about wine. I’ve done Napa Valley wine tasting and l am looking forward to wine tasting in the Andalucia region at some point. This store looks so cool, thanks for featuring it.
Ohhhh Andalucia has been on my list for quite some time! Please let me know of your experience when you go! I definitely look forward to tasting more South African Wines and revisiting Napa Valley!
You’ve made me go look up this location now. I see it being perfect for a girls night out in January. 🙂 I did a wine tasting for a birthday party a few years ago but that location has closed so I’m looking for a new one.
Kendra I am sure you would love attending an event at Perrine’s! let me know if you make it there!
This wine sounds amazing. I have never tried a South African wine and this sounds like one I would love!!!! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reading and commenting! There were so many delicious and affordable varieties at this tasting! Be sure to let me know if you try one and visit Perrine’s!
I have yet to visit South Africa but it’s definitely on my travel list. I am such a rookie when it comes to wine so I will definitely be referring back to this post and others. This was enlightening and now I want some wine! 🙂
lol Christine! I hope you had some! I love wine as well and love learning about the process. Definitely check out my other wine posts for some easy learning and my wine picks!
The wine-tasting session looks awesome as South African wines are delicious. I have been there, but only once. To Cape Town. I went to visit a German friend of mine who spent half the year in Cape Town and half the year in Germany asthere’s a strong German community in Cape Town and I paid almost €900 for my flight in those days! The city is lovely and the beach is amazing as well as the safari and the food, but the monkeys are bothersome LOL!
Victoria-too funny about the monkeys. I am sure that will make me nervous at first. But I cannot wait to finally get there! Until then I will definitely enjoy the wine 🙂
I have never been to South Africa or had the wine. I would love to do both. I am not much of drinker, but I like to sample!
Bernetta-if you like to sample going to a wine tasting would be perfect!
I’ve never been to South Africa but it’s on my list. I’m a novice when it comes to wines. I know I like Sweet Reds but that’s as much as I know lol.
Vashti- I love a good port! I can’t wait to get to South Africa as well.
Whoa. I’m so taking a trip to that wine shop one of these days.
Max have you made it there? If so I hope you liked it!
I’m half South African, and have been lucky to visit my rellies a number of times, most recently in 2007. Mr Wino & I traveled to a few of the famous wine regions clustered around Cape Town. Constancia which is only minutes out of the city, Stellenbosch where my cousin is at uni, Franschoek, and Paarl where another cousin lived at the time. Amazing value in South Africa as the rand is worth so little in USD / AUD. Wonderful food. And such cheap amazingly different wine!
Louise that all sounds wonderful! I hope to visit South Africa in the fall so will keep all these areas in mind!