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Cover for Wines of the New South Africa

Wines of the New South Africa

Tradition and Revolution

Tim James


List Price: 39.95*
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Sought after by European aristocrats and a favorite of Napoleon Bonaparte, the sweet wines of Constantia in the Cape Colony were considered to be among the world’s best during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During the first democratic elections in 1994, South Africa began to re-emerge onto the international wine scene. Tim James, an expert on South African wines, takes the reader on an information-packed tour of the region, showing us how and why the unique combination of terroir and climate, together with dramatic improvements in winemaking techniques, result in wines that are once again winning accolades. James describes important grape varieties and wine styles—from delicate sparkling, to rich fortified, and everything in between—including the varietal blends that produce some of the finest Cape wines. Anchoring his narrative in a rich historical context, James discusses all the major wine regions, from Cederberg to Walker Bay, complete with profiles of more than 150 of the country’s finest producers.

Praise For Wines of the New South Africa: Tradition and Revolution

"A hopeful and interesting read."
— Fred Tasker

"South African wine has needed a book like 'Wines of the New South Africa' for some time. . . . [James] brings a fresh perspective and a critical eye to a wine region about which he clearly cares deeply. The result is that 'Wines of the New South Africa' is as complete a reference on the South African wine scene as you're likely to find, and those with an interest in learning more about South African wine will be able to spend many hours with the book."
— Joe Roberts,

"James writes passionately and intelligently about the wines of his homeland. . . . Wine lovers of every stripe should find 'New South Africa' interesting reading. . . . An informative reference."
— Gerald Boyd

"A knowledgeable discussion of South African wine for the serious connoisseur."
— Chicago Tribune

"We have a profound appreciation for James’ contribution in this detailed, comprehensive account of South African wine.  Anyone planning a trip to South Africa or simply wanting to know a lot more about its wine industry is strongly encouraged to read this book."
— International Wine Review Blog

"It was once said that Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. The same is true of James’s Wines of the New South Africa."
— Michael Fridjhon

"This is an important book, penned with knowledge and insight at an important point in the development of the South African wine industry."
— The World of Fine Wine

"[An] honest, clearly written and intense study of what has happened and is happening in the Cape. . . . One of the best reads of the year."

"With academic precision and the enthusiasm of a true wine lover, James discusses the science, culture, and history of South Africa's most celebrated grape varietals and wine styles. Readers will come away with a clear understanding of the country's wine terroir and climate, as well as a new appreciation for South Africa's burgeoning wine industry."
— Santé

University of California Press, 9780520260238, 344pp.

Publication Date: July 18, 2013

About the Author

Tim James is a certified Cape Wine Master and freelance wine journalist. He is the regional consultant on South Africa for The World Atlas of Wine and a taster and associate editor on the annual Platter Guide to South African Wine. In addition to his weekly column for the Mail & Guardian, his work also appears regularly in The World of Fine Wine and online at