Rueda © Sidore
One of the first things any student of wine learns is the classic climate types: Maritime, Mediterranean and Continental. The underlying conceit is that these three profiles encompass the entire range of optimal conditions for grape cultivation worldwide. A new generation of high-altitude vineyards — many available for tasting at ProWein 2019 — is challenging these assumptions. From the Rieslings on the mountains of Colorado (1975m) to Muscat on the Tibet Plateau (3563m), the Mountain climate is ready for the limelight.
With a collective push for quality rather than quantity in South Africa, and a revived appreciation for wines made from old vines, we see a definite need for producers to adopt more natural winemaking techniques, be they organic, bio-dynamic or natural. This doesn't necessarily mean registering with any such certification, but rather adopting the philosophy of wines that come from a specific place. New consumers are increasingly aware and sensitive to this.